The Little Mermaid crew actually burned ship down to create wreck

'The Little Mermaid' crew actually burned a ship down for the epic shipwreck scene.

Director Rob Marshall is at the helm of Disney's new live action remake of the 1989 animated classic, and he has opened up about the technical challenges involved with shooting the movie.

He told "This was complicated because we actually had to have a shipwreck, and so we needed to destroy the ship basically.

"Which we did - all the fire in the film is real. So we actually burned the ship - literally - down."

The filmmaker previously directed 2011's 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides', and that experience proved "invaluable" for 'The Little Mermaid'.

He explained: "All the movies I've done prior to this movie really helped me with this film because it was so complicated, technically.

"The fact that I'd worked on ships before and understood how to work on ships, and had that experience - especially with the whole ship wreck in this and the storm - was invaluable.

"I feel at home on a ship. Although I will say, our ship was on a gimble on a backlot at pinewood, there was no water around it.

"We had rain and we had big dump tanks and things like that, spray and anything that interacts with people, but we weren't actually on water. A lot of the 'Pirates' movies, I was actually on water."

His work on 'Mary Poppins Returns' also helped as he got used to working with blue screen and creating scenes that weren't really there.

He added: "On 'Poppins 2', the whole animation sequence, there was so much CGI and hand painted animation, but just the fact that we'd worked basically in a blue screen stage where there's only two live actors, everything else is not real - similar here... It was challenging."