It’s High Time We Made More of Mermaids

One question: where can you see mermaids in popular culture today? The legendary sea creatures which have been swimming in folk tradition around the world for several centuries have been popping in and out of films in the last few decades. For instance, they appear in an extended sequence to promote 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and even get starring roles in cheesy rom-coms like 1984’s Splash, where Daryl Hannah enthrals Tom Hanks with her perfect mermaid hair (and the rest). Not to mention Derek Zoolander’s epic appearance as a “mer-man” in a commercial in 2001’s Zoolander. So there IS a mermaid cult, which begs the question – why aren’t we seeing more of them on the big screen?

There Was a Mermaid-Related Movie Released in 2016

I know what you’re thinking – why am I not aware of such a movie? Well, this is probably due to the fact that it was a Chinese-language film which was primarily released in Hong Kong and China. Despite the fact that The Mermaid (or Mei ren yu as its known in Mandarin) received an impressive 94% approval rate from movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, the movie only briefly reached our shores, with Sony Pictures distributing a limited release across 35 theaters in the United States. Whilst this is perhaps a further indicator that the East is much more in touch with the fantasy genre than we are, the success of the movie is proof positive that any future mermaid-related releases has a good chance of resonating with movie-goers in the lucrative Asian movie market.

A post shared by Sarah (@sarah18lew) on

We Need Escapism Now More Than Ever

Whether we like it or not, the world seems to be getting progressively more dangerous as time rolls on so as sensitive beings, we are constantly searching for the best ways to restore the equilibrium. Whilst we can find this in a number of different mediums, movies are one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in another world and mermaids have a feel-good factor which is quite difficult to attribute to any other character. They live under the sea and share the ocean with a number of colorful and beautiful creatures whilst enjoying nature as it was intended to be – it really doesn’t get more blissful than that.Mermaids exhibit a warm, loving aura and I think we can all agree that the world needs a little more love at the moment.

Mermaids Are Still Massively Prominent in Popular Culture

Mermaids aren’t just popular on the big screen and they have made numerous appearances in the gaming industry over the years. For instance, best-selling gaming franchise Pokemon has a creature named Primarina, a mermaid/sea lion hybrid which controls water balloons with songs. Fans of the siren can even get a $9.99 figurine of the “open sea diva” whose strongest weapon is her singing voice. On the iGaming front, there’s an online slot game which requires players to delve to the depths of the ocean to look for sunken treasure. Finally, in 1993′ s The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Martha the mermaid gives one of her sacles to Link after he retrieves her lost necklace.

Female-Fronted Movies Are as Popular as They are Important

Last year was the best on record for the representation of women in the movie industry. The Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television found that female-fronted movies such as Arrival and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made up around 29% of the top-grossing films of the year. With Wonder Woman receiving universal praise and smashing box-office records when it was released back in June, more and more people and starting to sit up and take note with regards to the potential that female-led films have to offer. With this being said, striking whilst the iron is hot certainly feels like the way forward here and a major mermaid movie would surely prove popular in an industry which seems to be secretly craving more females in major roles. It’s also fair to say that with the giant strides that the film industry has made in recent times relating to graphics and special effects, a mermaid movie would be both visually stunning and captivating, especially in IMAX.

All Hope Is Not Lost

Whilst there have been rumors circulating with regards to a live-action reboot of the classic The Little Mermaid, we’ve only had a few sketchy details to go on thus far. However, it’s now being reported that Disney have offered director Rob Marshall the gig and if he were to accept, it would mark his fourth Disney film after the much-loved 2011 movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Marshall looks a fairly good choice on paper – he was nominated for an Academy Award for directing Chicago back in 2002 and with the success of Broadways shows and live action reboots of other animated hits, this could well be a match made in heaven. Of course, only time will tell what comes of this project but if executed correctly, it could well propel Ariel and mermaids in general back into the public eye where they belong.