Unveiling the ending of Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' live-action remake: Does it stay true to the original?

Exploring the climactic moments and key changes in the highly anticipated 2023 adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Published on May 26, 2023   |  10:11 AM IST  |  93.6K
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

Key Highlight

  • 'The Little Mermaid' live-action remake enchants audiences
  • The film captures the magic and nostalgia that fans have come to cherish
  • The Little Mermaid is now in theaters

Deep beneath the ocean's shimmering surface, a beloved tale of love, sacrifice, and enchantment unfolds once again in Disney's live-action adaptation of 'The Little Mermaid.' As fans eagerly flock to theaters to relive the magic, one burning question lingers: Does this highly anticipated reimagining stay faithful to the original's captivating ending? With a mix of nostalgia and fresh elements, the 2023 remake offers a delightful twist on the classic finale, leaving audiences mesmerized by the enduring power of Ariel's journey. Join us as we dive into the depths of the film's climactic moments and explore the subtle changes that await beneath the waves.

The climax remains intact: A familiar ending with a few twists

Disney's live-action adaptation of 'The Little Mermaid' has made waves among fans, raising questions about how the film's ending compares to the beloved animated classic. While staying true to the original in many aspects, the 2023 remake adds some intriguing twists to the story's climax.

In this reimagined version, the film maintains the core essence of the 1989 classic's ending. Ursula, using Ariel's stolen voice, disguises herself as Vanessa and enchants Prince Eric. Ariel, now aware of the deception, races against time to expose Ursula's true identity before the sun sets. Despite her efforts, Ursula manages to gain the upper hand, dragging Ariel back into the depths of the ocean. The dramatic confrontation between Ariel and Ursula is reminiscent of the original film, showcasing the intense struggle between good and evil.


A shift in fate: Ariel takes charge in the final battle

One notable change in the live-action remake is the role reversal between Ariel and Eric during the decisive encounter with Ursula. Instead of Prince Eric delivering the final blow, it is Ariel who seizes the opportunity to defeat the sea witch. Empowered by King Triton's trident, Ursula transforms into a formidable sea monster, creating chaos and turmoil. However, Ariel courageously takes control of a ship, using its bow to impale Ursula and bring an end to her villainous reign. This alteration injects a new level of agency and empowerment into Ariel's character, showcasing her strength and determination.

Ariel and Eric

A new beginning: Ariel and Eric's uncharted journey beyond happily ever after

While the climactic battle resolves, the film doesn't conclude with a simple "happily ever after." The live-action remake delves further into Ariel and Eric's story, extending their journey beyond marriage. King Triton, recognizing his daughter's unfulfilled desires, grants Ariel's wish to become a human without any conditions or sacrifices. This heartfelt gesture allows Ariel and Eric to embark on a thrilling adventure together.

The film introduces a parallel conflict between Eric and his mother, Queen Selina, mirroring Ariel's struggle with her own father in the earlier part of the story. Queen Selina, acknowledging Eric's independence and longing for exploration, grants him and Ariel the freedom to sail the uncharted seas and seek new adventures. This expansion of their narrative highlights the theme of individual growth and the pursuit of dreams, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery and embracing new possibilities.


In the final scenes, Ariel and Eric bid farewell to Atlantica's inhabitants, including King Triton and Ariel's sisters, as they set sail on their own ship. This poignant moment showcases the bittersweet nature of their departure and the deep bond between Ariel and her father. With tears in her eyes, Ariel embraces her father one last time, creating a visual reminiscent of the emotional connection portrayed in the original animated masterpiece.

As Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' live-action remake enchants audiences, it stays faithful to the core elements that made the 1989 classic a beloved tale. While offering subtle twists and empowering character developments, the film captures the magic and nostalgia that fans have come to cherish. 'The Little Mermaid' invites viewers to dive into theaters and experience a timeless story that continues to captivate hearts and inspire dreams.


The Little Mermaid is now in theaters.

ALSO READ: The Little Mermaid review: Halle Bailey shines but Disney's visually pleasing musical fails to create impact


When will The Little Mermaid be released?
The Little Mermaid is currently expected to release in theaters across the United States on May 26, 2023.

Who is playing Ariel in Little Mermaid 2023?
Halley Bailey

Who directed Little Mermaid 2023?
Rob Marshall directed Little Mermaid 2023

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