‘There are no cheap parlor tricks here’ – The Little Mermaid (2018) Review

Now, let me start this with a little word of warning. Do not be fooled by the title of this movie, for it is not quite what you might expect. If you watch this film hoping to see Ariel, Prince Eric and Sebastian the singing crab, you will be sorely disappointed. Despite having the same title as the much loved Disney classic, this is a completely different and original story.

Starring William Moseley (perhaps best known for his role of Peter Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia films) as young reporter Cam, The Little Mermaid tells the mysterious tale of a young women being paraded as a mermaid in a circus, the strange stories of a magical healing water and Elle, Cam’s niece who fully believes that the women at the circus is a real life mermaid. Although unconvinced, Cam finds himself dragged into a world of legend and mystery as he tries to discover the truth behind the circus and it’s mermaid, the beautiful Elizabeth.


Taking inspiration from the original Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, this film’s story line is interesting enough to hold attention and is likely to please fans of the fantasy genre. It may share a title with a Disney film, but this little mermaid is certainly not as family friendly as it’s namesake. It has darker moments, along with plenty of twists and turns throughout which keep the action rolling along nicely. With a PG rating, it is still suitable for family viewing, but it certainly is not Disney.

With Poppy Drayton as the mysterious Elizabeth, Loreto Peralta as the open hearted all believing Elle and the film’s producer Armando Gutierrez starring as the villainous Locke, the cast works well together to create likable characters and an altogether enjoyable story. It’s easy viewing escapism, mixing fairy tale with the darker sides of fantasy.

To conclude, The Little Mermaid might grab your attention with it’s all too familiar title but it will hold onto it with it’s interesting story line and it’s well developed characters. With elements of romance and adventure woven into the fantasy mixture, fans of this enchanting and magical genre should find something to like about this movie.

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