Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Aquamarine (2006)

Official Aquamarine Theatrical Poster. The film starred Sara Paxton as Aquamarine, Emma Roberts as Claire, and JoJo as Hailey.

Aquamarine is a fun, light-hearted, warm, romantic, spirited comedy for all ages. Aquamarine is based on the Young Adult best-selling novel written by Alice Hoffman.

The screenplay for Aquamarine was written by  John Quaintance and Jessica Bendinger. The film was was  directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum (credited as Elizabeth Allen).

Aquamarine is about two pre-teens girls named Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (JoJo) whose friendship is put to the test, when Hailey is making the final preparations for her move to Australia with her marine biologist mother. 

Claire (Emma Roberts), Aquamarine (Sara Paxton), and Hailey (JoJo) in the 20th Century Fox film Aquamarine

They have a slumber party and pray to the sea god that Hailey’s mom will change her mind about the move. Seconds later, a violent storm erupts and the girls think nothing of it. The next morning, the girls go to the beach club pool, where they see the destruction from the storm. Hailey, falls into the pool and sees a mysterious blue hair and silver tail in the water. They decide to explore later that night and astonished to discover a mermaid in the beach club pool.

The mermaid, introduces herself as Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and she becomes fast friends with Hailey and Claire. Aquamarine conveys to the girls that she must prove to her father that love exists or she’ll be forced to marry a merman that she’s never met.Aquamarine seamlessly transforms into a human girl during the day and can remain that way, as long as she doesn’t get wet. At night, she reverts back to her mermaid form.

When Aquamarine meets Raymond (Jake McDorman), he rejects her advances. Hailey and Claire see how devastated Aquamarine is and makes it their mission for Raymond to fall in love with her. But their plans are thwarted by mean girl Cecilia (Arielle Kebbel), who also has a crush on Raymond and is constantly standing in the girl’s way.

At the street fair, Raymond spends some time with Aquamarine and asks her to go to The Last Splash party with him. Aquamarine is flattered, but leaves abruptly, not giving him an answer because it’s almost sunset and her legs will transform into a tail. Claire and Hailey find a water tower for Aquamarine to spend the night in, excited for Aquamarine’s date with Raymond the following night.

Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and Raymond (Jake McDorman) in the film Aquamarine

But Cecilia has other plans. She goes to Raymond and tells him, that Aquamarine has a boyfriend in another town and invites Cecilia to the party instead. Hailey and Claire find Raymond and tell him that Cecilia is lying about Aquamarine, so he gets back together with Aquamarine.

Aquamarine and Raymond dance at the party and they become incredibly close. Unfortunately, Aquamarine can’t stay for long, since it’s almost sunset and she’ll transform back into a mermaid. She flees the party, leaving Raymond baffled about her abrupt departures.

Cecilia follows Aquamarine to the water tower and discovers that she’s a mermaid. Cecilia seeks out the press to expose Aquamarine and her secret to the world. Aquamarine, however, is one step ahead of her, the handyman Leonard helps Aquamarine and she grants him a wish.

Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and Raymond (Jake McDorman) in Aquamarine

Cecilia is humiliated when she takes the press to the water tower and Aquamarine isn’t there. She swears that Aquamarine is a mermaid and will prove it.

The following day, Aquamarine asks Raymond if he loves her. He tells her that he likes her, but he doesn’t her. She’s devastated by his answer, and as luck would have it, Cecilia is nearby. She pushes Aquamarine into the sea and she turns into a mermaid. It doesn’t take long, for Aquamarine’s father to call her home with a great big storm. Hailey and Claire jump into the water, not wanting Aquamarine to leave. They find her on a  buoy, clearly defying her father’s orders to return home. Aquamarine tells Claire and Hailey that she had learned that love exists from their friendship and that she’s learned so much from them. This answer, is enough to prove to Aquamarine’s father, that love in fact exists.

As a form of gratitude, Aquamarine hands Hailey and Claire a starfish, so they could make a wish. Hailey changes her mind about using her wish to not move to Australia, knowing how hard her mother worked to get the new job. So instead, Claire, Hailey, and Aquamarine promise to always visit each other and to love one another forever. Aquamarine swims up to Raymond, in her mermaid form and he asks her when she’ll surface again. She tells him that she has to talk to her father about a few things and then she’ll return to him.

And finally, Aquamarine and Raymond share their happily ever after with a tender kiss.

Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM): The Thirteenth Year

Original poster for the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM): The Thirteenth Year released in 1999

Back in the 90s, Disney Channel had new original movies released every single month. In May of 1999, that original movie was The Thirteenth Year.

“The Thirteenth Year” was directed by  Duwayne Dunham and starred Chez Starbuck as Cody, Justin Jon Ross as Jess Wheatley, Courtnee Draper as Sam. Brent Briscoe as Big John Wheatley, Tim Redwine as Sean Marshall, Dave Couiler as Whit Griffin, Lisa Stahl as Sharon Griffin, and Stephanie Chantel Durelli as the Mermaid/Cody’s Mom.

Since The Thirteenth Year is a Disney Channel Original Movie it is rated G.

The movie opens when an ambitious fisherman named Big Jessie mistakes a mermaid for a large fish. As he’s hunting her down, using sonar technology, the mermaid places her newborn son in a small boat for safekeeping.

The mermaid goes back to Big Jessie’s boat and reveals herself to him. He’s in a state of shock and wonder.

Minutes later, the Griffin’s hears a baby crying and find the little boy on their boat. They name him Cody.

Chad Starbuck as Cody Griffin in the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM): The Thirteenth Year 1999

13 years later Cody is the most popular guy at his middle school and is the Captain of the swim team, the Marlons. He also has a beautiful girlfriend, Sam.

At Cody’s 13th birthday party, he invites the school nerd Jess to his birthday party. Sean makes rude remarks to Jess, about how he can’t swim, so Jess gives his birthday gift to Cody’s Mom and asks her to give it to him.

Shortly after a humiliated Jess leaves the party, Cody goes inside the house to get some water. Sam follows behind him and gives him his birthday gift: A frame with her picture in it and a kiss.

Chad Starbuck as Cody Griffin in Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM)The Thirteenth Year

After the party, Cody’s adoptive parents tell him, now that he’s thirteen years old, his whole life is different. His Dad notices, the unopened gift from Jess and tosses it to him. Cody is at first, unimpressed that Jess gave him a copy of “20,000 Leagues under the Sea” by Jules Verne for his birthday. Cody isn’t a reader, he’s an athlete.

A few days after his birthday, Cody begins to feel ‘strange’. He needs to drink an excessive amount of water, his hands become sticky or slimy (like Spider-Man), he has an electric charge (like an eel), his speed in the water increases, and he has a weird scaly rash.

Not knowing where to turn, Cody confides in Jess about his fishy-like symptoms, knowing that Jess is very knowledgeable about marine biology and oceanography. Jess begins to run tests and comes to the conclusion that Cody is a merman.

Chad Starbuck as Cody and Courtnee Draper as Sam in the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM): The Thirteenth Year

When Jess tells Cody his theory, at first Cody is turned off by it, believing Jess made a mistake or has no idea, what he’s talking about. Seconds later, Cody tells Jess that he’s adopted and that he doesn’t know where he came from.

That night, Cody’s adoptive parent’s tell him how they found him in the sea. He shows them the scales on his hands and at first, his parents think nothing of it and even call the doctor. The doctor diagnoses him with puberty. But Cody, insists thats not the issue, and the changes are something else.

Cody begins to have dreams that he’s swimming under water and he doesn’t have to hold his breath. He sees a beautiful woman, luring him close with her glowing hands. The dream becomes repetitive and Cody comes the conclusion, that Jess’ merman theory is correct.

His adoptive parents finally believe that Cody’s becoming a merman, but don’t know how to help him. Cody becomes secretive around his friends, except for Jess and Sam is upset that Cody is pulling away from her. She begins to wonder, what is wrong with him and why he’s not being honest with her.

Meanwhile, Big Jessie notices the changes that Cody is experiencing and wonders if he’s connected to the mermaid he almost caught 13 years ago.Big Jess takes it upon himself to hunt the mermaid again, knowing she’ll surface again, to see her son, Cody.

Cody tries to continue normal life, despite becoming a merman and Sam discovers the truth, during nationals. Cody is forced to tell Sam the truth and learns that Big Jess is on the hunt for Cody and his mom, to prove that mermaids exist.

As Cody’s body progressively becomes more merman in the water, he realizes that to complete the transformation, he must see his mother in the sea. He goes into the water, despite his adoptive-parent’s wishes and is captured by Big Jess.

Jess, goes into the water and rescues Cody, despite the fact, that he can’t swim. Cody rescues Jess and Big Jess feels guilty for his actions and lets Cody go. Cody sees his real mother ascend from the water, calling him home. He jumps into the water, his mother’s hands glowing, and his transformation is complete.

Cody surfaces a merman. Sam tells him not to fall for any mermaids while he’s in the sea. Cody promises that he’ll return home at the end of the summer.

Cody leaps from the water and starts his new life as a merman.