Whenever there's a new live-action remake from Disney, the question of what has been changed (or what hasn't) always comes up. In the case of The Little Mermaid, it follows the same plot structure, but there are a few key differences.

Warning: Spoilers for The Little Mermaid ahead

In case you're not familiar with the story of The Little Mermaid, it follows Ariel — a mermaid princess — who's banished from the human world by her father, King Triton. She falls hard for a human prince named Eric after saving him from drowning, resulting in her making a deal with a sea witch named Ursula to become a human while giving up her voice.

The most jarring difference between the two films is the runtime. The animated film clocked in at just 83 minutes — which feels standard for an animated children's film — while its live-action counterpart came in at a whopping 135 minutes. While it's hard to pinpoint the exact moments those extra 52 minutes were allotted, the openings of the two films are different. The animated film opens with the sequence on Eric's ship. I believe that the live-action film opens underwater and shows the ceremony that Ariel is late to.

From there, the two films are very similar until Ariel makes her deal with Ursula and rises to the surface. In the animated film, she washes up on a rock. In the live-action film, Ariel is scooped up by a fisher's net at sea. This fisherman clothes her and brings her to the palace. It's not a major difference, but one that still stood out.

Perhaps the biggest difference comes in the final battle between Ursula and Ariel and Eric. In the animated film, after being separated, it's Eric who is the one who eventually steers a ship right into the gigantic Ursula and impales her. In 2023's version, Ariel is the one who, in a moment of desperation, impales Ursula with the ship. It plays out the exact same way, just flip the characters' positions.

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There are some other changes like the addition of “The Scuttlebutt,” a song that you'd have to imagine Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote. The cadence of the spoken-word rap sounds straight out of Hamilton — and the performances from Awkwafina and Daveed Diggs in this scene bring it home.

And yes, there certainly are other changes that fans of either version of The Little Mermaid can (and likely will) point out that I missed. I was not head-over-heels for the film, but having seen both in a short span, these were the key differences I noted. I know thematically, Halle Bailey had said something about the 2023 version being an updated story and not having Ariel leave the sea purely for a boy. She said, “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life, and what she wants,” in an interview with Edition magazine.

She's not wrong, per se — I believe one of King Triton's (played by Javier Bardem in the remake) last words to Ariel is about how he “didn't hear her” then [as in, when she was living under the sea], but he hears her now. This “change” honestly went over my head until I rewatched the animated film, as at the end of the day, yes, Ariel wants to be her own person, but she still falls for Eric and that's what brings this fish out of the water.

The Little Mermaid will be released on May 26.