The Night Thread Goes To The Little Mermaid’s Island

This wasn’t my original plan for the thread tonight, but it’s a cool bit of Disney and Muppet ephemera and the Little Mermaid posting yesterday was fun. So here we go!

Back in the late eighties, Disney came very close to acquiring the Jim Henson Company. One of the projects they worked on together during those negotiations, supposedly proposed by Jim himself, was The Little Mermaid’s Island. Intended for the Disney Channel, it was going to be an educational show a la Welcome to Pooh Corner and Dumbo’s Circus. Ariel (Marietta DePrima, best known now as Sally from The Hughleys) would interact with Muppety versions of the movie’s creatures (Flounder, Sebastian, Scuttle, Max, Flotsam and Jetsam), with Samuel E. Wright and Buddy Hackett set to reprise their vocal roles. Grimsby was also there, reimagined as a ship captain instead of…uh, whatever he did in the original movie. Oh, and there was a dragon because why not, and Flounder had a sister, Sandy, who could easily be identified as the Girl Fish because she was yellow and pink instead of yellow and blue.

Despite the Little Mermaid subsequently getting an animated series and two DTV sequels, Sandy never appears again, which makes me wonder what unfortunate fate befell her.

Two episodes of this show were filmed, but the project (and the merger as a whole) fell apart when Henson passed away in 1990. Both episodes have been leaked to the internet, and it’s a cool glimpse of what might have been.

Also, if anyone feels like arguing about Star Wars, this version of Grimsby was played by Clive Revill, the original voice of The Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back.

Have fun posting!