The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! aired Tuesday night, marking ABC's first live musical event. It was also the first of the live musical events to try a hybrid format, and some aspects of it went over on Twitter better than others.
Viewers at home began by watching the 1989 classic animated film, but when the songs came around — both the beloved film numbers and a few new ones written for the broadcast — the special featured live-action performances. Considering how beloved The Little Mermaid is by fans, it was no surprise that Twitter was at the ready to react. There were thoughts on everything from Auli'i Cravalho's portrayal of Ariel and Shaggy — yes, Shaggy — as Sebastian to the set design and aerial flips of the performers. Despite the many varying opinions, though, the one thing almost everyone on Twitter could agree on was that the puppet version of Ariel's sidekick, Flounder, was the stuff of nightmares.
While most of the film's characters had actors playing them during the live-action performances, some were left to be played by puppets, and poor Flounder fell into that category. Unlike the chubby-cheeked, adorable little guppy we knew and loved as children, the doll from the live musical will haunt us for years to come.
Flounder is my sleep paralysis demon... he be scaring me without me even being asleep!!! #TheLittleMermaidLive— Kaitlyn McClary (@kaitlyn_mcclary) November 6, 2019
That flounder puppet is literal nightmare fuel. You're Disney. Do better. I'd prefer a stuffed animal #TheLittleMermaidLive— Lauren Taylor TV (@LaurenTaylorTV) November 6, 2019
Flounder looks like a crackhead fever dream. #TheLittleMermaidLive— Raven 🍂 (@rayofsuunshine) November 6, 2019