The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning 

Last Updated on: June 10th, 2024

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008 Movie)

“The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” is a direct-to-video animated film released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment in 2008. It serves as a prequel to Disney’s classic animated film “The Little Mermaid” and explores the backstory of Ariel, the beloved mermaid princess.

The film delves into Ariel’s early life and reveals how her love for music and adventure began. It starts with a young Ariel and her older sisters living under strict rules imposed by their father, King Triton, following the tragic death of their mother, Queen Athena. Music and any form of entertainment are banned in the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, leaving the seven sisters longing for a life of freedom.

As Ariel discovers an underground music club and meets a charming seahorse named Sebastian, she becomes determined to restore music to the kingdom and bring joy back into their lives. Along the way, she faces challenges, but her determination and passion for music drive her to overcome obstacles and stand up for what she believes in.

“The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” showcases Ariel’s courage, curiosity, and compassion, portraying her as a strong and independent young mermaid. The film also delves into King Triton’s struggles as a single father and his eventual realization that music is essential for the happiness of his family.

With its vibrant animation, catchy musical numbers, and touching storytelling, “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” is a delightful addition to the “Little Mermaid” franchise. It offers fans a deeper understanding of Ariel’s character and serves as a heartwarming family-friendly film for both children and adults to enjoy.

Fun Facts

  • “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” is a 2008 direct-to-video prequel to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” franchise. It explores the events that took place before the original film and delves into Ariel’s early life.
  • The film introduces the character of Queen Athena, Ariel’s mother, who was mentioned briefly in the original “Little Mermaid” film. Queen Athena is voiced by actress Sally Field and plays a central role in the story, emphasizing themes of family and music.
  • “Ariel’s Beginning” places a strong emphasis on music and dance, showcasing a variety of musical numbers throughout the film. This focus on the power of music is a key element of the story and adds a lively and entertaining aspect to the movie.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning 

Additional Details


  • Jodi Benson: Ariel
  • Samuel E. Wright: Sebastian
  • Jim Cummings: King Triton and Shelbow
  • Sally Field: Marina Del Rey
  • Parker Goris: Flounder
  • Tara Strong: Adella and Andrina
  • Jennifer Hale: Alana
  • Grey DeLisle: Aquata and Arista
  • Kari Wahlgren: Attina
  • Jeff Bennett: Benjamin the manatee and the Swordfish Guards
  • Andrea Robinson: Queen Athena (singing voice)
  • Lorelei Hill Butters: Queen Athena (speaking voice)
  • Rob Paulsen: Ink Spot the octopus and Swifty the shrimp
  • Kevin Michael Richardson: Cheeks


  • Director: Peggy Holmes
  • Producers: Kendra Halland
  • Music: James Dooley

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and