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Beyond Ariel: 10 Mermaid TV Shows & Movies

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The release of the live-action “Little Mermaid” has sparked a frenzy for all things mermaid. Whether you're after the mermaid-core aesthetic or simply craving more of the mythology, this list of 10 series and movies will prove that while Ariel may reign as the most famous mermaid under the sea, she's definitely not swimming alone!

Siren (2018 – 2020)

Summary: This series centers on a mysterious mermaid named Ryn whose arrival in the coastal town of Bristol Cove triggers a chain of events that disrupts the lives of the residents. The show dives into intricate relationships, and hidden secrets involving the townspeople and the merfolk.

Streaming: Hulu

Splash (1984)

Summary: This iconic 80’s film helped to bring the world of merpeople to the pop culture mainstream. In the movie, Allen's life takes a magical turn when he crosses paths with Madison, a mermaid. Their unexpected love story begins to unravel as Allen dives deeper into Madison's secret identity.

Streaming: Disney+

H20: Just Add Water (2006 – 2010)

Summary: The Australian TV series follows the adventures of three teenage girls who transform into mermaids after coming in contact with water from a magical moon pool. From there, the girls must navigate the challenges of balancing their secret lives as mermaids with their everyday adolescent existences.

Streaming: Prime Video, YouTube

Ondine (2009)

Summary: In the film, Syracuse, a fisherman in a small Irish village, has a life-changing encounter when he catches a woman named Ondine in his fishing net. Believing her to be a selkie, a mythical creature with the ability to shift between human and seal forms, Syracuse takes her in.

Streaming: Pluto, Crackle, Plex

The Little Mermaid (2018)

Summary: In this slightly (very) different reimagining of “The Little Mermaid,” set in the 1930s, a young reporter embarks on a journey to a quaint town to uncover the secrets of a mysterious circus. Amidst his investigation, he comes across a young woman named Elizabeth, who is held captive and believed to be an actual mermaid.

Streaming: Tubi

Aquamarine (2006)

Summary: This film is the epitome of early-aughts casting. It follows best friends Claire and Hailey, who stumble upon a mermaid named Aquamarine in the swimming pool of their beach club. Aquamarine, desperate to prove true love exists, makes a deal with the duo: if they can help her find love within three days, she will grant them a wish.

Streaming: Disney+

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016-2017)

Summary: This South Korean drama is inspired by a Joseon legend about a nobleman's son named Kim Dam Ryung and a mermaid named Se Hwa. In the past, Dam Ryung encounters Se Hwa when he releases her from captivity. In the present, a conman named Heo Joon Jae meets a mermaid named Shim Chung after she washes ashore near his beachside resort. Their fateful meeting sets the stage for a love story filled with magic and destiny.

Streaming: Hulu

MerPeople (2023)

Summary: Netflix plunges us into the intense world of professional mermaiding with this fascinating docuseries. It follows a diverse group of mer-models and performers from across the US as they traverse the highs and lows that come with their underwater identities.

Streaming: Netflix

The Mermaid (2016)

Summary: In the film, Shan is a mermaid on a mission to eliminate Liu Xuan, a wealthy businessman endangering their underwater habitat. Soon she finds herself torn between her duty to her people and her growing affection towards him. As they spend more time together, Shan becomes entangled in a tangled web of loyalty and love.

Streaming: Starz

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023)

Summary: While this film has yet to be released, there's a good chance you'll catch a trailer while checking out Halle Bailey do her thing. Centered around Ruby, a shy 16-year-old, her life changes when she defies her mom's water ban and learns she's descended from a lineage of mighty Kraken queens. Now, Ruby is caught up in an ancient conflict against power-hungry mermaids.

Streaming: In theaters 06/30/23

What's your favorite mermaid movie or show? Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

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Jaime Blanson
Jaime Blanson
Jaime Blanson is a seasoned filmmaker and storytelling wizard on a mission to amplify Black LGBTQ+ representation in pop culture. When they're not busy crafting content, you'll find them on a hunt for fresh Funkos to add to their expanding collection or championing the continued relevance of Tumblr.
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