The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

 
An uninspired rehash of the first movie.
  • Review Date: October 2, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Melody runs way from home after an argument with her mother. Her parents cover up and lie to her about her mermaid roots in order to protect her.

Violence & scariness

Morgana (Ursula's sister) threatens baby Melody by holding her over a gaping shark's mouth. A menacing shark attempts to eat other characters. Melody nearly drowns when she's trapped in an undersea cave. Kids who found Ursula scary in the first movie will likely feel the same way about Morgana.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Ariel is a very popular Disney princess, whose brand reaches far and wide. Expect to see princess branding on consumer merchandise, food products, etc. as well as in books, websites, and other media.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will see some potentially scary scenes with mild peril, including a pair of sharks who attempt to eat people and animal characters. Ursula's sister, Morgana, looks very like the menacing sea witch from the original movie and is likely to frighten kids who found Ursula scary. Morgana threatens baby Melody by holding her over a gaping shark's mouth, and Melody also nearly meets her end by drowning. Melody later runs away from home after a disagreement with her mother.

What's the story?

This direct-to-video sequel to Disney's animated hit The Little Mermaid reverses the first movie's plot when, against her parents' wishes, Ariel's daughter Melody tries to become part of the world under the sea. The festivities celebrating the birth of Melody, Ariel and Eric's daughter, are interrupted by the arrival of the sea witch Morgana ("Ursula's crazy sister!"), who attempts to kidnap the child. The attempt fails, but Ariel decides that, until the threat of Morgana is eliminated, Melody is forbidden from going near the ocean and kept in the dark about her mermaid heritage. Twelve years later, Melody ignores these rules and swims in the ocean regularly. When Ariel discovers what she's been up to, harsh words are exchanged, and Melody runs away, escaping in a boat out to sea. Morgana finds Melody and fulfills her wish to become a mermaid, but dupes the girl into stealing King Triton's magical trident. A guilt-ridden Ariel must now return to the ocean to make peace with Melody and prevent Morgana from gaining absolute power over the merdom.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Apart from some minor variations, the story of LITTLE MERMAID II is a shameless retread of the plot of its Academy Award-winning predecessor. This sequel doesn't come close to matching the original movie's tuneful charm. Kids may be disappointed to discover that Ariel has little more than a supporting role here. Ariel's new authoritarian role is a bit off-putting, as is her decision to lie to Melody about her family's history. Although she lies to protect her daughter, the filmmakers seem to have forgotten that the Ariel of the first movie was playful and imaginative. When the evil Morgana makes a sarcastic comment about Ariel being "cruel and deceitful," some kids just might agree with her!

Two new characters, Tip the Penguin and Dash the Walrus, will amuse younger viewers with their slapstick aquatic antics. Sadly, Sebastian the crab, one the best characters in the first movie, is reduced to complaining endlessly about having to look after yet another headstrong teenager. All of the voice actors who helped give the first movie so much charm have returned, and their skill somewhat compensates for the clumsy script. Many kids will be able to relate to Melody's sense of insecurity.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea has as many scary parts as the original movie. Which parts did you find alarming? What made them upsetting? Does it matter if you know that everything will turn out OK when you're watching something scary?

  • Why is a sequel rarely as good as the original? Did you think this movie was as good and The Little Mermaid? Where you disappointed to see so little of Ariel? Why do you think this sequel wasn't released in theaters when the first movie, which won a lot of awards, was?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 19, 2000
DVD release date:December 15, 2008
Cast:Jodi Benson, Samuel Wright, Tara Strong
Director:Jim Kammerud
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Music and sing-along, Ocean creatures
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea was written by

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bydanielleb November 25, 2011
age 4+
 

Learning About Growing Up

My daughter loves this. She is three and loves Ariel and everything about her. Ariel has never been a very good role model princess, and this sequel continues on the same path of rebellion and disobedience. However, it is less scary than the original, the music is memorable, and my daughter LOVES the relationship between Ariel and her baby, and then later Ariel and Melody as her daughter. She thinks it is great that Ariel is a mommy now and that has provided an interesting lesson for her on growing up and being a mom. It's nice for her to see her favorite Princess being an adult (firm, caring, and making her own mistakes even then).
Teen, 14 years old Written byEspumaMarina August 8, 2010
age 6+
 

Of Course not as Good as the First

It was better than most Disney Sequils, but I think they could have made it better, some songs are catchy, most annoying, The animation could have been much better, but some parts were really pretty. It was pretty much like Ariel wanting to be human, except its her daughter, and she wants to be in the sea. What I think is weird is that her mother keeps her from the sea (to protect her from the villan) yet Melody can talk to a crab and seagull, and they build a wall instead of just moving away. At the beginning baby Melody was about to be eaten, I noticed Triton didn't do much about it, he has that stick thing, why didn't he just turn the shark into a little fish before? (Sorry if I'm spoiling anything) I mean this would have been an excellent story, they just needed to change it a little. Like Melody is really nieve, not even trying to think theres a reason shes banned from the ocean. Its weird how they change settings so quickly, first she's in a tropical paradise, then she's in an arctic tundra (she's bareshouldered so its weird how she doesnt seem cold at all) then she's in Atlantica, then she's back home, then she's back to the arctic tundra.. and when her mom goes to look for the run away Melody, she doesn't seem cold either! Plus its also weird how her arctic friends dont ever seem unconfortable in the climate changes. Ariel lost her charm, turned into a strict/ trying to be understanding, parent. Much like Simba in Lion King 2. If they changed a few things it would have been better, but it wasn't horrible, no yucky romance thes time.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byhamstergurl09 November 26, 2010
age 5+
 

If I Was Hans Christian Anderson, I Would Be So Pissed Off At Disney Right Now.

I HATE THIS MOVIE! The Little Mermaid needed no sequel. This seems to occur often with Disney. They constantly put out sequels of movies that needed no sequel just to make money. These types of sequels absolutely suck. This is an absolute abomination to the story of the Little Mermaid. Never watch this movie. It's terrible.

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