The Little Mermaid parent guide: Understanding the PG rating for the movie

The 2023 version of The Little Mermaid is rated PG. Who exactly is the movie suitable for? Here's a look at understanding the age rating for the movie.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /
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There was once a time when Disney had a universal rating for all movies. They were suitable for all ages, but that changed with The Lion King. Now, a lot of movies come with a PG rating, and that’s the case for The Little Mermaid.

The 2023 live-action version brings basically the same story as the original 1989 animated movie. However, there are a few changes to update the story to include consent and to make it clear that Ariel doesn’t necessarily need a man. It’s a great updated story for the younger generations, and your kids are sure to want to watch it.

The Little Mermaid is rated PG. You’ll want to understand the reason behind the rating to get an idea as to whether it’s suitable for your kids or not.

Why is The Little Mermaid rated PG?

Like a lot of Disney movies, this is aimed at younger members of the family. The movie is technically suitable for all ages. PG just means that parents will likely want to watch the movie with some of the younger members of the family, especially those under the age of eight.

There are some thematic elements that can be a little scary at times. We’re talking about Prince Eric and his crew being caught out in a storm in the sea—and did anyone else worry about Max?—and the ending has Ursula getting the trident and attempting to kill Ariel and Eric. These could be a little much for some young children.

In fact, maybe you have an 11-year-old who is a little scared of these types of themes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you need to be aware the scenes are there to make sure this movie is suitable for your own children. You know them best.

Of course, the movie ends the way Disney movies do. The plot is somewhat predictable, but then what Disney movie isn’t predictable? We all know the hero wins in the end.

There are a few jokes that are for adults. They’ll go over the minds of the children, so don’t worry about them. Again, what Disney movie doesn’t have some adult jokes thrown in?

Something that certainly makes this movie suitable for kids is the music. The songs from the original movie are there, and there are a couple of new additions that the kids will want to add to the collection. Don’t Disney songs make the best road trip playlists?

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The Little Mermaid is available to stream on Disney+.