Add ‘The Little Mermaid’’s Filming Location to Your Euro ’23 Itinerary, Stat

The Little Mermaid Disney

Viewers of live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’, which hits Australian cinemas Thursday, May 25, no doubt will immediately Google its filming locations. The turquoise water! The white sand! The rocky outcrop you can swim to from the shoreline and then bask in the sun on.

So, where were those scenes in the film, which stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, and Javier Bardem as King Triton, shot?

In reality, the movie was mostly shot in Sardinia, a boot-shaped island off the coast of Italy, a 5.5-hour ferry ride away from the mainland. Specifically, the cast and crew filmed at the small, seaside village of Santa Teresa di Gallura on Sardinia’s northern coast, according to local press reports, says Variety. Disney declined to comment to Variety.

Santa Teresa di Gallura is centred around a town square, with rugged stretches of coastline and dozens of beaches, ancient archaeological sites, and old wartime fortifications, according to blog Strictly Sardinia. The town was established by Savoy rulers in 1808 to help combat smugglers, but the really grew as a modern hotspot in the early ‘60s, a result of the tourism boom.

Sardinia Italy
Image: Unsplash

In 2021, a Sardinian official said the production would involve some 300 people working on the island for “roughly three months”. The cast was also pictured filming in Sardinia what was believed to be the scene when Ariel saves Eric from drowning.

The movie was also filmed in London at Pinewood Studios, presumably the scenes that took place in front of blue screens. “She put in a huge amount of hours rehearsing with us, holding these shapes while making it look effortless and beautiful,” stunt coordinator Adam Kirley told the LA Times.

Little Mermaid
Image: Disney

“It was incredibly physically demanding for her while also probably being quite monotonous, we have to work out things many times to get them right.”

For scenes at the surf, Bailey filmed scenes in water tanks again and again over a month-long period. She said that while she’s always loved the water, in this case, she had to look like the water was her home.

Image: Unsplash

“The toughest part was trying to stay in control of your body as much as possible, even though you’re in the midst of a storm, the wave machines are on, and thunder and lightning and fire is all around you,” she told the LA Times.

Hauer-King also didn’t have the easiest time, sharing with Empire in April 2023 that in fact he was the person that got the wettest in this film.

“It came from a smart decision [of Rob’s], which is that, as a human, I should be interacting with water as a human would. So, for my stuff – the shipwreck, fights in water – I needed to be wet. Halle and the mermaids can’t interact with water as humans, so they were on the blue-screen stages.

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