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"What makes you different just might be your greatest strength."

– Barbie

Barbie in A Mermaid Tale is the 17th Barbie movie. It was released to DVD on March 9, 2010, and it made its TV premiere on Nickelodeon on April 4, 2010. The film follows the story of Princess Merliah, a half-human and half-mermaid who tries to rescue her mother and her under water kingdom. This movie was followed by a sequel Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2.


"Barbie stars as Merliah, a surfing champion from Malibu. One minute she's a normal teenager and the next she learns a shocking family secret: she's a mermaid! Merliah and her dolphin friend Zuma set off on an undersea adventure to rescue her mother, the queen of Oceana. With help from her new mermaid friends, Merliah saves the ocean kingdom. In the end, she discovers that what makes you different could be your greatest strength."


Merliah Summers is a champion surfer who lives in Malibu. She is nicknamed the "Queen of the Waves", and her friends, Hadley and Fallon, even make a song for her. One day, during a surfing competition, suddenly there's pink highlights on her hair while she is surfing. Seeing this, she dives underwater and realizes that she can breathe and talk underwater. A talking dolphin named Zuma has a conversation with Merliah, and then takes her back to her friends. Merliah is shocked but chooses not to believe it.

Merliah tells her friends what happened and then goes home in deep thought. Her grandfather, Break, who takes care of Merliah, reveals to her that she is actually half-human and a half mermaid; her father Rip married a mermaid named Calissa , and had Merliah. However, Merliah would be unsafe living among mermaids, because she was born with a human appearance. Break agreed to take care of her, so her mother gave Merliah to him when she was a baby (along with a shell necklace (that when thrown on the ground gives a live hologram of what she is doing)). Merliah doesn't believe him and leaves to talk to her friends about this. While sitting her friends they find out when a mermaid turns 16 they receive color streaks in their hair and can breathe underwater

Zuma the dolphin finds Merliah with her friends again, confirming that everything Break said was true. She tells her that the mermaid kingdom, Oceana, ruled by Merliah's mother is in danger. Merliah's evil aunt, Eris, had taken her throne. Merliah becomes angry because she doesn't understand what was going on, and throws a necklace she'd been wearing, on the floor. The necklace had been given to her when she was a baby, and it played a message when she threw it. It revealed that Calissa was alive and needed help and that Merliah was half-mermaid. It also said Calissa was making Merillia, the magical life force of the ocean.

Merliah goes with Zuma to help her mother. They arrive in the underwater kingdom, and find that a festival held by Eris is happening. Zuma tells Merliah that Eris' Merillia was not as powerful as Calissa's, and it was making the ocean weak. Zuma and Merliah enter a fashion boutique to get her a fake tail as a disguise as they witness the festival. They see Eris make whirlpools that were impossible to escape from, and take merpeople to her dungeons. This makes Merliah unsure if she can save Oceana, and the boutique owners find out that she is hiding when their pet seal, Snouts , tickles Merliah's toes. The owners are Kayla and Xylie , two stylish mermaids, who give Merliah a fake tail to swim around so she will fit in.

Kayla and Xylie want to help Merliah and Zuma, so they go to see The Destinies. They are mermaids who can see the future. They hear Eris saying she will destroy Merliah, so Kayla and Xylie sidetrack her, and they go on to meet the Destinies. The Destinies — Dee, Deandra and Deanne — tell Merliah exactly what she needs to defeat Eris: The Celestial Comb, Dreamfish, and Eris' necklace, which protects her.

Merliah talks to Fallon and Hadley with a device, and they find out where the Celestial Comb is: in a cave guarded by large jellyfish. Zuma, Kayla, and Xylie try to distract the jellyfish while Merliah and Snouts get the comb. They get it and escape before the cave collapses. Merliah contacts Fallon and Hadley again, and they locate the Dreamfish. It is in the Adenato currents. They get the Dreamfish, and then, to get Eris's necklace, Merliah, Kayla, and Xylie sing a song, Queen of the Waves (but with different lyrics), to her in a festival to distract her. Eris becomes angry and makes a whirlpool to get rid of Merliah, and Merliah gets sucked in after she is exposed as being half-human.

Merliah asks the Dreamfish for help, and it offers to let her go home and pretend nothing ever happened. Even though it was what she wanted, Merliah refuses deciding to do what's right for Oceania and magically gets a real mermaid tail to replace her fake one. She escapes the whirlpool with her new, strong tail. Eris tells her minions to get Merliah, but Merliah says that Eris is not the rightful heir to the throne of Oceania, she is (on the behalf of her mother) and proves it by showing everyone that she has the Celestial Comb. Eris tells everyone to forget about the comb and Merliah is half-human and doesn't have the power to spin Merillia. Merliah shows everyone that they don't need Eris to spin Merillia by destroying Eris' necklace, which shows Queen Calissa spinning Merillia. Merliah finds out that Eris couldn't defeat Calissa because she needed her to spin Merillia since Eris is the only one in the royal family who cannot make Merillia, meaning that she's hate being different. Still denying her anger and jealousy, Eris tells her minions to seize Merliah, but they refuse. Merliah points out that Eris has be pretending that Calissa's Merillia is hers, but Calissa isn't happy to be shut away, which is why her Merillia is too weak to keep the sea healthy. With the deception revealed, Eris angrily chases after Merliah, and Eris ends up caught in one of her own whirlpools. She is taken to the bottom of the deepest trench in the ocean. Everyone cheered for Merliah by saying, "All hail, Queen Merliah.", but Merliah tells everyone that Calissa is the rightful queen and they need to find her.

Merliah frees Calissa and Calissa cures the ocean with her Merillia. As Merliah tells her mom that she miss her life as a human, she gives her daughter a necklace that will let her be human again, as well as a mermaid whenever she wishes. Merliah goes back to Malibu where she reunites with her grandfather and friends and wins a surfing trophy.


  • Merliah: Kelly Sheridan
  • Eris: Kathleen Barr
  • Zuma: Tabitha St. Germain
  • Surf Announcer: Peter Mel
  • Fallon: Nakia Burrise
  • Hadley: Maryke Hendrikse
  • Kayla: Emma Pierson
  • Xylie: Ciara Janson
  • Break: Garry Chalk
  • Remo: Alistair Abell
  • Snouts: Kathleen Barr
  • Dee: Andrea Libman
  • Deandra: Shannon Chan-Kent
  • Deanne: Tabitha St. Germain
  • Dreamfish: Alex Ferris
  • Lipstick Fish: Ellen Kennedy
  • Pufferazzi: Alistair Abell
  • Syrenka: Ellen Kennedy
  • Syrenka's Pet Fish: Scott McNeil


The original plot was as follows: "When Marisa, played by Barbie, discovers she is half-mermaid, she must help the citizens of Atlantia by rescuing their queen--her mother. Marisa and her underwater friends have to complete three tasks in order to release her mother from the clutches of the evil Eris, who longs to rule Atlantia."


Barbie in A Mermaid Tale was initially released on DVD on March 9, 2010 with a Wide Screen Enhanced (16x9) format.

Set Up[]

  • Spoken Languages: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Français Dolby Digital 2.0, and Español Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH (subtitled for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) On / Off

Scene Selection[]

The scene selection feature is called "My Favorite Scenes" on the DVD.

  1. Summer Sunshine
  2. Queen of the Waves
  3. The Truth from Break
  4. A Sparkly New Friend
  5. Welcome to Oceana
  6. The Eris Festival
  7. Tail Makeover!
  8. House of Fate
  9. Help from Above
  10. A Sisterly Chat
  11. Quest for the Comb
  12. In Search of Dreamfish
  13. Shredding the Current
  14. Rocking the Reef
  15. A Tail of Her Own
  16. Princess of Oceana
  17. Queen Calissa Reigns
  18. Together at Last

Extra Features[]

The extra features are called "More Mermaid Fun" on the DVD.


  • When Merliah throws her necklace, Zuma has a dialogue to say to Merliah which she can't pronounce properly and the director says "Cut".
  • When Merliah is modeling and trying out her tail, it rips because maybe it was a little too tight.
  • When Xylie and Kayla are having manicures a shark is having a mainicure too. So when everyone is looking at him, he replies "What?".
  • Calissa and Merliah are playing cards. Calissa asks for any threes but Merliah says "Nope, Go Human" (It's a reference to "Go Fish").
  • Zuma and Snouts try on some accessories. Zuma says "Snouts and I are stepping out" but Zuma hits herself through a wall.
  • Zuma blows a whistle that resembles Merliah's old necklace then says "Training them was easier than you think." Then one of the mermaids splash water on her.
  • Merliah trips when modeling the same tail.
  • When Remo tries blowing his horn 3 times the Lipstick Fish comes out from the horn then the cast laughs.
  • "Queen of the Waves" Music Video
  • I Can Be... A Professional Surfer
  • Trailer Gallery (Sing Along With Barbie trailer, Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale teaser trailer, and The Barbie Movie Collection trailer)


  • This is the last Barbie movie starting with Mattel Entertainment and the first featuring a different animation technology interface.
  • Barbie in A Mermaid Tale was the top-selling Barbie movie in 2010. It was the first Barbie film/movie released in the spring that outsold the one released in the fall (Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale).
  • There are puns on store names in Oceana: Bloomingtails, a pun on Bloomingdales; Seaphora, a pun on Sephora; and Fred Seagull, a pun on Fred Segal.
  • Zuma's name is from Zuma Beach in Malibu.
  • Syrenka's name means "mermaid" in Polish.
  • The film was released in the USA on Barbie's 51st birthday.
  • The tails of the mermaids are the same color as the streaks on their hair.
  • The surfer before Merliah in the beginning has red hair and wears a purple top with green shorts. This may be a reference to the mermaid Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid.
  • In Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale, Barbie has a Barbie in A Mermaid Tale poster in her trailer gallery.
  • In Barbie: A Fairy Secret, Barbie and Raquelle use fake wings in Gloss Angeles, and Merliah uses a fake tail in Oceana.
  • In the Barbie: Princess Charm School bloopers, there is a parody of Barbie in A Mermaid Tale when Blair, Hadley and Isla surf.
  • This movie had a sea-quel Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2.


  • When Merliah puts her clothes on the rock before jumps into the water, her clothes are slowly sinking into the rock.
  • When Merliah gets her real tail, the streaks in her hair are almost unseen.
  • When Merliah pulls the Celestial Comb out, she is seen wearing her swimsuit and her necklace that her mother gave to her before she had to leave instead of her bikini top from Bloomingtails.

Also Known As[]

  • Spanish - Barbie en Una aventura de sirenas
  • French - Barbie et le Secret des Sirènes
  • Italian - Barbie e l'Avventura nell'Oceano
  • German - Barbie und das Geheimnis von Oceana
  • Greek - Μπάρμπι στην Ιστορία μιας Γοργόνας
  • Albanian - Barbie një Histori Sirenash
  • Polish - Barbie i Podwodna Tajemnica
  • Czech - Barbie Příběh mořské panny
  • Croatian - Barbie u priči o sireni
  • Hungarian - Barbie és a Sellőkaland
  • Portuguese - Barbie em Vida de Sereia
  • Dutch - Barbie in een Zeemeerminavontuur
  • Finnish - Barbie ja Merenneidon ta
  • Persian - باربى در افسانه پرى دريايى
  • Hindi - बार्बी : एक  जलपरी की कहानी
  • Hebrew - ברבי בת הים
  • Japanese - バービーの人魚姫の物語
  • Chinese - 芭比之美人鱼历险记