Disney's The Little Mermaid: 4 key differences between the animated and live-action versions

Disney, The Little Mermaid
Disney, The Little Mermaid / Don Arnold/GettyImages
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Disney, The Little Mermaid
Disney, The Little Mermaid / Lia Toby/GettyImages

Second Major Difference in Disney's The Little Mermaid: Eric's backstory

In the original movie, Disney does not give Prince Eric a detailed backstory. I always assumed he was orphaned because his parents are never seen in the movie and there is mention of his father dying. Prince Eric is instead mentored by Sir Grimsby. Well, in the new live-action version of The Little Mermaid, Disney gives more detail to Prince Eric's backstory and even introduces an original character who was not in the animated version — his mother, Queen Selina.

One thing to point out though is that Queen Selina is not Prince Eric's biological mother. Instead, she is his adoptive mother. We find out that his parents were killed in a shipwreck that took place near the coast of their island country. Prince Eric's adoptive father is also deceased and does not appear in the film.

What is interesting is how King Triton, Ariel's father, comes to despise humans. He speaks about how humans murdered Ariel's mother on more than one occasion. Ironically, at the beginning of the film, members of Prince Eric's crew speak about mermaids using their voices to sire men to their death and the sea God destroying ships. This is something Queen Selina also speaks to when warning Prince Eric not to go after Ariel once they become aware she is a mermaid. Unfortunately, it seems miscommunication and misunderstanding probably led to multiple people and merpeople dying.