Today in History: The Cast Member who was Cast Off

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Ozkar the Spiny Dogfish, a mermaid’s best friend, with the cast

25 years ago today, on November 17, 1989, Disney”s The Little Mermaid opened across the U.S.

The movie, based on the story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, was a box office and critical success, had a memorable soundtrack, and is credited with breathing new life into Disney”s animation efforts after two decades of commercial failures. The Little Mermaid ushered in the Disney Renaissance and has delighted human children ever since.

Little Known Fact: He”s nowhere to be found in the final cut of the movie, but initially my great-uncle Ozkar was cast in the role of the spiny dogfish. For some unfathomable reason his character didn’t test well with audiences, so his role was scrapped along with any promise of royalty checks. Frankly, I”m not sure why they didn’t include him in the movie; what”s not to love about a cuddly miniature dog shark? Luckily Ozkar has pretty thick skin and shrugged it off, landing recurring roles each summer on the Discovery Channel.

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