The Little Mermaid (2018 film)

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The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid 2018 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written byBlake Harris
Based onThe Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
Produced by
  • Armando Gutierrez
  • Robert Molloy
CinematographyNeil Oseman
Edited by
Music byJeremy Rubolino
Release date
  • August 17, 2018 (2018-08-17)
Budget$5 million[1]
Box office$2.61 million[2][3]

The Little Mermaid is a 2018 American live-action fantasy-adventure film inspired by the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name. It is directed and written by Blake Harris, co-directed by Chris Bouchard, and produced by Armando Gutierrez and Robert Molloy.

The film was released on August 17, 2018, by AMC Theatres and it grossed US$2.61 million on a budget of $5 million.


Eloise tells her two granddaughters a version of The Little Mermaid in which a mermaid princess is tricked by a wizard who steals her soul, and forced to live a life away from her ocean home enslaved to the wizard for eternity. When the girls say they do not believe the story is real, their grandmother begins a tale of a girl she knew who met a mermaid.

Cam, a young reporter, writes a letter while his niece, Elle, plays outside. Elle has an undiagnosed condition with no cure. She starts coughing and Cam carries her inside before going to work. His boss assigns him to investigate a man in a circus, Locke, who claims to have mermaid healing water. Cam hopes this water can cure Elle.

Cam and Elle visit the circus in Mississippi, where they meet a mermaid trapped in a glass tank. The next day, Cam questions several people who have taken Locke's mermaid water; none of them have actually been cured of their ailments. After determining conclusively that the healing water is a fraud meant to dupe the gullible, Cam assumes the mermaid is likewise a hoax.

Cam and Elle take a walk in the woods, where they meet the mermaid again. She introduces herself as Elizabeth and explains that she has legs when it is low tide. Back at the circus, Locke holds the vial which contains Elizabeth's soul and Elizabeth abruptly leaves Cam and Elle. Cam sneaks back into the circus and overhears a conversation between Locke and his henchman, Sid. He follows the sound of Elizabeth's singing to her tent before he's found by Locke and Sid and forced to leave.

Thora, a fortune teller, and Ulysses, a circus performer, help Cam and Elle take Elizabeth's soul and release her from her tank. They escape to the ocean, defeating Locke in the process. Elizabeth regains her soul and heals Elle, telling her that all she needs is a swim when she is feeling sick. Cam and Elizabeth share a farewell kiss before Elizabeth swims away.

Cam files the story, revealing that the mermaid is real, as well as details of Locke's scams and cruelty, skeptical that anyone will believe him, despite this, he is determined to tell the truth.

Eloise finishes this story and begins coughing. She announces it is time for a swim and goes outside, her surprised granddaughters following behind.


  • William Moseley as Cam Harrison, a reporter and Elle's uncle[4]
  • Poppy Drayton as Elizabeth, the mermaid[5]
  • Loreto Peralta as Elle, Cam's niece[6]
  • Armando Gutierrez as Locke, a wizard who has enslaved Elizabeth[6]
  • Shirley MacLaine as Eloise, Rose and Lily's grandmother[7]
  • Gina Gershon as Peggy Gene, a woman who claims to be cured of madness[4]
  • Shanna Collins as Thora, a fortune teller who possesses paranormal powers, including telekinesis and the ability to stop time[8]
  • Chris Yong as Ulysses
  • Jo Marie Payton as Lorene
  • Tom Nowicki as Sid, Locke's main henchman
  • Lexy Kolker as Lily, Eloise's granddaughter
  • Claire Crosby as Rose, Eloise's granddaughter[9]
  • Jared Sandler as Billy Bob
  • Hunter Gomez as Johnny Boy


The film was originally titled A Little Mermaid.[4][5][7] Filming took place in Savannah, Georgia,[5] in 2016.[10]

Marketing and release[edit]

A trailer for the film debuted in March 2017 and generated over 30 million views over two weeks.[11]

In May 2017, it was reported that the film had been picked up for distribution by Netflix.[12]

On December 1, 2018, the film was released on Netflix.[13]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 20% based on five reviews, with an average rating of 4.1/10.[14]

Gary Goldstein of Los Angeles Times wrote:

"Although it’s a serviceable enough story, the script by Blake Harris, who co-directed with Chris Bouchard, is often too earnest and forced to prove sufficiently fun or wondrous."[15]


  1. ^ Guzzo, Paul (August 8, 2018). "'Little Mermaid' film made by the Steinbrenner family premieres this month". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Little Mermaid (2018)". BoxOfficeMojo.
  3. ^ "The Little Mermaid (2018)". The Numbers.
  4. ^ a b c Pederson, Erik (March 29, 2016). "'A Little Mermaid' Beckons William Moseley, Three Others". Deadline.
  5. ^ a b c Ge, Linda (February 23, 2016). "'Shannara Chronicles' Star Poppy Drayton to Star in Indie 'A Little Mermaid'". TheWrap.
  6. ^ a b "Live-Action 'Little Mermaid' Trailer Released — But Not the One You're Thinking Of". Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  7. ^ a b McNary, Dave (February 23, 2016). "Shirley MacLaine Starring in 'A Little Mermaid' Movie". Variety.
  8. ^ Kiang, Jesssica (August 16, 2018). "Film Review: 'The Little Mermaid'". Variety. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Claire Ryann Stars in New "A Little Mermaid" Movie - Mormon Music". Mormon Music. 2016-05-17. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  10. ^ WTOC Staff. "MVP Studios first film, 'A Little Mermaid', to begin production in Savannah". Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "Watch the first trailer for the new live-action version of 'The Little Mermaid'". NME. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  12. ^ Streeter, Leslie Gray (May 31, 2017). "How did Boca Raton model get role in Netflix's 'The Little Mermaid'?". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  13. ^ "You haven't heard of this summer's Little Mermaid remake, but it's already a success". Polygon. 20 August 2018.
  14. ^ "The Little Mermaid (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Review: Live action 'The Little Mermaid' offers passable family fantasy". Los Angeles Times. 16 August 2018.

External links[edit]