13 Facts About ‘The Little Mermaid’ That Will Make You Flip Your Fins

It’s been nearly 30 years since Ariel and Flounder first dazzled children (and adults) in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. We all know that Ariel dreamed of a life above ground, while Sebastian pretty much just wanted to be left alone. But there is probably a ton of things you didn’t know about the iconic film. Here are 13 things you didn’t know about The Little Mermaid.

1. Ariel was the first Disney princess in 30 years!


Before The Little Mermaid debuted in 1989, the last Disney princess was Aurora in 1959’s Sleeping Beauty.

2. Ariel is a redhead for a reason.


The film’s producers didn’t want her to be confused with Daryl Hannah‘s character in Splash. Hannah played a blonde mermaid named Madison.

3. Star Trek & X-Men actor Patrick Stewart was supposed to voice King Triton.


Unfortunately, he had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts.

4. The Little Mermaid took FOREVER to make.

Animators spent a whole year on one 10-minute sequence.

5. You probably never realized that Flounder turned into a seagull for a quick second.

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When the loveable fishy is talking about Scuttle, he literally turns into him for a few frames.

6. Ariel’s features were based on actress Alyssa Milano.


Animator Glen Keane, looked at photos of young Milano because her features were considered “ideal” at the time.

7. Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck all make an appearance in the film.

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If you watch the opening sequence with King Triton really closely, you’ll notice the iconic Disney characters hiding in the crowd.

8. Originally Sebastian was supposed to have an English accent.


We personally thing the Jamaican accent works so much better.

9. This is how Ursula was supposed to look.

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Um…. I have no words. Luckily animators chose to model her appearance after the drag character and actor Divine.

10. Speaking of Ursula , she was supposed to be voiced by Bea Arthur.


Unfortunately, Arthur had to turn down the role because she was busy with The Golden Girls.

11. Ursula was originally supposed to be King Triton’s sister.


Luckily that idea was scrapped because it would have made her character even more diabolical.

12. There’s a pretty noticeable mistake in the film.

When Scuttle breaks Ursula’s necklace and releases Ariel’s voice, Ariel is barefoot. However, the next time Ariel is shown, she is wearing shoes.

13. “Part Of Your World” almost didn’t make it into the film!

Film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted to cut it after the first screen. Luckily the song stayed in!