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Flounder from The Little Mermaid is most likely an angelfish or a similar tropical reef fish. It is not known which exact fish species Disney used as inspiration for the character of Flounder, but he is definitely not a flounder or a guppy.So let’s have a closer look at the flounders, guppies, anglefishes and some other options.
What kind of fish is Flounder?Is Flounder a tang?Is Flounder an angelfish?Is Flounder from The Little Mermaid a guppy?Why Flounder is not a flounderWhy is Flounder called Flounder if he is not a flounder?
What kind of fish is Flounder?
Disney did not specify what kind of fish flounder is. To be honest, we don’t even know if Flounder has real counterparts out there in the ocean, given that Disney like to mix up ideas to create their own fictional world.
Is Flounder a tang?Flounder’s most prominent features are his bright yellow color and his stripes. These features can be found in the yellow and the convict tang.
The yellow Hawaiian tang has one of the prettiest yellow colors in the ocean, which looks very much like Flounder’s color.They can reach about 8 inches (20,3 cm) in length.The only problem is that the yellow tangs don’t have any blue strips like Flounder.
The convict tang is a relative of the yellow tang and they actually have stripes – just like a convict’s clothes. The stripes do in fact look very similar to Flounder’s because they are vertical and they start at the top and don’t reach all the way down to their bellies.They can grow up to about 8 inches long (20,3 cm).The only thing that doesn’t really fit is the colors: they aren’t very yellow at all and their stripes have more of a gray color than blue.
Is Flounder an angelfish?Another kind of tropical fish that looks very similar to Flounder is the angelfish. There are two species in particular, that might just be his siblings – two very royal siblings that is: the royal angelfish and the emperor angelfish.
The royal angelfish (also called regal angelfish) looks strikingly similar to Flounder. They have an intense yellow color with blue and gray vertical stripes.They can grow up to 10 inches (25,4 cm) long.If they had fewer and no gray stripes and all fins were blue, they would be pretty much indistinguishable. At least color and pattern-wise.But what about the body and face shape? The tangs and the royal angelfish all don’t quite capture the cute expression that Flounder has. But there is one fish that has just that.
The emperor angelfish has the same cute baby face as Flounder. It also has the same yellow color as the yellow tang and the royal angelfish, but it has horizontal instead of vertical stripes. Flounder’s stripes are vertical though.They can get quite big, the adults are about 15 inches (38,1 cm) in length. So size-wise all four of the fish would be of a similar size as Flounder is in the movies when you compare him to Ariel.However, I think that with the fins detracted the tangs might be a bit smaller than Flounder was in the movies. The two angelfish could be pretty much the same size as him though.Since they don’t only have the right size but also look more similar to Flounder, the probability that Disney used angelfish as an inspiration for Flounder is quite high.
Is Flounder from The Little Mermaid a guppy?
Why is Flounder called Flounder if he is not a flounder?There is only one explanation for how Flounder got his name: it doesn’t have anything to do with his bilogical fish family but with his character.The word “to flounder” means to be clumsy in the water (or mud) or to move awkwardly as well as to be in a difficult situation or struggle with something as if you lost your balance for a while.You can literally say “Flounder floundered around in the water” which would basically mean that Flounder is a pretty clumsy fish, even in the water.This name actually fits his anxious character quite well. He gets scared easily. For example in that scene where he and Ariel sneak into the shipwreck, he is very worried that there might be a shark around.Furthermore, he is very clumsy indeed! In the same scene, he gets stuck in the ship’s bull’s-eye, then he gets scared by a skeleton and jumps against the walls of the ship making the wood fall down. When the shark is after him he then bumps his head on a pole.You can watch the video again to see what I mean. He is basically a cute fish in a china shop. So his name actually makes a lot of sense after all.
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