Flounder is a bright yellow and golden blue coloured tropical fish from The Little Mermaid. He is Ariel's best friend and, despite the name, he is not a flounder.
He was voiced by Jason Marin in the 1989 film, both Edan Gross and Bradley Pierce in the television series, Parker Goris in the prequel and Kingdom Hearts II, and Cam Clarks, as an adult in the sequel.
Flounder scares easily, and is prone to panicking under stressful situations, but when Ariel is in trouble, he comes through for her without hesitation. As seen in Ariel's Beginning, Flounder was not always jittery and nervous, in fact, Flounder was just an adventurous as Ariel. However, it can be concluded that after the first few adventures with Ariel, Flounder began to suffer from anxiety.
As mentioned above, despite his fear, Flounder will eventually come through for Ariel when needed, to the point where he's not only her closest friend, but her most loyal one, at that. Because of this, the two are nearly inseparable, and the bond is incredibly strong throughout the franchise, especially during episodes within the television series. Like Sebastian, though, even Flounder, at times, tires of Ariel's reckless behaviour and expresses so when a dangerous adventure is at hand, but he willingly puts up with it not only to watch out for her, but because he truly loves her, much to Ariel's relief and joy. Because of this, Ariel is rather protective of Flounder, and when in peril, she always puts his safety before her own, making her he's always the first to make it out safe, once again showing the connection between the two to be powerful, to say the least.
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 Prince Eric as a gift. He is first seen after the performance, "Daughters of Triton" with Ariel after sneaking away. When Ariel confesses she is in love with Eric, she strikes a deal with an evil sea witch. Flounder joins Ariel in Eric's Kingdom as she tries to win his heart.
Because he can't survive above water, he is forced to only be able to get news from Scuttle of Sebastian nearby water. He was persistent in asking if they were kissing, showing how dearly he wanted Ariel to get her happy ending.
Flounder joins Sebastian, Scuttle and other fish in the song "Kiss the Girl". Later, Flounder helps Ariel defeat Ursula who is planning to capture Ariel by battling Flotsam and Jetsam. When Ursula is killed, Flounder attends the wedding and gets a good-bye kiss as she and Eric enjoy their marriage. He is voiced by Jason Marin in the 1989 film and the album called Sabastian From The Little Mermaid.
Flounder appears in all the episodes of the prequel television series, sharing constant adventures with Ariel. In the series, he is voiced by Edan Gross and Bradley Pierce. He generally tries to serve as a voice of reason in comparison to Ariel's more adventurous nature, but usually goes along with her anyway. He is often seen giving rides to Sebastian, who cannot swim as fast as Flounder or 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 resulting in his sneezing.
The episode "The Evil Manta" shows that Flounder and Ariel met as young children, though Flounder initially mistook Ariel for a large fish that intended to eat him. The same episode shows Flounder outsmarting Evil Manta, who had been trying to spread prejudice throughout Atlantica. Flounder simply fakes believing Manta's words then works with Ariel to fix the problems Manta caused. The episode "The Beast Within" has Flounder being bitten by a dangerous Howling Hairfish; he then begins to transform into one himself. However, Ariel is able to cure him with the assistance of silverfish.
Flounder has a small role in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, where he is voiced by Cam Clarke. He is reunited with an adult Ariel and takes part in the search for Melody. He is shown as an adult and became a father himself, having a number of five children of his own. He is also shown as braver than he was in the first movie.
Flounder made occasional cameos in the television series House of Mouse. In the episode "Suddenly Hades", Pete flooded the club to prevent Hades from attending the show. However, Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian stayed as guests instead. A running gag in the show includes Flounder being served alive as Ariel's dinner.
He has a larger role in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, in which he first meets Ariel (contradicting the TV series) 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 characterisation is notably different in this movie; he doesn't scare as easily and is much more carefree and high-spirited. It is possible that he became more worrisome after the first few adventures with Ariel. 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 makes a brief cameo in the Hercules: The Animated Series episode "Hercules and the Apollo Mission". The world is in darkness after Pain and Panic steal the sun. Chaos ensues, when looters take advantage of the darkness to break into the Agora stores. Hercules spots the stolen sun's beams begin peeking through the earth's surface realising the sun is in the Underworld Hercules accidentally knocks Icarus into a fountain who emerges from the water with Flounder.
Flounder makes a small cameo as a freshwater fish when Bagheera and Colonel Hathi tumbled into the river.
Kingdom Hearts Series
In the series of video games, Flounder appears as a relatively minor character in The Little Mermaid's based world, Atlantica. In the original game, as well as Kingdom Hearts II, Flounder takes the job of teaching Sora, Donald and Goofy how to swim flexibly in the ocean waters after their arrival to the world.
In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, however, Flounder's role is expanded fairly largely, as he's used as a toy in Ursula's quest for power, holding him hostage and forcing Ariel to choose between giving up the trident or Flounder losing his life. Ariel gives in, and hands over the weapon, but Sora and the gang are able to defeat her before it was too late, saving both the sea and Flounder.
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. He is voiced in Japanese by Rica Matsumoto as a child and Yuji Mitsuya as an adult.
Flounder is a character at the Disney Parks. He makes most appearances in shows and parades but has made live appearances occasionally, specifically in Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party.
He is also commonly found in parades as part of the decor in the float centering Ariel and The Little Mermaid.
He makes an appearance as an audio animatronic in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, and as a puppet in Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
Flounder makes an appearance during Ariel's sequence in World of Color in Disney California Adventure and a cameo in CGI form in the show Mickey's PhilarMagic. His only line in that show is "Cool!"
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Television: The Little Mermaid: The Series