A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Love, family, friendship, adventure, and sacrifice are all themes.
Positive Role Models
As is the case with any fairy tale, the story’s characters range from being kindhearted and loving to evil. Ariel disobeys her father regularly by going to the surface and be closer to humans. However, she's kind, perseveres to get what she wants, and loves her family.
Violence & Scariness
It contains dark scenes featuring Ursula and her eels, as well as attempts to drown land characters. The live performances featuring Ursula are more lighthearted.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The animated and live mermaids wear bikini tops and have bare backs, but it’s not in a sexual context.
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Products & Purchases
It promotes the 30th anniversary release of the Disney film. The broadcast also featured sneak peaks at other Disney films.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Ariel drinks a potion that gives her human legs for three days.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live features the original animated Disney film, The Little Mermaid, overlaid with live performances of the film's iconic songs. It's lively and family-friendly, but some scenes might be scary for littler kids, like sea witch Ursula's spell casting or other perilous situations. It's pretty cheesy, but fans of the film will probably enjoy this fluffy bit of hybrid entertainment.
Is It Any Good?
This larger-than-life musical extravaganza attempts to deliver all the spectacle that Disney is known for by combining film, live action, puppetry, aerial stunts, and special effects. However, most of the show isn't live, and viewers spend most of the two-hour event watching the original Disney film. The live cast delivers some solid (if not always perfect) singing performances, but transitioning to them in-between film scenes is sometimes a little jarring. There are some creative attempts at simulating the events that take place underseas, but the costumes and stage props lack the sophistication one would expect from a show of this magnitude. But there are some fun moments, like when John Stamos breaks character while playing Chef Louis, and when Queen Latifah takes Ursula's sassy movements to a new level. The movie's multigenerational fans will enjoy singing along to the live performances of the film's most iconic songs, but The Little Mermaid Live feels watered down, and falls short of being magical.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.