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15 Swimmingly Fun Little Mermaid Facts You Probably Didn’t Know!

How much do you know about this Disney classic? Here are a selection of awesome facts to stun your friends!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  July 1st 2021

We've all watched The Little Mermaid at least 10 times each. That's a scientific fact, perhaps. We love the film so much that having an Ariel duvet cover and knowing the soundtrack off by heart is not enough, so we've done some special research and fished out 15 awesome facts about the best movie featuring a miniature mermaid!

1. Ariel's tail colour is named after her!

Disney's colour team created a special shade for Ariel's mermaid fin, and named the blue-green blend 'Ariel' in honour of the part-fish star!

2. Can you imagine a world without The Little Mermaid?

The Little Mermaid almost didn't get made because Splash – another mermaid movie - was already out and Disney bosses thought two films would be too much. The animated film went on to be hugely successful.

Mermaid Jokes
Mermaid Jokes

3. The Little Mermaid won some very cool awards!

The Little Mermaid won an impressive two Oscars at 1990 Academy Awards, one for Best Original Score, while Under the Sea won Best Song! You're singing the song in your head now, aren't you? That's the power of an Oscar-winning tune!

4. The Little Mermaid features some familiar faces!

Mickey, Goofy, Donald Duck make minor appearances in the film, but you'll have to watch really closely to spot them! A real blink-and-you'll-miss it challenge!

5. Ariel was a redhead for a special reason!

Ariel's hair was red because Darryl Hannah played a blonde mermaid in that other part-fish movie Splash. This was done because movie bosses didn't want people to get the pair mixed up.

6. Sebastian was almost a completely different kind of crab!

Before the film was made, there was an idea for Sebastian to be a snooty butler called Clarence. Luckily that idea was thrown in a big bin – we can't even begin to picture a world without the calypso-loving crustacean.

7. A lot of work went into the animation!

Disney employed a Chinese animation team Pacific Rim to hand-paint over a million bubbles for the film! That must have taken at least a day or two. Imagine painting a million bubbles. You can't!

8. The Little Mermaid helped launch two animated legends!

When the movie was first released in cinemas, movie goers were treated to a short animated film called Grand Day Out, which featured the debut of toast-loving duo Wallace and Gromit! To think these cinema icons owe their fame to someone who's half-fish...

A Grand Day Out
National Film and Television School, Aardman Animations

9. The Little Mermaid marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

This was the first film made by Disney and Pixar, the team responsible for Toy Story and a ton of other amazing movies. While a lot of the film was hand-drawn and painted, the Pixar team sprinkled their digital magic on the final scene!

Toy Story
@disneypixar | giphy

10. A is for...

All of Ariel's sisters' names begin with an A: Adella, Aquata, Arista, Attina, Andrina and Alana. That must cause some confusion if someone posts a letter using their initial.

11. Popcorn almost wrecked the soundtrack!

Disney producer Jeffrey Katzenberg was keen to cut the song Part of Your World out of the film, because a child was too busy eating popcorn during a special screening. Luckily, it remained in the finished movie and is a soundtrack highlight. It must have been particularly delicious popcorn!

12. Ariel could drive a moped in the UK...

That headline was a fun way of saying that Ariel was 16 years old in the first Little Mermaid movie. She could also join the army with parental consent, but the whole fish thing might make that bit difficult during boot camp.

Birthday cake gif
@studiosoriginals | giphy

13. Ariel's hair was modelled on an astronaut called Sally!

Disney animators used an astronaut to create Ariel's floaty hair. The film studio film Sally Ride in space-like conditions and took notes on how her hair moved around in a weightless environment. And it worked amazingly!

14. Ariel shouldn't have a belly button...

That's because she's part-fish. Only mammals have belly buttons. But then again, she's a singing mermaid, so we should put such scientific questions to one side and just enjoy the film!

15. Part of the film is inspired by a Danish tourist attraction!

Several moments in the movie were inspired by the famous famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. While the statue looks massive in photographs, it's actually quite small. So now you know.