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The Little Mermaid is an animated Walt Disney Television Animation television series based on the 1989 Disney film of the same name. It features the adventures of Ariel as a mermaid prior to the events of the film. This series is the first Disney television series to be spun off from a major animated film. Some of the voice actors from the film reprise their roles in the series, among them Jodi Benson as Ariel, Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian, Kenneth Mars as King Triton, and Pat Carroll as Ursula.

The Little Mermaid premiered in the fall of 1992 with the animated prime time special called "Whale of a Tale", then moved to Saturday mornings. This series originally ran on CBS, with an original run from 1992 to 1994. It was later shown in reruns on the Disney Channel and Toon Disney.

The show had aired on the Russian version of The Disney Afternoon block, and is one of few shows not to air in the US version of the Disney Afternoon but to air on the block in other countries.

Some of the episodes contain musical segments, featuring original songs written for the series. The opening theme to the show is an instrumental combination of the songs "Part of Your World", "Under the Sea", and "Kiss the Girl", while the closing theme to the show is an instrumental version of "Under the Sea". The overture for the stage musical of The Little Mermaid is similar to the TV series' opening theme.

Premise[]

The Little Mermaid television series is a prequel to the eponymous film. The story is set before the events in the 1989 film, and follows Ariel's adventures as a mermaid still living under the sea with her father, Sebastian and Flounder. Various episodes highlight her relationship with her friends, father and sisters, and usually involve Ariel foiling the attempts of various enemies that intend ill harm to her or to her kingdom.

Episodes[]

Most episodes revolve around Ariel's adventures in and around her home of Atlantica. While some have her encountering and solving a problem (sometimes of her own making) that arises, others show Ariel facing off against various villains. Some, but not all, episodes feature a musical number relating to the plot of the episode. As in the film, Ariel has a love for human things and is often shown adding to her collection. Likewise, she often clashes with her father due to his prejudiced regarding humans and human culture. However, at times, they do see eye-to-eye, as in the episode "Stormy". Ariel is shown attempting to ride a wild seahorse that her father warned her was dangerous. After Ariel is injured, she admits he was right about the danger; Triton later offers her a tamer sea horse more appropriate to her skills. Ariel's relationship with her siblings, specifically Alana and Arista, is shown in more detail.

One of the most notable episodes is "Metal Fish", in which Ariel encounters an animated version of Hans Christian Andersen, who was the real-life author of the original "The Little Mermaid". The episode also introduces Archimedes, a self-proclaimed scholar of human culture, whose knowledge is far more accurate than Ariel's. Mr. Andersen is shown exploring the sea in a primitive submarine capsule, which begins to leak air after an accident. Ariel confronts her father with the fact that, despite his hatred of humans, he, as well as all merpeople, are half-humans in an attempt to appeal to his compassion and better nature in order to save Hans's life when his ship is stranded at the bottom of the ocean. The ploy, unsurprisingly, works, as Triton has always been depicted as a compassionate (if a somewhat conservative) monarch. Mr. Andersen's encounter with the merpeople appears to inspire the original tale. A voice-over at the end of the episode talks about the real Hans Christian Andersen, while the image on the screen shows Ariel sitting on a rock in the style of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen Copenhagen harbor. If this is to be chronologically accurate, this places the time frame in which this series takes place at around 1836 when the story was first written or shortly before 1837 when the story was actually published.

This situation is repeated in The Legend of Tarzan episode "Tarzan and the Mysterious Visitor" where Tarzan meets his author Edgar Rice Burroughs who travels to Africa in search of inspiration for a new novel.

Characters[]

From the 1989 film[]

Original characters[]

  • Urchin (voiced by Danny Cooksey) - He is a young orphan merman and Ariel's friend. He shares her love for adventure and is unofficially her adopted brother.
  • The Lobster Mobster (voiced by Joe Alaskey) - A lobster gangster following the style of the 1920s gangster stereotype.
  • Da Shrimp (voiced by David Lander) - A prawn who is the Lobster Mobster's sidekick.
  • Evil Manta (voiced by Tim Curry) - An evil man/manta ray hybrid who repeatedly tries to take over Atlantica.
  • Pearl (voiced by Cree Summer) - A spoiled, thrill-seeking mermaid whose actions often lead to Ariel, as well as herself, getting in trouble.
  • Spot - A killer whale calf whom Ariel adopted and secretly raised in the palace.
  • Simon (voiced by Brian Cummings) - A lonely, but friendly lavender colored sea dragon whom Ariel, Sebastian, and Flounder befriends with.
  • Gabriella - A deaf-mute Latina mermaid who dreams of becoming a singer. Gabriella's sign language is translated by her octopus friend Ollie (who is voiced by Whit Hertford). This character is based on a real person who was a fan of the show and died during its first season.
  • Moray Eel (voiced by Dave Coulier) - A moray eel salesman and con-artist who occasionally sells items to Ariel that alternately help her or get her into trouble.
  • The Crabscouts (occasionally voiced by J. D. Daniels, Anndi McAfee, Bradley Pierce, Malachi Pearson, and Whit Hertford) - They are crab children, consisting of two boys and one girl, who are under the mentorship of Sebastian in a scout-like troop.
  • Ebb and Flo (voiced by Richard Karron and Kath Soucie) - Alligator criminals who first appear in the episode "Beached".
  • The Magical Wishing Starfish (voiced by Tony Jay) - A giant starfish with a beard and crown who only appears in the episode "Wish Upon A Starfish".
  • Emperor Sharga (voiced by Jim Cummings) – Ruler of the Sharkanians, the shark-people who live in Sharkania similar to the merfolk who live in Atlantica. Sharga wishes to take over Atlantica someday.
  • The Ancient Seaclops (voiced by Jim Cummings) - An ancient one-eyed sea monster whose primary objective is to sleep every 1,000 years and wants to see it through more than anything else. He gets very angry when he is woken up so abruptly by any loud noise and appeared in the episode "Calliope Dreams".
  • Dudley (voiced by Dave Coulier) is an elderly sea turtle who serves as an assistant to King Triton other than Sebastian he walks on the Ocean floor unlike other sea turtles.
  • Hans Christian Andersen (voiced by Mark Hamill) - A fictionalized version of the author Hans Christian Andersen, who appears in the episode "Metal Fish" where he rides a fish-shaped submarine and sees Ariel, which inspires him to write the story The Little Mermaid.
  • Archimedes (voiced by Rod McKuen) - A merman who knows about human things, appearing in "Metal Fish".
  • Howling Hairfish (voiced by Jim Cummings) - A type of lycanthropic fish and the Atlantican equivalent of a werewolf (or any other terrestrial lycanthropic creature) that when a normal fish gets bitten becomes cursed. The cure is a school of silver fish that will turn a Howling Hairfish back into a normal fish. The only Howling Hairfish that speaks is Flounder who was turned into a Howling Hairfish.
  • Eel-Tailed Merboy (voiced by Scott Menville) - A strange merboy with an eel tail who appears in the episode "Charmed". He lives in a nightmarish abyss at the bottom of a chasm in the Atlantic sea.
  • The Flow Monster - A carnivorous monster that appears in the episode "Charmed". It lives in a pit in a nightmarish abyss at the bottom of a chasm in the Atlantic sea. It feeds on fish from the sea above by sucking them in with a whirlpool it can generate from its mouth.

Additional Voices[]

Trivia[]

  • Flounder's voice actor, Edan Gross, went through puberty during the series and his voice went to a deeper tone, but the voice director wasn't going to replace him due to obvious reasons. From then on, Edan continued to voice Flounder for the rest of the series, regardless of how low his voice was.
  • Christopher Daniel Barnes was replaced by Jeff Bennett in this series. This was due to him being unavailable because of his work on Spider-Man which began airing in 1994.
  • Though Ariel doesn't see Eric's face during the series, which was done on purpose to keep it canon to the movie, he unknowingly changes her perception of humans when she saw him free a dolphin from a net.
  • Eric would see Ariel at some point after the battle of pirates or an adventure he goes to. He would see her tail quickly dive underwater and some of her red hair but not the face. Eric would tell Grimsby about what he saw, however, Grimsby refuses to believe him.
  • Grimsby is voiced by Kay E. Kuter in this series and the sequel film 6 years later after Ben Wright passed away before the first film premiered in theaters.
  • Unlike the Little Mermaid films, which were released on DVD, this TV show was only released on home video on VHS, and thus for a time faded from existence shortly afterwards in terms of official airings. The show has since been broadcast on Disney Jr. (with one episode, "Island of Fear", skipped for being deemed too scary for preschoolers), and was also made available on the network's streaming service.
  • When the series was added to Disney+, it was remastered and cropped to a widescreen aspect ratio, removing some of the top and/or bottom of the picture since the show was originally produced in full screen, and the 1985 Rainbow Castle Walt Disney Television/Buena Vista International logos are replaced by the 2012 Disney Television Animation logo with similar animation to the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures closing logo. Plus, the first episode of the series is also conspicuously missing from Disney+ for unknown reasons.
  • Despite the series being a prequel, it carried many inconsistencies to the film, not unlike the 2008 prequel film.
    • Ursula's relationship with Flotsam and Jetsam in the series is vastly different from the film's depiction. In the film, she is shown to be very fond of and caring for the two eels, whereas the series depicted her being abusive and careless towards them.
    • In the film, Flotsam and Jetsam are shown to be as intelligent and crafty as Ursula, whereas the series depicted them as comically unbright.
    • In this series, only one of Ariel's sisters, Adella, has noticeably gained weight, while in the original film she appears much slimmer, though still appearing a bit plus-sized compared to her sisters.
  • When The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning was released nearly 15 years after the series aired, it notably retconned how and when Ariel and Flounder first met, giving a different depiction than the one seen in "The Evil Manta".
    • Given that Ariel meets Ursula for the first time in The Little Mermaid but had already met her in this series, it is likely that this series is non-canon and that Ariel's Beginning is Ariel's actual origin story (or vice-versa).
    • Considering Disney's tendency to ignore television spin-offs and direct-to-video sequels in general, it is entirely possible that neither this series nor Ariel's Beginning is canon to the original 1989 film.

Gallery[]

External links[]


v - e - d
The Little Mermaid - 2013 Logo
Media
Films: The Little Mermaid (video/soundtrack) • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (video) • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (video) • The Little Mermaid (2023) (video/soundtrack)

Shows: The Little Mermaid (videography) • A Poem Is...The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! (soundtrack) • Sebastian's Caribbean JamboreeAriel
Video Games: NES gameSega Genesis GameAriel's Story StudioKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts IIThe Little Mermaid 2: Pinball FrenzyDisney's The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two KingdomsDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Books: The Art of The Little MermaidDisney Princess Enchanted Stables: The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Baby BeauPoor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea WitchOfficial Comic AdaptationDisney ComicsThe Little Mermaid's Treasure ChestDisney Princess BeginningsMarvel ComicsThe Little Mermaid: The Full Film ScriptPrince of Song & SeaThe Little Mermaid: Against the Tide
Music: The Legacy CollectionSebastian from The Little MermaidSebastian: Party Gras!The Little Mermaid: Songs from the SeaThe Little Mermaid: Splash HitsAriel's Favorites
Cancelled projects: Little Mermaid's Island

Disney Parks
Mermaid LagoonDisney's Art of Animation ResortAriel's GrottoCountry Bear Musical JamboreeTriton's GardenBlowfish Balloon RaceDisney Animation BuildingFairy Tale ForestFlounder's Flying Fish CoasterIt's a Small WorldJumpin' JellyfishKing Triton's Carousel of the SeaMermaid Lagoon TheaterAriel's PlaygroundMickey's PhilharMagicPrincess PavilionScuttle's ScootersSorcerers of the Magic KingdomSorcerer's WorkshopStorybook Land Canal BoatsThe Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea AdventureThe WhirlpoolVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: AnimagiqueBelieve! Sea of DreamsCastle of Magical DreamsDisney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney KiteTailsDisney's WishesFantasmic!Feel the MagicGolden Fairytale FanfareKing Triton's ConcertMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey's Magical Music WorldMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookThe Golden MickeysThe Little Mermaid - A Musical AdventureThe Starlit Princess WaltzVillains Tonight!Voyage of The Little Mermaid
Restaurants: Ariel's Grotto
Parades: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's FantillusionDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney Carnivale ParadeDisney on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeMickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey & Friends Street CelebrationMickey's Soundsational ParadeMove It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street PartyPaint The Night ParadeSpectroMagicThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Fireworks: Believe... There's Magic in the StarsCelebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disney EnchantmentDisney in the StarsDisneyland ForeverFantasy in the SkyHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMagic, Music and MayhemThe Magic, the Memories and YouMomentousOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come TrueWonderful World of AnimationWorld of ColorIlluminate! A Nighttime CelebrationWondrous Journeys
Spring: Disney Color-Fest: A Street Party!Disney Pirate or Princess: Make Your Choice
Summer: Stitch's Summer Dance BashSummer Blast
Halloween: Are You Brave Enough?Disney's Not So Spooky SpectacularFrightfully Fun ParadeHappy HallowishesLet's Get WickedRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains Night Out! Chapter 2
Christmas: A Christmas Fantasy ParadeDisney Winter Magic CavalcadeRoyal Christmas Wishes

Characters
Original: ArielFlounderSebastianScuttlePrince EricKing TritonUrsulaFlotsam and JetsamKing Triton's DaughtersMaxGrimsbyCarlottaChef LouisUrsula's GardenGlutThe Seahorse HeraldHaroldMerpeopleSea CreaturesLagoon Residents

Sequel: MelodyTip and DashAlexMorganaCloak and DaggerUndertowHammerhead SharkFlounder's GuppiesBaby PenguinUrsula and Morgana's Mother
Prequel: Queen AthenaMarina Del ReyBenjaminThe Catfish Club BandStevieElectric Eels
Little Mermaid's Island: SandyScales
TV Series: UrchinGabriellaOllieDudleyPearlPearl's MotherMantaLittle EvilDanielMoraySimonLobster Mobster and Da ShrimpThe SorceressGlowfishEbb and FloEmpreror ShargaSharkaniansOctopidBrain SpongeZeusSpot the Killer WhaleClaud and Claudia CrabCrab ScoutsHans Christian AndersenLuckyThorAugustusStormy the Giant SeahorseThe Magical Wishing StarfishHowling HairfishApolloArchimedesSeaclopsNeptuneDr. Vile
Comic Book: IndigoMarlin the MagicianJenny
Remake: Queen Selina

Episodes
The Little MermaidAriel
Objects
Prince Eric's StatueTridentUrsula's CauldronUrsula's NecklaceMelody's locketQueen Athena's music boxDinglehopperRoyal ShipThe Wedding ShipSnarfblatt
Locations
AtlanticaAriel's Secret GrottoUrsula's LairPrince Eric's CastleSharkaniaMorgana's Ice Cave
Songs
Films: Fathoms BelowDaughters of King TritonPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaPoor Unfortunate SoulsLes PoissonsKiss the GirlDown to the SeaFor a MomentTip and DashHere on the Land and SeaEndless SkyJust One MistakeJump in the Line (Shake, Senora)I RememberMan Smart (Woman Smarter)I Will Sing

TV Series: Just a Little LoveYou Got to be YouThe Edge of the Edge of the SeaThe Lobster Mobster's MobThe Beddy Bye BluesSing a New SongIn HarmonyThis is the LifeNever Give UpYou Wouldn't Want to Mess with MeThe Sound of LaughterDaring to DanceJust Give Me a ChanceEvil Lullaby
Musical: She's in LoveHuman StuffPositoovityI Want the Good Times BackStorm at SeaDaddy's Little AngelHer VoiceThe World AboveThe ContestIf OnlyBeyond My Wildest DreamsSweet ChildOne Step CloserAll Good Things Must End
Songs from the Sea: The Sea KingdomWhat's It Like to Be a Mermaid?The Scuttle StrutThere's Only One ArielHe's a FriendAt the Mermaids' BallParty With MeMy Room in the SeaDreamingH2O, What a Feeling!We Share the EarthWhere Mermaids Dwell
Splash Hits: In My Blue BackyardHome is
Remake: Wild Uncharted WatersFor the First TimeThe Scuttlebutt
Deleted: Silence is GoldenGonna Get My WishImpossible Child
Other: Music is in the AirOne DanceA Mermaid Song

See Also
MusicalThe Disney AfternoonDisney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea


v - e - d
Walt Disney Television Animation logo
1980s
The Wuzzles (1985) • Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991) • DuckTales (1987-1990) • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-1991) • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (1989-1990)
1990s
TaleSpin (1990-1991) • Darkwing Duck (1991-1992) • Goof Troop (1992) • The Little Mermaid (1992-1994) • Raw Toonage (1992-1993) • Bonkers (1993-1994) • Marsupilami (1993) • Aladdin (1994-1995) • Gargoyles (1994-1997) • The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show (1995) • Timon & Pumbaa (1995-1999) • Quack Pack (1996) • Mighty Ducks (1996-1997) • Disney's Doug (1996-1999) • Jungle Cubs (1996-1998) • Recess (1997-2000)• Pepper Ann (1997-2000) • Nightmare Ned (1997) • 101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997-1998) • PB&J Otter (1998-2000) • Hercules (1998-1999) • Mickey Mouse Works (1999-2000)
2000s
The Weekenders (2000-2004) • Teacher's Pet (2000-2002) • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-2001) • House of Mouse (2001-2003) • Lloyd in Space (2001-2004) • The Legend of Tarzan (2001-2003) • Teamo Supremo (2002-2004) • Kim Possible (2002-2007) • Fillmore! (2002-2004) • Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006) • Dave the Barbarian (2004-2005) • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers (2004-2006) • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! (2004-2006) • American Dragon: Jake Long (2005-2007) • The Buzz on Maggie (2005-2006) • Get Ed (2005-2006) • The Emperor's New School (2006-2008) • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006-2016) • The Replacements (2006-2009) • Yin Yang Yo! (2006-2009) • My Friends Tigger & Pooh (2007-2010) • Phineas and Ferb (2008-2016, 2024-present) • Special Agent Oso (2009-2012)
2010s
Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil (2010-2012) • Fish Hooks (2010-2014) • Jake and the Never Land Pirates (2011-2016) • Motorcity (2012) • Tron: Uprising (2012-2013) • Gravity Falls (2012-2016) • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (2012-2015) • Sofia the First (2013-2018) • Mickey Mouse (2013-2019) • Wander Over Yonder (2013-2016) • The 7D (2014-2016) • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (2014-2017) • Star vs. the Forces of Evil (2015-2019) • Pickle and Peanut (2015-2018) • Descendants: Wicked World (2015-2017) • The Lion Guard (2016-2019) • Elena of Avalor (2016-2020) • Future-Worm! (2016-2018) • Milo Murphy's Law (2016-2019) • Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures (2017-2021) • Tangled: The Series (2017-2020) • Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer (2017) • DuckTales (2017-2021) • Big Hero 6: The Series (2017-2021) • Muppet Babies (2018-2022) • Big City Greens (2018-present) • Fancy Nancy (2018-2022) • Amphibia (2019-2022)
2020s
The Owl House (2020-2023) • The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse (2020-2023) • Monsters at Work (2021-present) • The Ghost and Molly McGee (2021-2024) • Mickey Mouse Funhouse (2021-present) • Baymax! (2022) • Alice's Wonderland Bakery (2022-2024) • Chibiverse (2022-present) • Hamster & Gretel (2022-present) • Firebuds (2022-present) • Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023-present) • Kiff (2023-present) • Hailey's On It! (2023-present) • Zombies: The Re-Animated Series (2024-present) • Primos (2024) • RoboGobo (2024) • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 2.0 (2025)
See Also
The Disney AfternoonOne Saturday MorningPlayhouse DisneyDisney ChannelJetixDisney XDDisney Jr.


v - e - d
Disney Afternoon logo
Shows
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-90) • DuckTales (1987-90) • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (1989-90) • TaleSpin (1990-91) • Darkwing Duck (1991-92) • Goof Troop (1992-93) • Bonkers (1993-94) • Aladdin (1994-96) • Gargoyles (1994-97) • The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show (1995) • Timon & Pumbaa (1995-98) • Quack Pack (1996) • Mighty Ducks (1996-97)
Shows aired only in international versions
The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-91) • Donald's Quack Attack (1992-93) • The Little Mermaid (1992-94) • 101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997-98) • Mickey Mouse Works (1999-2000) • The Legend of Tarzan (2001-03) • Kim Possible (2002-07) • Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-06) • W.I.T.C.H. (2004-06)
Other media
SoundtrackDisney Afternoon AvenueComic bookVinylmationThe Disney Afternoon: The Making of a Television RenaissanceThe Disney Afternoon Collection
See Also
Disney Afternoon ThemeThe Disney Club
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