Splash Turns 30: 8 Memorable Mermaids from Pop Culture

Daryl Hannah in Splash

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA (958291a) Moviestore Collection/Rex USA

updated 03/06/2014 AT 5:00 PM ET

originally published 03/09/2014 AT 2:15 PM ET

Tom Hanks recently amazed audiences in the Academy Award-nominated Captain Phillips, and it was 30 years ago that the actor’s first major movie set sail. Splash hit the big screen on March 9, 1984.

Starring Hanks and Daryl Hannah, this fishy romantic comedy tells the tale of a man who meets an enchanting mermaid named Madison during his childhood. Years later, Madison (Hannah) seeks out Hanks’s character, Allen, on the mean and dry streets of NYC. Allen falls for Madison and they become entangled in a series of adorable misunderstandings.

If you thought relationships were hard, try dating a woman who is fluent in dolphin and only has legs some of the time.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Splash, the movie that brought Hanks into our lives, and mermaids into our hearts, here’s a look back at other finned vixens.

Daryl Hannah in Splash

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA (958291a) Moviestore Collection/Rex USA

1. Ariel from the The Little Mermaid

Release Date: Nov. 17, 1989
Sea Story: Much like Madison, Ariel spends this Disney movie pining for a land lover. The redheaded swimmer eventually switches her sea legs for real feet, but the transformation comes at a sea witch’s price.

2. Aquamarine from Aquamarine

Release Date: March 3, 2006
Sea Story: Emma Roberts and Joanna “JoJo” Levesque discover a bubbly sea siren in their pool. Tween-approved hijinks ensue.

3. Zoolander’s Merman

Release Date: Sept. 28, 2001
Sea Story: Among Ben Stiller’s many modeling jobs in Zoolander, his merman commercial for Aveda may be the best. Remember, wetness is the essence of beauty.

4. The Girls of H2O: Just Add Water

Release Date: July 7, 2006
Sea Story: This Australian TV show, which ran until 2010, follows the lives of three teenage friends who find a secret cave that transforms them into mermaids. Just when you thought puberty couldn’t get more complicated …

5. The Ladies of Sirens

Release Date: Nov. 3, 1994
Sea Story: Starring Hugh Grant, Elle Macpherson and Portia de Rossi, this risqué movie explores what happens when a minister and his wife collide with the siren call of three water-loving ladies.

6. Georges Méliès’s The Mermaid

Release Date: 1904
Sea Story: One of the world’s first film directors, Georges Méliès was the first to tinker with special effects. His early work with camera tricks and costuming brought the magic of fairy tales and imagination to life, mermaids included.

7. The Mermaid’s Annette Kellerman

Release Date: 1911
Sea Story: Not to be confused with Méliès’s short, this movie starred Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman wearing film’s first swimmable mermaid costume. Kellerman’s work in The Mermaid paved the way for future tail wearers, like Hannah in Splash

8. Chicken of the Sea’s Mermaid Mascot

Release Date: 1914
Sea Story: While she may not be a movie star, this mermaid has served as a tuna can guardian for decades. The smiling siren also helped to give the world Jessica Simpson’s classic Newlyweds line: “Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says Chicken… by the Sea.” Never forget.

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