Where Does Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ Take Place?

Life is the bubbles when you’re under the sea. On land, though, things get a little more complicated for Ariel and Prince Eric. Where does Disney’s animated version of The Little Mermaid take place? What does that have to do with the live-action adaptation? Here’s what we know (and don’t know) about this film and the origin of its story. 

Disney released the animated movie, ‘The Little Mermaid’ in 1989

It’s been about 40 years since fans met the fiery and spirited red-head, Ariel. Disney’s The Little Mermaid told the story of Ariel, a mermaid, who dreams of traveling to the human world. Eventually, she meets Prince Eric and decides to trade her voice to the sea witch, Ursula, for a chance at true love. In the end, it was worth it. 

Although it’s never specified during the movie, fans have a pretty good idea of where this animated movie takes place. Some believe it takes place in Denmark, with the biggest clue being the author of The Little Mermaid’s country of origin.

‘The Little Mermaid’ may have taken place off the shores of Denmark, in Atlantica

Due to the origin of the author of the original story, Hans Christian Andersen, some believe that this movie could take place off the shores of Denmark. Others argue that The Little Mermaid could take place off the coast of Italy. Nothing has been confirmed by the Walt Disney Company, though. 

Fans do know, however, that Ariel is the daughter of King Triton, from the underwater city of Atlantica. This castle and kingdom are most likely based on the mythological city Atlantis, which is also believed to be underwater. 

Of course, Prince Eric isn’t the prince of any real country. During this movie, however, the character falls in love with Ariel and eventually becomes the king of his oceanside kingdom, complete with a castle right by the ocean. (Which is perfect for Ariel, who eventually becomes human.)

Ariel on Disney Junior's 'Sofia the First'
Ariel on Disney Junior’s ‘Sofia the First’ | Disney Junior via Getty Images

Disney is creating a live-action version of ‘The Little Mermaid’

It’s time to go under the sea with Ariel and her friends. Recently, Disney announced that they would be creating a live version of their animated film, with Halle Bailey as the starring role. Because of the actress chosen in the main role, fans sparked some debate regarding the origin of The Little Mermaid and its underwater world. 

The original voice of Ariel has since come forward, though, expressing her support of Halle Bailey and the upcoming live-action reboot of Disney’s classic. Presumably, more information regarding the live-action version of this animated movie will be announced in the coming months. 

Until then, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, as well as its sequel, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, and The Little Mermaid Live are available for binge-watching on Disney’s streaming platform. To learn more about Disney+ and to subscribe, visit their website

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