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Ariel’s Italian Dream: Outdoor Filming Locations for ‘The Little Mermaid’ Live Action 

Disney’s 2023 live-action rendition of The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Scuttle is visually splendid. Sure, a good chunk of it takes place “under the sea” where life is the bubbles—but a good chunk of it takes place on land, too. 

Here are some of the places Disney’s film crew and actors traveled to film The Little Mermaid.

Sardinia, Italy

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Image by Mieneke Andeweg-van Rijn

The stunning backdrop for Ariel and Eric’s love story is none other than Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. Though not the obvious choice, since the plot is based in the Caribbean, Sardinia was the perfect choice, thanks to sheer and dramatic cliffs, rugged coast, idyllic white-sand beaches, and all-around romantic vibes. 

Spiaggia di Rena Majore

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Image by NTCo

Located in Aglientu in Sardinia, Rena Majore is the real-life beach where Ariel saves Prince Eric from the sea after his shipwreck at the beginning of the film. The part of the scene where Ariel belts the reprise for “Part of Your World” was filmed on a rock constructed for just this purpose. 

Castelsardo

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Image by Ellen Van Bodegom

Prince Eric’s castle is a CGI creation perched atop a cliff in the real-life Castelsardo, a small town in Sardinia that lent the film a “colonial” feel. Several scenes surrounding Prince Eric’s castle were filmed within the grounds of the centuries-old Castelsardo fortress, but scenes shot in the interior of Eric’s castle were shot in a studio. 

Spiaggia di Cala Moresca 

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Image by RED&Co/Contributor

Scenes depicting a fishing village were reportedly shot at Cala Moresca beach in Golfo Aranci, a quaint area and real-life fishing village known for its seafood.

Pinewood Studios, U.K.

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Image by Pinewood Studios

Many scenes in The Little Mermaid were shot in the U.K. at Pinewood Studios, which offers both indoor and outdoor stages. The studio says this film shot across eight stages, including the Paddock Lot and the Underwater Stage.

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