Did The Little Mermaid get a sequel? Disney’s ongoing campaign to remake all of its animated movies in live-action continues this month with the arrival of Rob Marshall’s take on The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy.
Disney has given us so many of the best family movies over the years, but it’s fair to say that the recent run of live-action Disney remakes has been something of a mixed bag. The Little Mermaid, though, is hoping to land on the positive side of that debate. Certainly, we had plenty of time for it in our five-star Little Mermaid review.
New movies from Disney have a heck of a record at the box office, so we’re expecting The Little Mermaid to bring in a huge sack of cash for the studio. Inevitably, talk then turns to a follow-up. But did The Little Mermaid get a sequel in animated form, and what was it all about?
Did The Little Mermaid get a sequel?
The Little Mermaid got both a sequel and a prequel during Disney’s love affair with direct-to-video follow-ups. Sequel movie Return to the Sea was released in 2000, while the prequel Ariel’s Beginning arrived in 2008.
During the peak of the Disney Renaissance in the 1990s and 2000s, the Mouse House loved to make sequels to its best animated movies for the video market. There will be adults out there with fond childhood memories of The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride and Aladdin: The Return of Jafar. We don’t know them, but they must exist somewhere.
The Little Mermaid was, of course, no exception. One of the best ’80s movies from the Disney catalogue, it was always likely to join the sequel pipeline. The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea arrived in 2000 and was set 12 years after the original.
It followed Ariel and Eric’s daughter Melody, who was a human princess forbidden from swimming in the ocean. Perhaps surprisingly, many of the core members of The Little Mermaid cast returned to their voice roles.
They also returned again in 2008 for prequel Ariel’s Beginning, which followed Ariel’s campaign to restore music to the underwater kingdom. King Triton had banned music in the wake of his wife’s death while trying to retrieve a music box.
Of course, Disney might not go near these sequels for a follow-up to the live-action version of The Little Mermaid. The producer of the 2019 Aladdin movie said very firmly that any sequel wouldn’t adapt Return of Jafar, so fans of that movie shouldn’t await the Aladdin 2 release date too strongly.
And those of us anticipating the live-action sequel to The Lion King won’t be getting a new spin on Simba’s Pride. In fact, director Barry Jenkins decided to tell the story of Mufasa instead.
That’s what we know about The Little Mermaid sequel for now, but you can find out the reason Harry Styles said no to Prince Eric and why we want you to know that Melissa McCarthy doesn’t always play the same character.
Elsewhere, enjoy more magical fun with our guides to the best fantasy movies, the best musicals, and the best movies of all time.