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Mermaids have captivated human imagination for centuries, symbolizing mystery and allure in various cultures. Their presence is widespread, from ancient folklore to modern pop culture. While precise statistics on mermaid fascination are not readily available, their influence is undeniable in literature, art, and film, reflecting a universal appeal. This fascination underscores the anticipation among audiences to discover films that explore these enchanting beings.
Among these captivating tales are the best mermaid movies available on Netflix. These films blend fantasy with reality, often intertwining themes of adventure, romance, and survival. They not only entertain but also resonate deeply with viewers, making them a significant part of the broader genre of survival movies on Netflix.
List Of 15 Best Mermaid Movies To Watch On Netflix
Dive into a world of enchantment with these 15 captivating mermaid movies available on Netflix. From timeless classics to modern gems, these films promise to transport you to the depths of aquatic fantasy.
1. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is a beloved classic that has enchanted audiences of all ages since its release in 1989. This animated masterpiece tells the timeless tale of Ariel, a young and adventurous mermaid princess with an insatiable curiosity about the world above the sea.
The film’s cultural impact is undeniable. “The Little Mermaid” marked a significant turning point for Disney animation, often referred to as the “Disney Renaissance.” It breathed new life into the studio’s animated films and set the stage for a series of successful classics in the years to come. The movie’s memorable characters, including Ariel, Sebastian the crab, Flounder the fish, and the charismatic villain Ursula, have become iconic figures in the world of animation.
Ariel’s journey to pursue her dreams and find true love resonates with viewers, making “The Little Mermaid” a heartwarming and enduring tale. Its enchanting music, including the Academy Award-winning song “Under the Sea,” continues to be celebrated, adding to the film’s cultural significance. Whether you’re reliving the magic or discovering it for the first time, “The Little Mermaid” remains a must-watch for mermaid movie enthusiasts and Disney fans alike.
2. Splash (1984)
“Splash” is a delightful romantic comedy that took a unique spin on the mermaid lore. Released in 1984, the film brings a mermaid into the bustling streets of modern New York City. The story follows Allen Bauer, played by Tom Hanks, who falls in love with Madison, a mysterious woman who happens to be a mermaid. The film’s humor and charm lie in the fish-out-of-water scenario as Madison tries to navigate life on land, complete with language barriers and cultural misunderstandings.
What sets “Splash” apart is its ability to seamlessly blend romance and comedy with a touch of fantasy. Daryl Hannah’s portrayal of Madison adds a whimsical element to the film, making her character both endearing and enigmatic. As the mermaid adapts to life in the city, audiences are treated to a heartwarming love story that transcends the boundaries of the ocean. “Splash” remains a timeless classic that combines laughter and love in a way that only mermaids can.
3. Aquamarine (2006)
“Aquamarine” is a teen-oriented mermaid film that offers a lighthearted take on the mermaid storyline. Released in 2006, the movie revolves around two best friends, Claire and Hailey, who discover a mermaid named Aquamarine in their beach club’s swimming pool. As they help Aquamarine navigate the challenges of life on land, the film explores themes of friendship, self-discovery, and the transformative power of true friendship.
What makes “Aquamarine” special is its focus on the bonds of friendship between the three leading characters. While it may not delve deeply into the complexities of mermaid mythology, the film’s emphasis on the personal growth and connections of its protagonists resonates with a younger audience. It’s a heartwarming coming-of-age story with a magical twist, reminding viewers that sometimes the most extraordinary friendships can be found in the most unexpected places. “Aquamarine” is a feel-good mermaid movie that explores the power of friendship and self-discovery in a charming and relatable way.
4. The Shape of Water (2017)
“The Shape of Water” is an award-winning fantasy film released in 2017 that features a mermaid-like creature as a central character. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film is a visually stunning and emotionally resonant tale set against the backdrop of the Cold War era. It follows the story of Elisa, a mute woman who forms a deep and unique connection with a mysterious amphibious creature held captive in a government laboratory.
This film is rich in symbolism and visual storytelling. The creature, often referred to as the Asset, represents an otherworldly being that challenges societal norms and prejudices. Its relationship with Elisa transcends language and highlights the power of empathy and understanding. “The Shape of Water” explores themes of love, acceptance, and the beauty of finding connection in unexpected places.
Guillermo del Toro’s masterful direction and the film’s breathtaking cinematography contribute to its cinematic excellence. “The Shape of Water” received critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. It stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of mermaid-like creatures in storytelling and their ability to convey profound messages through visual artistry.
5. Ponyo (2008)
“Ponyo” is a delightful animated film directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. While not a traditional mermaid story, it features a fish-girl character, Ponyo, who shares similarities with mermaids in her aquatic origins and magical abilities. Released in 2008, the film tells the enchanting story of Ponyo’s friendship with a young boy named Sosuke and her desire to become human.
Studio Ghibli is renowned for its magical storytelling and breathtaking animation, and “Ponyo” is no exception. The film showcases the studio’s signature hand-drawn animation style and its ability to craft fantastical worlds that captivate audiences of all ages. “Ponyo” explores themes of love, nature, and the interconnectedness of all living beings.
Hayao Miyazaki’s direction infuses the film with a sense of wonder and whimsy, making it a heartwarming and visually stunning experience. “Ponyo” is a testament to Studio Ghibli’s ability to create magical and emotionally resonant stories, further emphasizing the enduring appeal of mermaid-like characters in the world of animation.
6. Mermaids (1990)
“Mermaids” is a coming-of-age film released in 1990 that delves into mermaid mythology while focusing on the dynamics of family. The film stars Cher as Rachel Flax, a free-spirited single mother, and Winona Ryder as her daughter Charlotte. The story revolves around their eccentric lives and the challenges they face as they move to a new town.
While “Mermaids” doesn’t feature literal mermaids, it explores the metaphorical aspects of mermaid mythology, such as themes of transformation and the allure of the unknown. The film also portrays the unconventional family dynamics between Rachel and her daughters, particularly the coming-of-age struggles faced by Charlotte. It offers a unique perspective on the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the pursuit of independence.
Cher’s charismatic performance and the film’s quirky charm contribute to its enduring appeal. “Mermaids” is a blend of comedy and drama that resonates with those navigating the turbulent waters of adolescence and family relationships.
7. H2O: Just Add Water (TV Series)
“H2O: Just Add Water” is a popular teen drama TV series that centers around three girls who transform into mermaids after coming into contact with water from a mysterious moon pool. The series, which originally aired from 2006 to 2010, gained a dedicated fan base and remains beloved among young viewers.
One of the series’ key attractions is its portrayal of mermaid mythology and the magical underwater world the girls discover. As they grapple with their newfound abilities and the challenges of keeping their secret, “H2O” explores themes of friendship, responsibility, and the consequences of having extraordinary powers.
The character development throughout the series is noteworthy, as each of the main characters undergoes personal growth and transformation. Cleo, Emma, and Rikki, the three mermaids, evolve as they face various challenges and adventures. “H2O: Just Add Water” is a compelling blend of fantasy and teen drama, offering a fresh take on mermaid lore that resonates with young audiences and continues to be a popular choice for those seeking mermaid-themed entertainment.
8. Mako Mermaids (TV Series)
“Mako Mermaids” is a spin-off TV series that continues to explore the mermaid world introduced in the popular series “H2O: Just Add Water.” This series, which originally aired from 2013 to 2016, follows a new group of mermaids who face their own set of challenges and adventures.
One of the series’ key strengths lies in its expansion of the mermaid mythology and the exploration of the underwater realm of Mako Island. It delves into the intricacies of mermaid society, the dynamics between the mermaids and their interactions with humans, and the mysteries of Mako Island itself. “Mako Mermaids” maintains the themes of friendship, responsibility, and the consequences of having extraordinary powers that were present in its predecessor.
The appeal of “Mako Mermaids” lies in its ability to capture the imaginations of viewers who were fans of “H2O” while also attracting a new generation of mermaid enthusiasts. It offers a fresh perspective on the mermaid world and continues to be a beloved series for those who crave more underwater adventures.
9. The Thirteenth Year (1999)
“The Thirteenth Year” is a Disney Channel movie from 1999 that adds a unique twist to the traditional mermaid narrative. The film centers around Cody Griffin, a young boy who discovers that he is turning into a merman on his thirteenth birthday. As he grapples with his newfound abilities and the secrets of his past, the movie blends elements of coming-of-age and fantasy.
What sets “The Thirteenth Year” apart is its exploration of the challenges of growing up and the quest for self-identity. Cody’s transformation into a merman is a metaphor for the changes and uncertainties that come with adolescence. The film combines these relatable themes with a touch of fantasy, offering a fresh take on the mermaid genre.
“The Thirteenth Year” showcases Disney’s ability to create family-friendly films that resonate with both young audiences and their parents. It remains a charming and imaginative addition to the world of mermaid movies, proving that mermaid tales can take on new and unexpected forms while still capturing the magic of underwater worlds.
10. Peter Pan (1953)
“Peter Pan,” the classic Disney animated film released in 1953, is a timeless tale that features the enchanting Mermaid Lagoon. While not the central focus of the story, the mermaids play a memorable role in this beloved adventure.
In the world of Neverland, Mermaid Lagoon is a magical and mysterious place where mermaids, with their beautiful voices and playful nature, reside. These mermaids add an extra layer of wonder to Peter Pan’s fantastical journey. Their presence highlights the diverse and imaginative cast of characters that inhabit Neverland.
“Peter Pan” has remained a cherished classic for generations, capturing the hearts of viewers of all ages. The film’s inclusion of mermaids showcases the enduring appeal of these mythical creatures in popular culture. As you explore the adventures of Peter Pan, Wendy, and the Lost Boys on Netflix, you’ll encounter the magical allure of Mermaid Lagoon and its fascinating inhabitants, making it a must-watch for fans of both classic Disney animation and mermaid mythology.
11. Dark Tide (2012)
“Dark Tide” is a thriller film released in 2012 that takes place in the world of diving and features a unique mermaid encounter. Halle Berry stars as Kate Mathieson, a shark expert and diver who, after a traumatic shark attack, is hesitant to return to the water. However, she is lured back into the ocean by a wealthy businessman with an unconventional request—to swim with sharks in the presence of a rare and deadly mermaid.
The film’s suspenseful elements are a central part of its appeal. As Kate and her team venture deeper into the ocean, they are met with escalating danger and the eerie presence of the mermaid. “Dark Tide” creates tension through its underwater scenes, where the mermaid’s elusive and threatening nature adds to the overall sense of unease.
This thriller offers a fresh take on mermaid mythology by incorporating it into a story of survival and danger beneath the waves. It explores the mysteries of the deep sea and the inherent risks of exploring its uncharted territories. “Dark Tide” is a gripping film that combines elements of suspense, adventure, and the supernatural to deliver a thrilling underwater experience.
12. She Creature (2001)
“She Creature” is a horror film released in 2001 that takes a darker and more sinister approach to the mermaid genre. Set in the early 20th century, the film follows two carnival workers, Angus and Lily, who capture a mysterious mermaid in the waters off the Irish coast and exhibit her as a sideshow attraction.
What sets “She Creature” apart is its exploration of the darker aspects of mermaid mythology. The mermaid in the film is not a beautiful and benign creature but a menacing and predatory being with a thirst for blood. As the story unfolds, it delves into themes of greed, exploitation, and the consequences of tampering with forces beyond human understanding.
The film’s horror elements are enhanced by its atmospheric setting and the eerie portrayal of the mermaid. “She Creature” challenges traditional notions of mermaids as enchanting and benevolent creatures, opting instead for a chilling and suspenseful narrative. It offers a unique and unsettling take on the mermaid genre, making it a must-watch for horror enthusiasts looking for a darker twist on underwater legends.
13. The Little Mermaid (2018)
“The Little Mermaid” (2018) is a live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, and it offers a fresh take on the beloved story. While drawing inspiration from the original fairy tale, this adaptation introduces narrative differences that add depth to the characters and their motivations.
One notable aspect of the film is its visual effects, which bring the underwater world and its inhabitants to life in a visually stunning way. The underwater scenes are a highlight, showcasing the film’s commitment to creating a mesmerizing undersea realm.
In terms of narrative differences, “The Little Mermaid” (2018) explores the mermaid’s journey and her desire for a soul in a more nuanced manner. It also delves into themes of love, sacrifice, and the complexities of human emotions. This adaptation offers a modern perspective on a classic story while retaining the enchantment of the original tale.
14. A Mermaid’s Tale (2016)
“A Mermaid’s Tale” is an independent film from 2016 that explores a mermaid’s journey in the human world. This charming indie film offers a unique take on the mermaid genre, focusing on a young girl named Ryan who discovers her true identity as a mermaid and must navigate the challenges of living in both the ocean and the human world.
What sets “A Mermaid’s Tale” apart is its indie appeal, which is characterized by its heartfelt storytelling and relatable characters. The film captures the wonder and magic of mermaid mythology while also addressing themes of friendship, family, and self-discovery.
While it may not have the big-budget visuals of mainstream films, “A Mermaid’s Tale” shines in its ability to create a heartwarming and relatable story that resonates with audiences of all ages. It is a testament to the power of indie filmmaking to explore imaginative and heartfelt narratives within the mermaid genre.
15. In Search of the Little Mermaid (Documentary)
“In Search of the Little Mermaid” is a documentary that delves into the cultural impact of mermaid stories. This insightful documentary provides viewers with a deeper understanding of why mermaids continue to hold a special place in our collective imagination.
The documentary offers valuable insights through interviews with experts, scholars, and enthusiasts who discuss the historical, artistic, and psychological aspects of mermaid mythology. It explores how mermaids have been depicted in various cultures throughout history and their evolving role in literature, art, and popular culture.
“In Search of the Little Mermaid” sheds light on why mermaid stories remain relevant and captivating to people of all ages. It is a comprehensive exploration of the enduring fascination with mermaids and their ability to inspire creativity and imagination across different mediums.
Mermaid movies have a timeless and universal appeal, captivating audiences with their enchanting tales of underwater wonder. From Disney classics to indie gems, these films explore themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery while immersing viewers in the magical realms beneath the waves. Whether through lighthearted adventures or darker twists on mermaid mythology, these movies continue to make a splash in the world of cinema, leaving a lasting impact on our imaginations.