Following hot on the heels of David Lowery's Peter Pan & Wendy comes Disney's latest live-action remake – a new take on The Little Mermaid, directed by Rob Marshall.


The 2023 film is largely faithful to the original 1989 animation, although there have been a couple of minor changes including the addition of three brand new songs to the soundtrack.

In a similar vein, while fans of the original will recognise many of the characters in the 2023 version, including Ariel (pop star Halle Bailey), Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) and King Triton (Javier Bardem), a few of their characteristics have been updated for a modern audience.

"Ariel is not afraid to show her strength and her passion," Bailey told Variety of the new film's version of the Disney princess. "There's so much power in all that she is and the fact that she is just so headstrong and willing to go for what she wants, I think, is more clear in this film."

So, how can fans watch the film? Read on for everything you need to know.

Can I watch the Little Mermaid 2023 online?

No. At present, the only way to watch the new version of The Little Mermaid is by taking a trip to the pictures, with Disney having opted for a theatrical release for the new film.

This is a departure from the studio's approach to its two most recent live-action remakes, Pinocchio and Peter Pan & Wendy – both of which went straight to streaming without first showing in cinemas.

Indeed, it's the first of these remakes since 2019's The Lion King to have not been released on streaming from the outset – although both Mulan and Cruella were initially only available on the platform at a premium rate, having been released simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney Plus in some territories.

When will The Little Mermaid 2023 be released on Disney Plus?

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid. Disney

Of course, although it's been given a cinema-first release, the new film will arrive on Disney Plus eventually – so fans will be able to get to watch the remake in the comfort of their own homes in the not-too-distant future.

It's not yet clear precisely when this release will be, but it's common practice for the studio to add titles to the streamer roughly three months after they debut in cinemas, so a date in late August or perhaps early September 2023 seems likely.

In rare cases, such as with Avatar: The Way of Water, there has been a longer gap between theatrical release and streaming release – six months in that instance – but we don't currently expect that to be the case with this film.

Should we hear any more official information we'll update this page accordingly – and, of course, while you wait you can always enjoy the original 1989 animation on Disney Plus!

Will The Little Mermaid be released on DVD and Blu-Ray?

Although it's not been officially confirmed, it seems probable that the film will receive a physical media release in due course as well, although unfortunately we can currently only rely on educated guesswork to determine when this will be.

We can be fairly sure that there will be at least a three-month gap between the cinema release and physical media release, so as with the Disney Plus premiere date we'd cautiously predict that the film will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray sometime around the end of August.

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The Little Mermaid is now showing in UK cinemas. Check out the best movies on Disney Plus and best shows on Disney Plus, read more of our Film coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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