A new video posted to the Disney Parks TikTok account suggests Finding Nemo’s Crush the Turtle may be closer to Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989) than we thought, possibly even spawning a crossover cameo.
Turtle Talk with Crush is a 15-minute live show at EPCOT in Walt Disney World and Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. The entirely improvised performance combines comedy and animation to allow Guests to ask the Finding Nemo (2003) character questions and meet some of his friends from the Pixar film and its sequel, Finding Dory (2016).
In the video originally posted by @trythegreystuff_, a young Guest asks Crush if he’s ever met Ariel, then has to explain to the sea-dwelling turtle what “an Ariel” is. Of course, Crush thinks it’s awesome once he understands she’s a mermaid and that mermaids are real, but he easily accepts that neither he nor the young Guest has met one in person.
However, as Crush continues with a story about a similar strange sight, the joke becomes apparent: he describes a time “in the late ’80s” when he witnessed a “really thin manatee” make its way to the ocean’s surface. Moreover, he heard it making a noise not dissimilar to Jodi Benson’s iconic vocalization in the scene where Ariel exchanges her voice for legs in the lair of Ursula the sea witch, which Crush then badly imitates in his surfer’s drawl to the Guests’ delight.
Rather than a mermaid, Crush decides it definitely sounded like “a poor, unfortunate soul,” cementing the joke that the Finding Nemo character met Princess Ariel without even realizing it. Finally, he notes that he hasn’t seen the manatee since, telling the Guest he thinks she’s “part of your world” now.
Certainly, the Guests all had fun with the reference, projecting that a similar sort of cameo would not go unappreciated in the upcoming Little Mermaid live-action remake, which releases this year. Starring Halle Bailey as a reimagined Ariel, the Disney film will adapt the beloved Disney Renaissance classic in new ways.
As a result, who knows what sort of new surprises might be in store when fans relive this new retelling of the siren’s story for the first time? You might even see your favorite surfing sea turtle on screen!