Tuesday, January 31, 2012
4252-4253. Little Mermaid and Flounder
Ariel is a fictional character and the lead protagonist of Walt Disney Pictures' twenty-eighth animated film The Little Mermaid (1989). She subsequently appears in the film's prequel television series, direct-to-video sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (where her daughter takes over as the protagonist, while Ariel is a secondary character instead) and direct-to-video prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in all animated appearances and merchandise. She is the fourth Disney Princess and the only one to become a mother.
Ariel has a very distinctive appearance, with her long, flowing red hair, blue eyes, greenish-blue tail, and a purple seashell bikini top. In the films and television series she is the youngest daughter of King Triton and Queen Athena. She is often rebellious, and in the first film longs to be a part of the human world. She marries Prince Eric, whom she rescued from a shipwreck, and together they have a daughter, Melody.
The character is based on the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" story, but was developed into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. Ariel has received a mixed reception from critics; some publications such as Time criticize her for being too devoted to her man whereas others, such as Empire, praise the character for her rebellious personality, a departure from previous Disney Princesses.
Flounder, Ariel's best friend, is a bright yellow and golden blue colored tropical fish despite the name, he is not a flounder, but is a juvenile atlantic blue tang. He is the secondary tritagonist of the film. In all appearances, he is seen to be younger.
Flounder scares easily, and is prone to panicking under stressful situations like a single shark breaching the sunken ship, but when Ariel is in trouble, he comes through for her without hesitation. In the film he is the only character to give unconditional support for Ariel's fascination with human things, and at one point gives Ariel a statue of Eric as a gift. He is voiced by Jason Marin in the 1989 film and the album called Sebastian From The Little Mermaid.
Flounder appears in all the episodes of the prequel television series, sharing constant adventures with Ariel. According to the television series, Flounder's real name is Guppy Number 35. In the episode "Land Of The Dinosaurs", when he has been found frozen in an ice cube, Ariel thaws him with King Triton's trident and he gets a cold. In the series, he is voiced by Edan Gross and Bradley Pierce.
Flounder has a small role in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, where he is reunited with an adult Ariel and takes part in the search for Melody. He became a teenager and a father himself, with five children of his own and he first meets Melody in Morgana's lair. In this film, he is voiced by Cam Clarke.
He has a larger role in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, in which he first meets Ariel (contradicting the TV series, specifically the episode "The Evil Manta", which showed a completely different version of their first meeting) and later unknowingly leads her to the Catfish Club, where he works as a waiter, but dreams of being a part of the Catfish Club Band. His characterization is notably different in this movie; he does not scare as easily and is much more carefree and high-spirited. He's obsessed with music, constantly humming and beatboxing even at inappropriate moments, which, given that music is forbidden in Atlantica, lands him into trouble on more than one occasion, but which also helps others keep their spirits up, most notably when his beatboxing kicks off the reprise of "Jump In The Line (Shake, Senora)" when he, Ariel, Sebastian and the Catfish Club Band are on the run from Atlantica. In this film, he is voiced by Parker Goris.
Flounder appears in the Kingdom Hearts series, where his role as Ariel's friend remains. His biggest role is in Kingdom Hearts II, where Ursula sent him to the surface to force Ariel to give her the trident. He also sings his part in the song called "A New Day is Dawning". He also appears in Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey as Ariel's sidekick and is voiced by Anthony Skillman. He is also a remote-controlled playable character in the same game seen holding a big conch shell on his head with your help to catch the voice orbs.
At the Disney theme parks, Flounder makes cameo appearances in the Mickey's Philharmagic 3D show and in the Hong Kong Disneyland version of "It's a Small World". He has also appeared in the parks as a walk-around character, but mostly in parades, shows and special events such as "Mickey's Pirate & Princess Party".
Flounder appears in the stage adaptation of The Little Mermaid. His supporting role is similar as in the film, but he does not give Ariel the statue of Eric, and does not help Ariel reach Eric's wedding barge, as the Vanessa subplot has been removed. However, Flounder performs a new song titled "She's in Love", which he sings with Ariel's sisters when they notice that Ariel has been acting "fishy lately". The stage role was originated by Cody Hanford and J.J. Singleton, but the two actors had to leave the show when their height overshot that of Sierra Boggess, who originated Ariel. The role was taken over by Trevor Braun and Brian D'Addario. On the Original Broadway Cast Recording, Brian D'Addario performs as Flounder.