In 1989, Disney had a huge success in their newest animated film The Little Mermaid. It's understandable that Disney would attempt to profit on its popularity. And they did, with a TV series, multiple video games, toys, books, and countless other spinoffs.
Little Mermaid's Island was a spinoff that didn't quite take.
Little Mermaid's Island was a 1990 collab series between Jim Henson and Disney. Set on an island sometime prior to the film, the series is a live-action show where each episode was planned to have at least five songs. The series stars a live action Ariel (played by Marietta Deprima) and a live action Grimbsy (played by Clive Revill). The animal characters are all puppets. The series also introduces Flounder's twin sister named "Sandy".
Only ever two episodes ("Sebastian's Birthday" and "Tell The Truth") were ever produced. Little Mermaid's Island is especially notable for being one of Jim's last projects. The character of Sandy, however, ended up having a prominent role in a series of spin-off Little Mermaid books.
More about this show, including what it actually looked like, can be read on the Muppets Wiki.
Little Mermaid's Island provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: Triton, Ursula, and Eric are absent.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the film, Grimsby didn't know of Ariel and wasn't particularly close to her. Here they're friends even before Ariel met Eric.
- Ascended Extra: Bit character Grimbsy is a main character here. He's also one of Ariel's friends.
- Birthday Episode: The first episode revolves around Sebastian's birthday. He thinks that everyone has forgotten about it.
- Canon Immigrant: Sandy was the only character introduced in this spinoff to subsequently appear in other Little Mermaid media.
- Half-Identical Twins: Flounder and Sandy look the same except for some of their scales.
- Lighter and Softer: Judging from the two episodes, it's aimed at younger fans and is slightly edutainment in that the episodes were meant to have aesops. The series is also devoid of heavy drama, dark elements, or fanservice, unlike the original film.
- Remember the New Guy?: Flounder has a twin sister named "Sandy". Flounder never mentioned any siblings in the original film.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Flounder is yellow-and-blue while Sandy is yellow-and-pink. Presumably it's meant to be purple like in the books, but it looks pinkish.
- Role Reprisal: Buddy Hackett is Scuttle's voice, unlike the television cartoon.