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‘The Little Mermaid’: Jacob Tremblay talks about filling Flounder’s iconic fins – National

Jacob Tremblay sat down with Global News to discuss the voice of Flounder, one of Disney’s most iconic fish, in the new live-action reimagining of “The Little Mermaid.”

Disney/Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Like most teenagers, Jacob Tremblay can’t remember the first time he watched The little Mermaid.

The 16-year-old actor wasn’t born when the original movie was released in 1989, but the iconic Disney flick was rooted in his childhood anyway. Even before he was cast as Ariel Flounder’s best friend, he knew how to sing the score because he grew up with it.

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Tremblay was just 13 when he was cast as the lead voice actor in Disney’s latest live-action reimagining. He stepped into the shoes of Flounder – or rather, fins – to tell the story of a young mermaid, Ariel, who makes a deal with an evil sea witch to grow legs and live on earth in order to fall in love with a prince, all at the cost of his voice.

Alongside stars like Halle Bailey as Ariel, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, performances by Tremblay and his castmates will leave you wanting audiences around the world to be part of their world.

Tremblay gave Global News a glimpse into the magic of manufacturing The little Mermaidand praised the film for satisfying nostalgia while telling a whole new generation of kids they shouldn’t have to silence their voices to be heard.

Was it intimidating to play such a famous role as The little Mermaid‘s Flounder?

Jacob Tremblay: Yes, it was really quite daunting to recreate a character, but the thing about this movie is that everyone in the movie was on set at the start. So getting down to business with Halle, Daveed and Awkwafina… all of these people were really nice and really really friendly and made you feel welcome. Rob Marshall is a fantastic director and he gave me confidence on set. So it was a great experience.

You’ve already voiced an animated sea creature once in Disney’s Lucasbut was it different to play Flounder?

Very different. The thing about Lucas it was that I was registered in a booth, and that’s what I was used to. But for this one, we were all together, and they had it set up as a stage. It was me, Daveed and Awkwafina and they had cameras capturing our expressions so they could implement them into the animation. Then Rob Marshall was there to direct us, and Halle was there to deliver his lines. So we could really riff on each other, and there’s actually surprisingly a lot of improvisation, which I didn’t expect at all.

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The little Mermaid It’s the first time you sing in a movie. Did your castmates give you any directions?

I was quite nervous at first, but everyone was so nice to me. I felt nervous because obviously with all these people around you want to make sure you’re giving 100% and can keep up with them. I remember hearing Halle sing for the first time in person, and it gave me goosebumps. It made everyone in the room cry. It made my mom scream because she grew up with the original. Seeing that in person was really special. It was like a big family at the end of the day.

The flounder looks much more like an actual fish in the reimagining. Some people even said he looked a bit scary. What did you think when you saw the character designs?

I liked it because it was at the time when The Lion King was released recently, so Disney was going for that realistic depiction in their live-action. I think the designs worked really well together. When the animals come out of the water and talk to Ariel, I think it suits her very well. I don’t know what it would look like if it were different. I think the point of this film is to make animals real. Somehow it makes the ocean so familiar. In Under the sea, they have these beautiful creatures and they are so beautifully choreographed. It’s hard to believe that each of these animals exist in real life. It’s just crazy.

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This version of The little Mermaid changed a few song lyrics and changed the overall message of the story. Did you approve?

I love her so much. The changes to the original songs, the adjustments, are so minor that I didn’t even realize there was a difference. There are also new characters, which is great. They went even further into characters like Prince Eric, who now has his own song. The rendition of this song, and even the romance between Prince Eric and Ariel, is really cool because they make it as much a friendship between them as there is a romance. It wasn’t really there in the original.

What can dedicated fans The little Mermaid wait for new movie?

They can expect the characters they love even deeper, and new songs, new characters to help them in their development. I’m really excited for the original fans to witness this.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

“The Little Mermaid” is currently playing in theaters across Canada.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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