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Mermaid Movies for Kids and Families

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A kingdom under the sea is a fascinating prospect for children, and let's face it, for adults too. Here is a list of movie mermaid tales, both animated and live action, presented in order of recommended age group.

1. Dora's Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom

Dora's Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom
Photo © Nickelodeon
In Dora's Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom, Dora and boots go on an underwater adventure to help the beautiful mermaid Maribel back home to her mother. Kids will be delighted by this underwater adventure featuring a lot of music and several math-related educational elements which help kids to learn about colors, patterns, counting and more. Dora fans will also love the double-length Dora movie Dora Saves the Mermaids (Compare prices), in which Dora saves the Mermaid Kingdom from a very filthy octopus. (Recommended for preschoolers)
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2. The Backyardigans: Into the Deep

The Backyardigans
Cover art © Paramount Home Entertainment
Into the Deep features four episodes: "Into the Deep," a Bollywood musical; "Save the Day," set to psychedelic soul; "News Flash," featuring Motown music; and "Catch That Butterfly," set to comic opera music. The first episode, deep sea divers/movie makers Tyrone and Pablo try to film the beautiful mermaids (Tasha and Uniqua). If you have a preschooler and have never seen The Backyardigans, this is must-see show, and a great set of episodes to start with. (recommended for Preschoolers)
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3. The Bubble Guppies

Bubble Guppies DVD
Photo © PHE
The Bubble Guppies are not exactly mermaids, because they're Bubble Guppies. But, if you ask me, they're mermaids. Adorable, inquisitive little fish/human kids who delight preschoolers with their comical and educational magazine-style show (airs on Nickelodeon). The Bubble Guppies are all about music, laughter and fun. This DVD contains several episodes of the show, including a fairy tale episode in which Bubble Puppy is turned into a frog by a mean witch. (Recommended for preschoolers)
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4. Ponyo

Ponyo
Photo © WDSHE. All Rights Reserved.
The uniquely beautiful imagery of Hayao Miyazaki surges to life in this imaginative story inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Mermaid." A musical panorama of underwater sea life introduces us to a strange and adorable fish-like creature, who rises to the surface of the sea and meets Sosuke, a young boy on the beach. Sosuke finds the bottle and rescues the unusual little fish; she licks and heals a small wound on his thumb, and he names her "Ponyo." Ponyo isn't the traditional sort of mermaid we think of, but kids will still love the movie, and comparing this story to the Disney version of "The Little Mermaid" could be a fun and thought provoking activity for kids. (Rated G, recommended for ages 3+)

5. The Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid
© Disney. All Rights Reserved.
The most iconic of all mermaid movies, it Disney's The Little Mermaid. This music-filled animated adventure based on the classic fairy tale tells the story of a young mermaid who falls in love with a human prince and desires to leave her under-the-sea world for a home on land. Brilliant, colorful animation and memorable characters have made this a classic movie for kids and families. The sequel to the movie, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, tells the story of Ariel's daughter, Melody. And The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning is a prequel movie about Ariel and her family. (All are rated G)
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6. Barbie in a Mermaid Tale

Barbie in a Mermaid Tale
Photo © Universal
In this fashionable under-water adventure, Barbie stars as Merliah, a surfer from Malibu who finds out that she is actually a mermaid. Merliah sets off on an amazing adventure with her dolphin friend Zuma. The two must rescue Merliah's mother, the queen of Oceana. The sequel to the movie is Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 (Compare prices), and an earlier movie, Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia (Compare prices), also features Barbie as a mermaid. (Recommended for ages 5+)
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7. Aquamarine

© 2006 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
Aquamarine is a live action film about Claire (EMMA ROBERTS) and Hailey (JOANNA “JOJO” LEVESQUE), two 13-year-old best friends who embark on the adventure of their lives when they discover a mermaid (SARA PAXTON) named Aquamarine in a swimming pool. The mermaid must prove to her father that love is real, or face an unwanted underwater wedding.(Rated PG, recommended for ages 10+)

8. H2O: Just Add Water (TV Series)

H2O Just Add Water
Photo © Nickelodeon
In this teen drama that aired on Nickelodeon, Cleo, Emma and Rikki are 16-year-old girls who discover they share a big secret -- they are mermaids and have special powers. Trying to hide their secret life while managing the usual teenage issues proves quite challenging, and the girls experience many things together. Set in Australia, the show has an interesting premise and is perfect for older girls who love mermaids. (Recommended for ages 10+)
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