Since the 1930s, Disney has released many animated featured movies that were adapted from classical stories and fairy tales of the old centuries. One is The Little Mermaid, an American animated musical fantasy film released in 1989. It became a huge part of popular culture, and the main protagonist Ariel became one of the most notable Disney Princesses ever. Most fans know only about the original movie. Still, Disney released two more animated features connected to the 1989 version and has an upcoming live-action coming to theaters in the May of 2023. Inspired by forthcoming Little Mermaid content, this article will discuss how old Ariel is in The Little Mermaid 2.
Ariel is 28 years old in The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, released in 2000. The original movie’s sequel follows Ariel’s and Prince Eric’s daughter Melody, where Ariel and her husband rule their kingdom on the mainland. We know that Ariel has been sixteen years old in the 1989 Little Mermaid, and the twelve years time skip in the sequel confirms that Ariel is 28 years of age. Since the upcoming Little Mermaid movie starring Halle Bailey will be a live-action adaptation of the original Disney movie from 1989, Ariel will also be sixteen years old.
We will discuss this topic by mentioning all Little Mermaid projects connected to the original Disney movie from 1989 and explaining each movie’s premise, Ariel’s character, and age. If you are interested, stay with us until the end.
How many Little Mermaid movies are out there?
Before we establish the age of Ariel in Little Mermaid 2, we need to mention other movies of the Little Mermaid franchise. Of course, it is important to note that Little Mermaid has other projects connected to the main story, all of which feature Ariel as one of the main protagonists.
First, we have The Little Mermaid, an animated featured film released in 1989. The film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who also wrote the script for the movie. The Little Mermaid is based on the original literal fairy tale written by a notable writer from the 19th century, Hans Christian Andersen. Disney’s Little Mermaid was the first animated featured project in the Little Mermaid franchise and the most successful one – critically and commercially across the board.
The Little Mermaid follows a teenage mermaid princess named Ariel, who dreams of becoming a human and exploring the outside world. Of course, she saves Prince Eric, whom she falls in love with, and prompts her to make a deal with the sea witch Ursula. Like most Disney fairytales, The Little Mermaid ends happily, and Ariel and Eric continue their lives together, ruling the kingdom on the mainland.
There haven’t been more Little Mermaid films for years until Disney decided to develop the sequel and release it direct-to-video in 2000. The movie, The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, was directed by Jim Kammerud and Brian Smith and followed the story of Ariel’s and Eric’s daughter Melody, who wants to swim and explore the ocean, despite her parents forbidding her to do it.
The movie was not well received by critics and the public, mostly because the plot was uninspiring and unoriginal. However, despite the negative reactions from the fans and critics, Disney decided to release another Little Mermaid movie, also direct-to-video, that serves as a prequel to the original film.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning was released in 2008. It follows the story of young Ariel, who tries to rewake her father’s law of forbidding music in the underwater kingdom of Atlantica. Events of the movie predate the original animated featured film from 1989, and it received mixed reviews.
These three movies form an animated trilogy of The Little Mermaid movies, where Ariel is mostly a protagonist. Of course, there are other projects like TV series and a musical, but we won’t mention them in this context.
Finally, Disney developed the upcoming live-action movie that will be released in May of 2023, and it is a direct adaptation of the original featured film, The Little Mermaid. Halle Bailey will play Ariel and closely follow the character we saw in The Little Mermaid. All in all, we have many Little Mermaid content coming our way in the upcoming months, and now that we know the timeline of Ariel’s Disney journey, we can determine how old her character is.
What is Ariel’s age in Little Mermaid 2?
After determining how many movies and projects Disney developed in the last three decades, we can determine how old Ariel’s character is, precisely her age, in The Little Mermaid 2.
As we know, Ariel was a teenager in the first Little Mermaid movie, which makes her 16 years old. This information is known among the fans and makes sense for the storyline and following Little Mermaid projects. Of course, Ariel’s journey of becoming a human and falling in love with Prince Eric is greatly mellowed from the source material and adapted for wider audiences. Still, the character’s age is the same as the Little Mermaid from Andersen’s fairy tale.
The sequel of The Little Mermaid follows Melody, Ariel’s and Eric’s daughter, who wants to experience the ocean, but her parents strongly forbid her to do that. At the movie’s beginning, we see Ariel and Eric celebrating the birth of their daughter Melody when Ursula’s sister Morgana interrupts the celebration and curses the little girl.
After those happenings, the movie has a time skip of twelve years, and the main plot follows a young royal girl, Melody, who is twelve years of age, suggesting that Ariel is 28 years old. Moreover, this confirms that Ariel had Melody shortly after the first movie’s events.
Little Mermaid 2 Ariel is a mother to a daughter and a queen ruling with her husband, now king Eric. Since Disney confirmed the development of The Little Mermaid live-action movie, we know that Halle Bailey will portray a sixteen-year-old Ariel, the same Ariel from the 1989 animated movie. Nevertheless, Disney and Little Mermaid fans have something to look forward to in the upcoming months, and frankly, we cannot wait for the movie to hit the theaters in the May of 2023.