While most have found themselves filled with abject terror after laying their eyes upon Disney’s design for Flounder in their upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid, his actor, Jacob Tremblay, has thrown the full weight of his support behind the bubbly fish’s live-action appearance.
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Unveiled in full with Disney’s April 26th release of The Little Mermaid‘s primary cast posters, Flounder’s new look sees the angelfish-inspired sidekick giving off an air that’s less ‘life under the sea is wetter’ and more ‘poor unfortunate soul’, with Disney’s latest attempt at translating animation to live-action failing to escape the same unexpressive, ‘uncanny animal valley’ that their previous The Lion King remake is still famous for to this day.
Constantly wearing a twitchy, deadpan expression, devoid of much of the color that defined his predecessor, and so skinny that at times it stretches one’s ability to suspend their disbelief, the fish’s appearance has been widely panned, to say the least.
The response to Flounder’s reveal was perhaps best summed by a single tweet from the official Twitter account for the Southlake, Texas Department of Public Safety.
Retweeting the character’s new poster, the Department playfully declared, “Yes, this is a crime – we’re just trying to find out which one.”
However, while most found themselves put off by the once-energetic fish’s appearance, his actor, the aforementioned Tremblay, was not one of them.
Asked by Variety about his thoughts about the criticisms leveled against Flounder’s design while on the ‘blue’ carpet for The Little Mermaid‘s world premiere, the Room actor asserted, “I actually was shown the design [when I went in for my audition. [Director] Rob [Marshall] had shown me. And I just had complete faith in Rob.”
Jacob Tremblay doesn't think Flounder should look any different. https://t.co/Ha4HhgrnJt pic.twitter.com/M8fOCL86Ej
— Variety (@Variety) May 9, 2023
“I thought it looked great, because that was, like, the puppet they had on set,” he added. “And then, of course, when I went and saw the film — I watched it last night — and I think it just all works so well. I couldn’t imagine it looking different. I just think that, I mean, they were geniuses, and they kind of just made it work so well.”
Ariel and her dead-eyed companion are currently set to surf into theaters on May 26th.
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