King Triton and his wife, Queen Athena, rule over the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, which is filled with music and laughter. They have seven young daughters, the youngest of whom is Ariel. The merfolk are shown relaxing in a lagoon above water, and Triton gives Athena a music box. Suddenly, a big pirate ship approaches. Everyone escapes except Athena, who is crushed by the ship when she tries to save the music box. Devastated by Athena's death, Triton throws the music box into the ocean and bans music from the kingdom.
Ten years later, Ariel and her six older sisters live under a strict routine maintained by their governess, Marina Del Rey and her assistant, Benjamin. Marina hates being the girls' governess and longs to be Triton's attaché, a job currently filled by Sebastian the crab. Ariel is frustrated by their current lifestyle, which brings her into conflict with her father. One day, Ariel encounters Flounder, a young tropical fish whom she later follows to an underground music club. She is overjoyed by the presence of music, and is shocked when she sees Sebastian performing there. When her presence is revealed, the entire band stops playing and hides, believing Ariel will tell her father about them. Ariel sings a song explaining her love of music and the remembrance of her mother and she joins the club with an oath. Imaged Ariel remembering music. Ariel returns to the palace, and sisters confront her over her disappearance. She explains where she was, and the following night all seven girls go to the club to have fun. Marina secretly finds them, and she later reports their activities to Triton. Sebastian, Flounder and the band are sent to jail, while Marina gets the job she wants.
Triton confines his daughters to the palace, which results in Ariel asking him why music isn't allowed. Triton refuses to answer and shouts that he won't have music in his kingdom. Distraught, Ariel confronts Triton and says that Athena wouldn't have wanted music to be forbidden and angrily swims to the girls' bedroom, her saddened sisters soon following, while Marina, who is not the girls' governess anymore, is now Triton's new attaché. That night, she decides to leave Atlantica and frees the jailbirds. Sebastian leads them to a deserted place far from the palace where Ariel finds Athena's music box, as Sebastian hoped. Ariel and Sebastian decide to return to Atlantica to bring the music box to Triton, hoping that it will change his mind, as he has forgotten how to be happy after Athena's death.
On the way back, Marina and her electric eels confront Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian. Before music is restored back into the kingdom, the final battle begins when Marina bans Ariel from going back to Atlantica. Marina wants to stop them so she will retain her position of "power", and a struggle ensues. The music band friends save Ariel and Flounder from being murdered by Marina's three electric pet eels. It ends when Marina almost kills Sebastian, but Ariel pushes her away, getting hit in the process. Triton arrives in time to witness this, and he is remorseful for his actions. He sings the lyrics of "Athena's Song", and Ariel wakes up. The film ends when Triton restores music to Atlantica and appoints Sebastian as the new court composer, much to everyone's glee with Ariel and Flounder and later bans evil from his kingdom. Everyone, including Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, and six older sisters, rejoices except Marina, who has been sent to prison and is constantly blowing her nose.
- Ariel (Jodi Benson)
- Flounder (Parker Goris)
- Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright)
- King Triton (Jim Cummings)
- Queen Athena (Loreli Hill Butters (speaking) Andrea Robinson (Singing))
- Attina (Kari Wahlgren)
- Alana (Jennifer Hale)
- Aquata (Grey DeLisle)
- Arista (Grey DeLisle)
- Adella (Tara Strong)
- Andrina (Tara Strong)
- Shelbow (Jim Cummings)
- Marina Del Ray (Sally Field)
- Benjamin (Jeff Bennet)
- Ink Spot (Rob Paulsen)
- Swifty (Rob Paulsen)
- Cheeks (Kevin Michael Richardson)
- Ray-Ray (Kevin Michael Richardson)
For a full transcript of The Little Mermaid III, click here.