Jacob Tremblay, the voice of Flounder in Disney’s new “The Little Mermaid,” thinks fans have been a little too quick to judge. The internet was rocked after promotional images revealed that the live-action film did indeed include a reimagined version of Ariel’s lovable sidekick, Flounder. Only this recreation was a far cry from the canonically plump fish many fans already know and love. Instead of a rotund yellow fish, the new Flounder appeared to be mostly gray, flattened out, and relatively realistic. But as Tremblay explained at the world premiere on May 8, he’s always been a fan of the updated look, and maybe you will be, too.
“I actually saw it for the first time in the audition,” Tremblay told The Hollywood Reporter of Flounder’s controversial design. “I thought it was really cool because I like how they’re doing it to make them look like real animals.” Other characters who were given similar stylistic makeovers include Scuttle the seagull, played by Awkwafina, and Sebastian the crab, played by Daveed Diggs.
After seeing the movie in full for the first time, Tremblay felt even more strongly about his character. “I finally got to see the movie last night and I thought they worked really well. I couldn’t really imagine it a different way, if that makes sense. I think it worked perfectly,” he said. While he knows the new Flounder will always face some criticism, he advised people to see the film (which hits theaters May 26) before forming an opinion. As he put it: “I think people should see the movie, and then they can judge.”