The Little Mermaid | 2023 | PG | – 1.3.1
A live action telling of the classic fairy tale about a young, headstrong mermaid (Halle Bailey) that disobeys her father’s (Javier Bardem) strictest rule to not go near the human world. Desperate to experience the world outside the sea, she strikes a deal with an octopus witch (Melissa McCarthy) that will grant her legs in exchange for her voice. Also with Jonah Hauer-King, and the voices of Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina. Directed by Rob Marshall. [Running Time: 2:15]
The Little Mermaid SEX/NUDITY 1
– A young man and a teen girl (he is 21 and she’s 16) hug and kiss tenderly, and then hug again and we understand that they are married.
► A young man leans toward a teen girl in a rowboat to kiss her and the boat is bumped by two eels in the water, tipping it over; the young man and teen girl fall into the water. A young man leans to kiss a teen girl and she collapses. A mermaid sings and caresses an unconscious man’s head and face. A teen girl is required to kiss a young man to break a spell that is placed on her. A teen girl stumbles in a rowboat and falls into a young man’s lap.
► A merman asks a crab if his daughter is in love. A teen girl shows a young man how to blow into a shell like a horn and she puckers her lips while a crab encourages her to kiss the young man; the crab says, “Go get it.” A bird squawks and says that it is trying to create “vocal romantic stimulation” for a teen girl and a young man in a small boat. A crab sings a song that includes lyrics like, “Kiss the girl.” We are told that a young man proposed to a young woman and that a wedding is being planned.
► A teen girl is caught in a fishing boat’s net among seaweed and the fisherman on the boat wraps her with a blanket since she has no clothes (we see her bare shoulders and legs) and takes her to shore. Mermaids wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage and bare abdomens. A man’s shirt is partially open and we see his bare chest and abdomen. Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes.
The Little Mermaid VIOLENCE/GORE 3
– Lighting flashes in the sky and the sea becomes very rough tossing a ship around in large waves: the ship slams into a rock outcropping and splinters, men jump overboard as fires break out and one man remains to retrieve a dog, then gets thrown off the ship, lands in the water unconscious and is taken to shore by a mermaid (he is seen with a bloody wound on his forehead and the dog is fine); he coughs, spits out water and revives. A young mermaid swims through many shipwrecks under the sea searching for items to retrieve and when she enters a ship (a small fish accompanying her tries to dissuade her), we see the shadow of a shark swimming outside; the shark breaks through the wall of the ship snapping at the mermaid and the fish, and they move quickly to hide; the mermaid throws a barrel on top of the shark and it gets stuck in an opening allowing the mermaid and the fish to get away safely. A young woman sprouts tentacles and turns into a giant octopus, spinning around and knocking men over a wall into the ocean below; the octopus leaps into the water and when a merman confronts her, she says, “I want to see you suffer” as eels wrap around a mermaid’s arms and she falls unconscious; the eels then wrap around the merman, he glows and falls into the deep water and out of sight (we understand that he is dead). A giant octopus aims a trident at a young man and fires energy bolts, hitting two eels instead; the octopus grows to enormous proportions and rises out of the water with a booming voice, she swirls the water creating a whirlpool to trap a young man and a mermaid, ship wreckage swirls around in the water, the young man catches a rope, lands on a ship’s deck, and then steers the vessel into the octopus’ abdomen running her through and she falls back into the water.
► A merman blasts items in a cave with a glowing trident as his daughter watches and pleads for him to stop. Large waves toss a ship back and forth and a man slips while on the front of the vessel, nearly falling in the water. Men on a ship throw harpoons overboard trying to strike what they say is a mermaid, but it turns out to be a dolphin (they do not hit the creature). A teen girl attacks a young woman and tells a young man that he has been bewitched; the young man then catches the teen girl as she collapses on the ground, when her legs are replaced by a tail.
► A teen girl takes the reins of a horse-drawn carriage and has the horses charge over rocky terrain, with people and other carriages on a road, stopping short before hitting a few goats. A mermaid’s tail is replaced with legs and she struggles to swim to the surface of the sea to breathe after a spell is cast on her. A teen girl is caught in a fishing boat’s net among seaweed and the fisherman on the boat wraps her with a blanket and takes her to shore. A mermaid sings and a giant octopus prepares a potion that steals the mermaid’s voice and puts it in a locket. A mermaid follows two eels with glowing eyes through the mouth of a fish skeleton with many teeth and into a cave where a giant octopus awaits them; creatures in the shadows skitter around, we see the remains of merpeople, tendrils reach off the walls of the cave and grab the mermaid, and she pulls away. Eels with glowing eyes are shown in the shadows of a cave and a giant octopus with glowing suction cups on its tentacles slithers around near them; the octopus scoops up a shrimp and eats it, slurping, and spits out the shell. A giant octopus plots to get power from a merperson. A giant octopus holds several human skulls. A crab leaps onto the rolling wheels of a carriage and then onto the back of the carriage unharmed. A bird carries a crab into the sky, and then drops it into the ocean. A teen girl touches a flame and says, “It bites.” A bird flutters in a young woman’s hair causing her to swat at it and yell. A dog lunges at a young woman and growls.
► A merman yells at his teen daughter and tells her, “Obey my rules.” A woman yells at her son and he storms away. A merman tells his daughter that humans killed her mother. A merman puts his finger on a crab and presses down while questioning it about his daughter’s whereabouts, and the crab moans. A crab is scolded by a merman. A man yells at another man on a ship and tells him that he must be more careful. Men on a ship talk about mermaids luring men to their death. A quote reads, “A mermaid has no tears and therefore suffers so much more.” A crab says that it needs to “…nail that girl’s fins to the floor.” People talk about the sea gods being against them. A woman talks about the damage that shipwrecks have caused. A character asks, “Has she killed the prince yet?”
► A young mermaid swims among jellyfish and other sea creatures. We see flashes on the surface from under the sea and a mermaid investigates seeing fireworks in the sky. A mermaid climbs aboard a ship’s rowboat and watches men onboard dancing and singing (presumably drunk), celebrating a man’s birthday. A bird dives into the water to pick up a fish to eat. A pipe is dropped on a crab’s head (it is OK). A teen girl in a bathtub is handed a bar of soap and she tries to eat it. A teen girl is laced into a corset and heeled shoes. A teen girl eats a flower and people look at her confused.
The Little Mermaid LANGUAGE 1
– Name-calling (selfish, impossible, guppy, fool, cold fins, monster, dinglehopper, savages, strong-minded, broken-hearted, headstrong teenager, careless, barbarians, weird, humiliating, fantasy, dearie, nasty, toots, no nothing bird, pathetic, scuttlebutt, poor unfortunate souls, rotten sea witch, mer-brats, hopeless, bird brain, idiot), exclamations (have you lost your senses, what, my goodness, relax, what on Earth, calm down, remain calm, have mercy, what were you thinking, oh my, you gotta be kidding me, oh please). | profanity glossary |
The Little Mermaid SUBSTANCE USE
– Men on a ship dance and sing while drinking and seem inebriated.
The Little Mermaid DISCUSSION TOPICS
– Curiosity, 16-year-olds getting married, yearning for something different, isolation, fear, risk taking, betrayal, happiness, choices, true love, loneliness, tempting fate, respect for balance.
The Little Mermaid MESSAGE
– Understanding those that are different from you makes for a more peaceful world. Children need to be free to live their own lives.
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