Watch This, Do That: The Little Mermaid

See Disney’s newest fantasy musical, which is a live-action remake of the original 1989 film.

King Triton’s (Javier Bardem) youngest daughter, Ariel (Halle Bailey), loves all things human – including her newest obsession, Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King).

Ariel is approached by the devious Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) about switching from tail to legs to go visit Prince Eric and have him fall in love with her. To do this, she had to give away her beautiful siren sound, her voice, to Ursula.

Without her voice, she has a hard time communicating with the prince and needs help from her friends, Flounder (Jacob Tremblay), Scuttle (Awkwafina) and Sebastian (Daveed Diggs).

This Disney remake includes an important representation change that allows little Black girls to see themselves in a strong Disney princess role. Plus, it includes a few new songs and some subtle changes in the characters.

A few takeaways from the movie to discuss with the kids:

  • Don’t trust everyone. If someone approaches you and you have a bad feeling about it, tell your parent right away.
  • Never leave without telling someone where you’re going. Ariel went off on her own and ended up in a bad spot with Ursula.
  • Don’t judge anyone before you know them. King Triton was judging the humans and Queen Selina was judging the merpeople before getting to know them.
  • Always listen to your heart, but keep an open mind. Ariel knew in her heart that she loved Prince Eric and her father didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t want his daughter to marry a human, but didn’t really look at it from her point of view.

Movie-inspired activities

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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Chicago Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring new places with her son.


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