The Mermaids are one of the many mystical groups of beings that inhabit the magical island of Neverland. They first appeared in Disney's classic 1953 animated film Peter Pan, which is based upon J.M Barrie's 1911 novel, Peter Pan and Wendy. They also make cameos in its 2002 sequel. They are voiced by June Foray, Connie Hilton, Margaret Kerry, and Karen Kester. Disney's portrayal of them is neither as dark nor as sinister as they are in Barrie's book; they are much more communicative and civilized (although still somewhat amoral).
The mermaids appear to be lazy, vain, shallow, and undeniably mischievous in nature. They are also fun loving and rather amoral, having no sense between right and wrong. This is especially evident with their reaction to Peter Pan scolding them for harassing Wendy, where one of them casually stated they were "only trying to drown her." They seem to not have any real cares or troubles besides having a great fear of Captain Hook. They are all romantically infatuated with Peter, who apparently visits their lagoon often to flirt and entertain them with his adventure stories. And similar to Tinker Bell, they are jealous when any other female catches his attention.
The mermaids first appear when Peter takes Wendy to their lagoon to meet them. She is ecstatic and enchanted by their beauty, for she has always dreamed of seeing and meeting real life mermaids. She watches (or rather spies on) them from a safe distance as the they lounge around on rocks to bask, bathe in waterfalls, brush their long hair, and admire their own reflections in the shallow water. They also seem to enjoy decorating their hair with random ornaments and adorning themselves with items from the surrounding ocean which leads into their lagoon. At first glance, they are all excited to see that Peter has come back after his flight to London and is gracing them with his presence. After he says hello to them they ask him to tell them a story.
As the mermaids all gather around Peter to listen, he begins to tell them about the time he cut off Captain Hook's hand and threw it to the crocodile, but then they notice that he has brought Wendy along. They ask him why she is there in her nightgown, clearly suspicious. They then try to get her to swim with them and begin pulling her into the water despite her trying to inform them she is not properly dressed to join in.
The mermaids begin to splash Wendy out of spite with their tails causing her to become soaking wet and upset to the point that she picks up a large seashell nearby to throw at them in defense. Peter stops her in time, telling her that they were only having fun, to which one of them casually replies that they were "only trying to drown her." Suddenly, the lagoon's atmosphere becomes dark and gloomy, indicating an evil presence is close by. Sensing danger in the air and close at hand, Peter looks around and spots Captain Hook and Smee rowing by in a rowboat with the captured Indian Chief's daughter, Tiger Lily. Peter warns Wendy that Captain Hook is coming. Upon overhearing his name, the mermaids scream and become frightened, prompting them to dive back into the water and deep under the lagoon to hide and disappear. They aren't seen again for the rest of the film, although after Wendy, John, and Michael return, Wendy mentions them as one of the most memorable parts of her adventure.
The mermaids make a cameo in the sequel but don't have a speaking role unlike the original film. When Peter and Jane are flying in Neverland, they grab her from him and begin dressing her in mermaid clothes. Just as one of them is about to pour water on her head, Peter scoops her back up and causes the mermaid to pour it on two others. They don't appear throughout the rest of the film after this.
The mermaids appear as minor supporting characters in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, while a young one named Marina and her younger sister, Stormy, appear as recurring characters. Unlike how they were shown in Peter Pan, however, they are sweet, helpful and unselfish.
The mermaids first appeared witnessing Marina giving Izzy surfing lessons in the episode "Surfin' Turf". They do not accompany her and Jake and his crew to save the surfboard from Captain Hook. They make a cameo with her in "Jake's Jungle Groove", where they move along to the Skullenbones Stomp as a monkey plays the beat on a pair of bongos.
The mermaids play a larger role in the episode "Undersea Bucky!" When the light of Neptune City vanishes, Marina was called forth to find a solution to the problem. Jake and his crew assist her in the search for it with the aid of Bucky transforming into a submarine to explore the deep of the Never Sea. Captain Hook has other uses for it.
The mermaids make a brief cameo in the episode the The Mermaid's Song but play a larger role in the episode Treasure of the Tides. They witness the swimming race with Izzy and Lucille the Seal in their lagoon. They joined Izzy, Marina, and Stormy set off to find the "Treasure of the Tides". Captain Hook orders Sharky and Bones to block the lagoon using the Jolly Roger but they were no match for Lucille who was able slip pass them and recruit the help of two blue whales to force the Jolly Roger out the way so Izzy and the mermaids could catch up to Captain Hook and Smee.
While Captain Hook and Smee tried to keep the lead to the Treasure of the Tides, a large school of seahorses block their path. Smee gave Captain Hook the idea to keep Izzy and the mermaids at bay by spooking the sea creatures toward them so he could beat them to the treasure. But he didn't count on Izzy's quick wit like in the episode "The Seahorse Roundup". He, Marina, and Stormy began to sing a lullaby to calm the seahorses down so they could safely pass. When he and Smee reached Hidden Cove to find the Treasure of the Tides, Izzy and the mermaids tried to stop them but they were powerless to do so until Jake, Cubby, and Skully got there with Izzy's pixie dust to turn the tide on Captain Hook and Smee. The mermaids decide to make Izzy an honorary mermaid. Later that night, they took part in the celebration and crowned her "Mermaid of the Year". In the episode "Bones' Lucky Doubloon!" Bones tries to prove to Captain Hook that his grandfather's doubloon is lucky when he flips it he receives a kiss from a mermaid.
The series also features Finn the Mer-Boy, the franchise's first merman.
The mermaids appeared in the premiere of Season 3, "The Heart of the Truest Believer". They were depicted as dangerous in Neverland, though affiliated with Peter, like in the original novel. Like the mermaids of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, they tend to take an alien, predacious, and perhaps even villainous role, though their individual personalities and moralities may differ. Like Aquarianne from Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, some carry a conch shell which can be used as a magic flute. They are perhaps the most powerful ones ever produced by Disney; gifted with magic so great it can control the very weather itself.
While Snow White and her companions are sailing the seas of Neverland in Captain Hook's boat, their ship is attacked by mermaids (who strike with such zeal that they are first mistaken for sharks, sea monsters, and even a Kraken). Once they have clouted the hull with their tails, Regina prepares a fireball spell while the rest of the crew tries to drive them away with artillery or capture them with a fishing net. All of these tactics succeed; they are driven away from the ship, save for those who might have been slain by the fire and the one who is captured in the net.
Regina is fiercely defiant of her captors, asking/demanding that they let her go and stating that it is not she who dooms them, but they themselves. While the major characters argue over what is to be done with her, she proves her point by summoning a storm. As their ship is tossed about upon mighty roiling waves, her crew becomes drenched and desperate. She then casts a spell that turns her to wood yet fails to stop the storm, leaving her and her companions to brave the wind, lightning, and driving rain summoned by her.
Peter Pan: Adventures in Neverland
The mermaids assist Peter briefly in his quest to find treasure. One of Captain Hook's crew members attacks them but they are quickly saved by Peter.
Kinect: Disneyland Adventures
Peter Pan: "Gosh, I wish the Mermaids were here."
Christmas in Never Land
The mermaids appear in "Christmas in Never Land", a short story featured in 5-minute Christmas Stories.
Peter and Tinkerbell fly to Mermaid Lagoon to ask the mermaids if they can supply them with lights for the Christmas tree as part of the surprise Christmas celebration they and the Lost Boys are giving Wendy, unfortunately, the mermaids are unable to help.
An Adventure for Wendy
Wendy has a much friendlier visit to Mermaid Lagoon in "An Adventure for Wendy", a short story featured in Disney Bedtime Favorites Storybook Collection.
As Wendy is walking past the Lagoon looking for a new adventure to tell Peter and the Lost Boys, she hears one of the mermaids calling for help and sees that she's caught in a fishing net. With none of the other mermaids there to help, Wendy dives into the water and frees her from the net. The mermaid thanks Wendy for saving her and the two of them swim and play together in the lagoon and become friends. That night, Wendy tells Peter and the boys about her adventure: which includes rescuing the mermaid and swimming in the lagoon.
It can be greatly assumed that the mermaid that Wendy rescued told the other mermaids about it, which ultimately puts Wendy on far better terms with them.
- This is the first time mermaids were shown in a Disney film.
- The episode "Bones' Lucky Doubloon!" is the first time any of the adult mermaids have any dialog in the Jake and the Never Land Pirates series.
- In the original film, one of the red-haired mermaids was voiced by Tinker Bell's live-action reference model, Margaret Kerry.
- Chelan, Visola, Atlanteia and Arika are the only mermaids to appear in Return to Never Land.
- Even if the mermaids in the original film and the sequel are named Chelan, Penelope, Arika, Adamaris, Visola, and Atlanteia, the names were never revealed.