"The Little Mermaid": Everything Parents Should Know About the Live-Action Movie

Halle Bailey's live-action "The Little Mermaid" movie has created a new generation of Disney fans. In the nearly 35 years since the original film's release, Disney has turned the animated treasure into a live-action adventure, complete with realistic underwater graphics and a beautifully developed storyline. While it sticks true to the original movie's plot and themes we're familiar with, the updated story also dives deeper into Ariel and Eric's relationships with their families, as well as their relationship with each other.

At its core, the film is an enchanting rendition of a classic that many kids of all ages — and adults — are likely to fall in love with after a single watch. There are a few notable themes and scenes throughout the movie, though, that might upset younger viewers — not like the original grim fairy-tale that inspired the animated film, but still. Ahead, find out everything you need to know about "The Little Mermaid" before bringing your little ones to the theater.

How Long Is the Live-Action "The Little Mermaid" Movie?

The 1989 "The Little Mermaid" movie had a total run time of 83 minutes, or one hour and 23 minutes. The live-action version of the film is 135 minutes long, or two hours and 15 minutes. While the newer movie is significantly longer, the in-depth peek into Ariel's life underwater and her bond with Prince Eric are definitely worth the extra 45 minutes. Of course, if you're planning to see the movie in theaters, you might want to prepare to take bathroom breaks with your little ones in between or hit pause if you're watching at home.

What Is the Live-Action "The Little Mermaid" Movie Rated?

The original "The Little Mermaid" film is rated G, making it suitable for just about anyone. The live-action movie is rated PG for some scenes that depict characters in peril and themes that might be scary for younger viewers. Generally, movies rated PG are OK for children 8 years old and older. If your child is younger and can't wait to see the Disney movie, read ahead for a few scenes to keep an eye on.

Is the Live-Action "The Little Mermaid" Movie Scary For Kids?

While the movie is pretty digestible for all ages, there are a couple of scenes that might be upsetting for younger viewers. Notably, at the beginning of the film, a boat catches on fire and Prince Eric falls into the water unconscious. As he's drowning, Ariel swoops in to save him. The scene features moments of flashing lights — which appear later in the film — and the fire ends up killing various sea creatures.

As the story progresses, we also see Ariel tear out one of her scales from her tail to help Ursula make the potion that will give her human legs. The wound bleeds briefly later in the film. Once Ariel is in the human world, Ursula also stalks the teenager without her realizing it. Later, Ursula transforms herself into a human temporarily to spy on Ariel up close. The actor who plays her alter ego, Jess Alexander, puts on an impressive performance, letting out frightening laughs and delivering an impassioned display of hatred toward Ariel that comes off as unsettling.

Eventually, Prince Eric is tugged underwater against his will by Ursula's eels, who also restrain Ariel. To save Ariel, King Triton sacrifices himself and dies at Ursula's hand (Ariel is quickly able to bring him back to life, though).

If you think any of these themes might upset your child, you may want to hold off on watching the film with them for a couple of years — or watch it in advance and make notes of when to fast-forward.

For the most part, the live-action "The Little Mermaid" movie is a fun watch for both parents and kids. Even if you and your little one don't watch it in theaters, you can still enjoy Bailey's live performance of "Part of Your World" with the whole family.