Flounder and Ariel
Images via Disney

Flounder looking like he’s seriously reevaluating his life choices in ‘The Little Mermaid’ is giving Disney die-hards déjà vu

It's 'The Lion King' all over again.

Early trailers for Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid continue to generate polarized opinions online.

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Some people are awaiting the film’s release with bated breath, as they look ahead to Halle Bailey’s big debut as Ariel, and anticipate wonderful performances from the likes of Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, and Daveed Diggs. Others are feeling far less optimistic, however, as the flick’s sub-par CGI and, in particular, a broadly-disliked take on Flounder (look how they massacred our boy) sour excitement for the latest live-action Disney adaptation.

Flounder’s deeply unimpressive look — what happened to those brilliant colors he sported in the animated classic? — is bringing back memories among Disney die-hards, and very few of them are good. In fact, many fans are suffering flashbacks to another thoroughly disappointing live-action attempt.

The idea of a live-action Lion King raised eyebrows long before the film dropped in 2019, and skeptical audiences largely found themselves justified when the flick actually arrived in theaters. It wasn’t a complete dumpster fire, but the CGI used to bring beloved characters like Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa to life was broadly lambasted by audiences. You’d think, in the four years that separate The Lion King from The Little Mermaid, Disney might have learned a thing or two.

Flounder’s wide, soulless eyes are serving as the backdrop to a wave of horrified tweets, as users digest the fact that The Little Mermaid learned exactly zero lessons from The Lion King‘s failures.

Comparisons between the two films litter reactions to the latest Little Mermaid poster, with people referring to the latter as “The Lion King (2019) but worse.”

There’s still hope for The Little Mermaid — even if Flounder swims onto screens looking like he was supposed to be yesterday’s dinner — but the lack of improvement between a 2019 live-action attempt and one made today is giving even longtime fans pause. They’ll still likely head to theaters to witness the Flounder failings for themselves, but Disney might want to prep its social media team for yet another thorough Twitter dragging.


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Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.