Nemo Doesn't Really Exist: Dark Pixar Fan Theory Explained
A compelling Pixar fan theory suggests Nemo never truly existed in Finding Nemo. Here's a look into the grim belief surrounding Marlin's journey.
Finding Nemo might harbor a dark message based on an intriguing fan theory surrounding the plot of the 2003 Pixar movie. Directed by Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo marked the fifth feature film in the animation studios' history. With a voice cast that included Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and Willem Dafoe, the story featured a clownfish named Marlin embarking on a journey to locate his missing son, Nemo. Though the movie was a bonafide hit with viewers of all ages, the truth in Marlin's search for Nemo may have been bleaker than initially thought.
Aside from the Pixar Theory, which connects all existing installments into one shared universe, there are several notable Finding Nemo theories. In fact, there's a supposed theory linking Finding Nemo to Toy Story 3, particularly Andy's sister Molly. Viewers were quick to notice Molly reading a magazine that featured Darla Sherman, the dentist's niece from Finding Nemo, on the cover. There was also a popular belief suggesting Dory had short-term memory loss due to watching her family die. That didn't turn out to be the case based on the events of Finding Dory, which followed the regal blue tang fish reunite with her parents.
Related: Pixar's New Finding Nemo Spinoff Has The Franchise's Darkest Message Yet
Granted, the situation surrounding Dory in the original movie wasn't the only grim theory to surround a core character. Another dark Pixar theory suggests the animated film predominantly set under the sea is meant to showcase the tragic loss in the eyes of a husband and father. More specifically, the theory posits that Nemo never existed in the movie, and instead, the little clownfish was a figment of Marlin's imagination. The name Nemo suspiciously translates to "no one" or "nobody" in Latin, which means the title of the Pixar movie could be called "Finding No One."
The particular Pixar fan theory presents the idea that Marlin truly lost his wife and soon-to-be children to a barracuda attack. However, where the plot deviates is the notion one fish egg survived before becoming Nemo in the primary timeline. Instead, there's a belief highlighted in the theory that Marlin made up Nemo after all of the eggs were destroyed as a way to cope with his tragic loss of his family before meeting Dory, a fish with memory loss. In Finding Nemo, Marlin showcased himself as a very overprotective father who would go to great lengths for his family. Granted, his journey in finding his "missing son" may have been part of the coping mechanism in an effort to overcome his loss, according to the theory. There's also a thought the journey gave Marlin a way to work through his insecurities while learning important life lessons from those he met during his journey.
While the theory suggesting Nemo never existed is an interesting one, it seems a bit too bleak for Pixar's standards. Although the studio doesn't shy away from death and loss, the movie wouldn't have focused on sequences told from Nemo's point of view if he never existed. The pair also wouldn't have fit into the Finding Dory sequel if Nemo wasn't a true piece of the story. Even though the theory doesn't have strong legs to stand on, some of the basis for Marlin's journey in Finding Nemo remains true. The father did indeed experience tragedy before Nemo came along, and by going on the rescue mission, he learns important lessons on what it means to be the best father he could be to Nemo.
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Halloween Kills Timeline Explained & RecapAbout The Author
Kara Hedash is a features editor and writer for Screen Rant. From time to time, she dives into the world's most popular franchises but Kara primarily focuses on evergreen topics. The fact that she gets to write about The Office regularly is like a dream come true. Before joining Screen Rant, Kara served as a contributor for Movie Pilot and had work published on The Mary Sue and Reel Honey. After graduating college, writing began as a part-time hobby for Kara but it quickly turned into a career. She loves binging a new series and watching movies ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to hidden indie gems. She also has a soft spot for horror ever since she started watching it at too young of an age. Her favorite Avenger is Thor and her favorite Disney princess is Leia Organa. When Kara's not busy writing, you can find her doing yoga or hanging out with Gritty.
Fans of ‘Finding Nemo’ are going crazy over dark movie theory
A new fan theory about the animated childhood classic “Finding Nemo” smells a little fishy.
Fans young and old will remember the heartbreaking scene in which clownfish Nemo is separated from his father.
However, on the “Just the Nobodys” podcast, the hosts conjectured that the character of Nemo never actually existed. In a “Beautiful Mind”-like twist of fate, Marlin — Nemo’s father, voiced by Albert Brooks — has just been imagining his son as a way to cope with the loss of his wife, Nemo’s mother, and their kids.
It may sound ridiculous at first, but there could be some truth to this theory — at least according to the podcasters.
“The word ‘nemo’ in Latin means ‘no one,’ ” they explained. “So Disney is literally telling the audience, ‘We have a movie called “Finding Nemo,” but it actually means “finding no one,” because Nemo’s not real.’ ”
The podcasters rationalize that this reality could explain why it made sense for Marlin’s Pacific-blue-tang sidekick, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), to suffer from memory loss.
“That’s why Dory is such a good friend for Marlin: because she has short-term memory loss and can’t remember that Nemo’s not real.”
While it’s true that “Nemo” in Latin translates to “no one,” the name could have also been chosen to highlight the fact that Nemo was missing for a large portion of the movie.
After uploading on TikTok a clip of their podcast explaining the theory, the video’s views skyrocketed to more than 19 million.
Dubbed the “Finding Nemo Theory,” film fanatics seem to agree, even adding comments with their own speculations.
“Clownfish will kill their own. So the part of the theory is that the dad killed the son and mom. And grieved by imagining,” said one TikTok commenter.
Some fans straight-up disagreed, saying the beloved character’s nonexistence was impossible and poking holes in the theory.
“This isn’t true. What about the other fishes and humans that interacted with Nemo? Such as: the turtles, humans, and other fishes,” wrote Dan Yang.
As the clip ended, one host seemed utterly defeated, saying, “That didn’t even ruin my day — that ruined my whole childhood.”
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This Finding Nemo theory claims that Nemo is dead throughout the entire film, and it's actually spot on
18 June 2021, 14:56
People have been left crushed by the dark twist on the favourite Pixar film which could see Marlin imagining his son.
We love a Disney or Pixar theory as much as the next person, but this latest revelation on Finding Nemo has simply crushed us.
There's currently a theory going around the Internet that the popular film isn't all it seems, and it is annoyingly accurate.
If you love this movie and do not want your day ruined, we advise you don't read on.
Finding Nemo, which was released in 2003, tells the story of a Clown Fish called Marlin who becomes over-protective of his son after his wife Coral and the rest of his children are killed by a barracuda.
After his son, Nemo, is taken by divers, Marlin travels across the ocean to save him from a life in a tank, with the help of a forgetful fish, Dory.
Now, forget everything we just said and listen to this theory – Nemo is not real and Marlin has been imagining him as a way to cope with the death of his wife and children.
Confused? Well, let us break this down for you.
At the beginning of the film, we see Marlin lose his entire family except one child – Nemo.
The theory claims that Nemo is not actually real and that this is simply the way Marlin's brain chooses to deal with his huge loss.
Even the film's title and Nemo's name are a huge clue to the audience as in Latin, Nemo means 'no one'.
Therefore, the film is called 'Finding No One'.
Alongside all this, the theory also claims that Dory is such a great friend for Marlin because her short-term memory loss makes it easy for Marlin to continue the story.
We did warn you it would ruin your day.
Marlin is one of the main characters of Finding Nemo and its sequel Finding Dory. He is Nemo's father and Coral's husband. He is a clownfish. He is the most overprotective and paranoid parent in the ocean. He is one of the biggest worriers, and can't stop giving out safety tips. He is dedicated to bringing up his son Nemo, and also to being there for Dory. Deep down, he is incredibly brave. His length is 7 in (18 cm)
Marlin is not good at telling jokes without taking it too seriously and tends to see the downside of any situation. Luckily, Nemo and Dory always put a smile on his face.
"He's a worrier not a warrior. Meet Marlin, the most doting dad in the ocean. He was a happy-go-lucky fish until a barracuda attacked his wife, Coral. Now he's the most hung-up fish in the sea. He won't let his son leave the anemone, cross a current, or take a school trip without a safety lecture. He has promised to make sure that nothing ever happens to his dear Nemo. But that's the whole problem. He won't let his son live a normal live. It's only when a human diver catches his precious boy, that Marlin learns just how capable he and his son really are."
Marlin and his wife Coral are expecting 400 children, which are due to hatch soon. The two are discussing names for their children, when a barracuda attacks. While Coral disappeared and most of the eggs perished after the barracuda attack, Marlin, and one slightly damaged egg survive. Marlin chooses to name his remaining child Nemo, a name Coral had liked.
As Nemo grows, Marlin becomes very overprotective of him, in part due to Nemo's unusually small right fin, which was a result of the earlier attack. One day, Marlin reluctantly sends Nemo to school. At one point, Nemo swims out into the open ocean to touch a boat as a result of a dare, much to the horror of Marlin. Nemo is captured by a diver. However, the diver drops a mask which bears his address, though Marlin can't read it.
Marlin is able to obtain the help of Dory, who is able to read the address but has short-term memory loss, and learns that Nemo has been taken to Sydney, Australia. Marlin, along with Dory, sets out for Sydney in an attempt to rescue his son. At one point on their journey, Dory is injured by jellyfish. Marlin swims through the jellyfish and is able to rescue her. (He explains that since he lives in an anemone, he is resistant to stings.) Marlin soon passes out, and awakens on the back of a sea turtle named Crush, who is riding the East Australian Current (EAC). After Marlin shares his story with some young sea turtles, word of mouth soon reaches Sydney and eventually, Nemo.
Marlin eventually reaches Sydney's harbor by way of a whale, after becoming lost in the polluted water. Nigel, a pelican who has heard of Marlin and knows Nemo, takes Marlin and Dory to a dentist's office where Nemo was taken. There, they find Nemo, apparently dead (Nemo was actually faking it in an attempt to escape). Saddened, Marlin leaves for home, leaving Dory behind despite her claims that her memory is better with him. Later, Dory meets Nemo, and after remembering Marlin's goal, returns Nemo to Marlin, who becomes overjoyed upon reuniting with his son. However, their heartfelt reunion is cut short when Dory is caught in a fishing net along with thousands of other fish. Marlin, out of fear of losing him again, is initially reluctant to let Nemo go with his plan to save Dory, but upon seeing the determination in Nemo, allows him to do so. Marlin then orders the captured fish to swim down, and eventually, his message is relayed through the fish, who then pull down on the net until the net breaks, freeing them along with Dory and Nemo. Nemo tells his father he doesn't hate him, to which Marlin apologizes to him for his overprotectiveness.
At the end of the film, Marlin and Nemo express their mutual love for each other. After letting go of his son, allowing him to go have an adventure, Marlin, with Dory by his side, proudly watches as Nemo goes off to school.
In the sequel Finding Dory, Marlin and Nemo accompany Dory to the Jewel of Morro Bay, California, in her journey to find her parents, whom she suddenly remembers. When Dory gets kidnapped by the volunteers of the Marine Life Institute, the father-son clownfish duo go on a quest to find her.
Marlin was initially a very playful, happy, and easygoing clownfish as shown through the interaction with his wife. He was shown to be slightly lazy, as he wanted to name half of his children Marlin Jr. and the other half of his children Coral Jr. However, he was also shown to be very brave, as he attempted to defend his wife against the barracuda who sought to attack his children and his wife, but was ultimately repelled and knocked unconscious and into the sea anemone before he could do anything. This protected him, but also cost him his entire family, with the exception of Nemo, who was left with a crack in his egg, which could have caused his "lucky fin."
From this moment on, Marlin became overprotective, neurotic, paranoid, worrisome, and pessimistic, as he made several practices and conditions for Nemo and himself to follow to make sure they were protected and safe. He became paranoid and neurotic about any potential danger that could occur to Nemo and as such rarely left Nemo alone due to the traumatic experience of losing the rest of his family to a barracuda attack, and not wanting the same thing to happen to Nemo. However, this overprotectiveness is what put somewhat of a strain between him and Nemo, as Nemo felt suffocated and oppressed by it.
He also seems to, initially, be very serious, as shown when he couldn't tell a proper joke to some of Nemo's classmates' parents because he kept explaining obvious aspects of the joke, causing him to be considered unfunny despite the apparent notion that all clownfishes were supposed to be funny, which became a recurring gag throughout the movie as others state, "He's not very funny for a clownfish."
During his journey, Marlin was on the verge of losing Nemo, the only family he had left, and was rushing as fast as he could to save Nemo. This caused him to have little patience for Dory's antics and to other sidetracks.
However, despite these qualities, Marlin has proven to love his son more than anything and anyone in this world, and it is this love that fuels his determination, strength, courage, and bravery as he journeyed throughout the sea to find his son after he is kidnapped by humans. Marlin overcame with the bravery and courage not seen in his previous behavior to recover the person he loved most in the world despite the odds being against him.
Throughout the journey, he makes several friends and begins to understand that he should have given Nemo more freedom, particularly through his interactions with Dory and Crush because, as Dory states, "You can't let nothing happen to him, because then nothing will happen to him," meaning if Marlin doesn't let Nemo grow up and get out in the world, he won't be able to live life to the fullest.
He also begins to enjoy himself throughout his journey, and slowly sheds his serious personality, as shown when he had fun when he competed with Dory in racing to see who could get out of the jellyfish valley first and finally managed to have fun with his son Nemo by the end of the film.
- In Monsters, Inc., a painting of Marlin can be seen on the wall behind the Sushi Chef.
- As pointed out by Nigel, a marlin is actually a type of billfish (such as the sailfish and swordfish) that is popularized by sports fishing.
- In reality, clownfish are pretentious hermaphrodites, so whenever a female clownfish within a school of fish dies, a male will change gender to make up for the death and mate with the other male.
- Scientifically speaking, if Finding Nemo had been more accurate to nature, Marlin would have become female shortly after his wife's death. This would have made him Nemo's mother, not his father.
Marlin finding nemo
2003 animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios
This article is about the film. For the franchise, see Finding Nemo (franchise). For the video game, see Finding Nemo (video game).
Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animatedadventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed and co-written by Andrew Stanton with co-direction by Lee Unkrich, the screenplay was written by Bob Peterson, David Reynolds, and Stanton from a story by Stanton. The film stars the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and Willem Dafoe. It tells the story of an overprotective clownfish named Marlin who, along with a regal blue tang named Dory, searches for his missing son Nemo. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and comes to terms with Nemo taking care of himself.
Released on May 30, 2003, Finding Nemo won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the first Pixar film to do so. It was also nominated in three more categories, including Best Original Screenplay. Additionally, it became the highest-grossing animated film at the time of its release, and was the second-highest-grossing film of 2003, earning a total of $871 million worldwide by the end of its initial theatrical run.
Finding Nemo is the best-selling DVD title of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006[update], and was the highest-grossing G-rated film of all time before Pixar's own Toy Story 3 overtook it. The film was re-released in 3D in 2012. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it as the 10th greatest animated film ever made as part of their 10 Top 10 lists. In a 2016 poll of international critics conducted by BBC, Finding Nemo was voted one of the 100 greatest motion pictures since 2000. A spin-off sequel, Finding Dory, was released in June 2016.
Marlin is a clownfish who lives in an anemone in the Great Barrier Reef. His wife, Coral, and most of their eggs are killed in a barracuda attack. Only one damaged egg remains, which Marlin names Nemo.
Years later, Marlin is overprotective of Nemo. On Nemo's first day of school, Marlin embarrasses Nemo, and the two fight. While Marlin is talking to Nemo's teacher, Nemo defiantly approaches a nearby speedboat, where he is captured by a pair of scuba divers. Marlin pursues the boat in vain and meets Dory, a blue tang who suffers from acute short-term memory loss, who offers her help. The two encounter three sharks who've sworn to abstain from eating fish. Marlin discovers a diver's mask that fell from the boat; he accidentally hits Dory with it, giving her a nosebleed. The scent sends one of the sharks into a feeding frenzy, but they flee after accidentally setting off a ring of old naval mines, which knock Marlin and Dory unconscious.
Nemo is placed in an aquarium in a dentist's office in Sydney, Australia. He meets the "Tank Gang", including yellow tang Bubbles, starfish Peach, cleaner shrimp Jacques, blowfish Bloat, royal gramma Gurgle, and damselfish Deb, led by Gill, a Moorish idol. Nemo learns he is to be given to the dentist's niece, Darla, who has killed her previous fish. Gill devises a risky escape plan: Nemo, who can fit inside the aquarium's filter tube, will jam the filter with a pebble, forcing the dentist to put the fish into plastic bags while he cleans the tank, giving them the opportunity to roll out the window and into the harbor. Nemo attempts the maneuver, but fails and is almost killed.
Marlin and Dory wake up unharmed, but the mask falls into a deep trench. They descend after it and encounter an anglerfish which chases them. Dory memorizes the address written on the goggles, and they escape. Dory and Marlin receive directions from a school of moonfish, but Marlin disregards them to take what he believes is a safer route. They stumble into a forest of jellyfish, the stings of which knock them unconscious. They awaken in the East Australian Current with a group of sea turtles including Crush and his son, Squirt. Marlin tells them about his quest, and the story is relayed across the ocean to Sydney where a pelican, Nigel, tells the Tank Gang. Inspired by his father's bravery, Nemo makes another attempt to jam the filter and succeeds, and soon the aquarium is covered in green algae.
Marlin and Dory exit the East Australian Current and are consumed by a blue whale. Dory tries communicating with the whale, which expels them through its blowhole at Sydney Harbour. They meet Nigel, who helps the pair escape from a group of seagulls and takes them to the dentist's office. The dentist has installed a new high-tech filter, foiling the Tank Gang's escape. Darla arrives, but Nemo plays dead to save himself. Nigel causes a disturbance, terrifying Darla and throwing the office into chaos. Marlin, seeing Nemo's act, believes Nemo is dead. After the dentist throws Nigel out (along with Marlin and Dory), Gill helps Nemo escape through a drain that leads to the ocean.
Despondent, Marlin bids farewell to Dory and begins his journey home. Marlin's departure causes Dory to lose her memory. Nemo reaches the ocean and meets Dory, but she does not remember him. However, her memory returns when she reads the word "Sydney" on a drainpipe. Dory reunites Nemo with Marlin, but a fishing trawler captures her in a net along with a school of grouper. With his father's blessing, Nemo enters the net and he and Marlin instruct all of the fish to swim down. Their combined force breaks the boat's net, allowing them to escape. Marlin and Nemo reconcile.
After returning home to the reef, Marlin is more confident while Dory has remained friends with the sharks. Marlin and Dory see Nemo off as he goes to school.
At the dentist's, the filter has broken, and the gang, having been put in bags, have escaped into the harbor. Still stuck in the bags, they ponder what to do next.
- Albert Brooks as Marlin, a clownfish and Nemo's father.
- Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, a regal blue tang with short-term memory loss.
- Alexander Gould as Nemo, Marlin's only surviving son, who is excited about life and exploring the ocean, but gets captured and domesticated as a pet.
- Willem Dafoe as Gill, a disfiguredmoorish idol fish living in an aquarium in a dentist clinic, and the leader of the Tank Gang.
- Brad Garrett as Bloat, the aquarium's porcupinefish.
- Allison Janney as Peach, the aquarium's sea star.
- Stephen Root as Bubbles, the aquarium's yellow tang fish.
- Austin Pendleton as Gurgle, the aquarium's obsessive-compulsiveroyal gramma fish.
- Vicki Lewis as Deb/Flo, the aquarium's striped damselfish.
- Joe Ranft as Jacques, the aquarium's cleaner shrimp.
- Geoffrey Rush as Nigel, an Australian pelican, who often visits the dentist clinic and is friends with the aquarium fish.
- Andrew Stanton as Crush, a green sea turtle.
- Elizabeth Perkins as Coral, Marlin's wife and Nemo's mother.
- Nicholas Bird as Squirt, Crush's son.
- Bob Peterson as Mr. Ray, a spotted eagle ray and Nemo's schoolteacher.
- Barry Humphries as Bruce, a vegetarian great white shark, who fights his instinctive wills to eat innocent fish and is friends with Anchor and Chum.
- Eric Bana as Anchor, a hammerhead shark who is friends with Bruce and Chum.
- Bruce Spence as Chum, a mako shark who is friends with Bruce and Anchor.
- Bill Hunter as Dentist.
- LuLu Ebeling as Darla, the dentist's rambunctious young niece.
- Jordy Ranft as Tad, a butterfly fish fingerling and Nemo's school friend.
- Erica Beck as Pearl, a young flapjack octopus and Nemo's school friend.
- Erik Per Sullivan as Sheldon, a young seahorse, and Nemo's school friend.
- John Ratzenberger as the school of moonfish.
The inspiration for Nemo sprang from multiple experiences, going back to director Andrew Stanton's childhood, when he loved going to the dentist to see the fish tank, assuming that the fish were from the ocean and wanted to go home. In 1992, shortly after his son was born, he and his family took a trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (which was called Marine World at the time). There, after seeing the shark tube and various exhibits, he felt that the underwater world could be done beautifully in computer animation. Later, in 1997, he took his son for a walk in the park but realized that he was overprotecting him and lost an opportunity to have a father-son experience that day.
In an interview with National Geographic magazine, Stanton said that the idea for the characters of Marlin and Nemo came from a photograph of two clownfish peeking out of an anemone:
It was so arresting. I had no idea what kind of fish they were, but I couldn't take my eyes off them. And as an entertainer, the fact that they were called clownfish—it was perfect. There's almost nothing more appealing than these little fish that want to play peekaboo with you.
In addition, clownfish are colourful, but do not tend to come out of an anemone often. For a character who has to go on a dangerous journey, Stanton felt a clownfish was the perfect type of fish for the character. Pre-production of the film began in early 1997. Stanton began writing the screenplay during the post-production of A Bug's Life. As a result, Finding Nemo began production with a complete screenplay, something that co-director Lee Unkrich called "very unusual for an animated film". The artists took scuba diving lessons to study the coral reef.
Stanton originally planned to use flashbacks to reveal how Coral died but realized that by the end of the film there would be nothing to reveal, deciding to show how she died at the beginning of the movie. The character of Gill also was different from the character seen in the final film. In a scene that was eventually deleted, Gill tells Nemo that he's from a place called Bad Luck Bay and that he has brothers and sisters in order to impress the young clownfish, only for the latter to find out that he was lying by listening to a patient reading a children's storybook that shares exactly the same details.
The casting of Albert Brooks, in Stanton's opinion, "saved" the film. Brooks liked the idea of Marlin being this clownfish who isn't funny and recorded outtakes of telling very bad jokes.
The idea for the initiation sequence came from a story conference between Andrew Stanton and Bob Peterson while they were driving to record the actors. Although he originally envisioned the character of Dory as male, Stanton was inspired to cast Ellen DeGeneres when he watched an episode of Ellen in which he saw her "change the subject five times before finishing one sentence". The pelican character named Gerald (who in the final film ends up swallowing and choking on Marlin and Dory) was originally a friend of Nigel. They were going to play against each other with Nigel being neat and fastidious and Gerald being scruffy and sloppy. The filmmakers could not find an appropriate scene for them that did not slow the pace of the picture, so Gerald's character was minimized.
Stanton himself provided the voice of Crush the sea turtle. He originally did the voice for the film's story reel and assumed they would find an actor later. When Stanton's performance became popular in test screenings, he decided to keep his performance in the film. He recorded all his dialogue while lying on a sofa in Unkrich's office. Crush's son Squirt was voiced by Nicholas Bird, the young son of fellow Pixar director Brad Bird. According to Stanton, the elder Bird was playing a tape recording of his young son around the Pixar studios one day. Stanton felt the voice was "this generation's Thumper" and immediately cast Nicholas.
Megan Mullally was originally going to provide a voice in the film. According to Mullally, the producers were dissatisfied to learn that the voice of her character Karen Walker on the television show Will & Grace was not her natural speaking voice. The producers hired her anyway, and then strongly encouraged her to use her Karen Walker voice for the role. When Mullally refused, she was dismissed.
To ensure that the movements of the fish in the film were believable, the animators took a crash course in fish biology and oceanography. They visited aquariums, went diving in Hawaii, and received in-house lectures from an ichthyologist. As a result, Pixar's animator for Dory, Gini Cruz Santos, integrated "the fish movement, human movement, and facial expressions to make them look and feel like real characters." Production designer Ralph Eggleston created pastel drawings to give the lighting crew led by Sharon Calahan ideas of how every scene in the film should be lit.
The film was dedicated to Glenn McQueen, a Pixar animator who died of melanoma in October 2002.Finding Nemo shares many plot elements with Pierrot the Clownfish, a children's book published in 2002, but allegedly conceived in 1995. The author, Franck Le Calvez, sued Disney for infringement of his intellectual rights and to bar Finding Nemo merchandise in France. The judge ruled against him, citing the color differences between Pierrot and Nemo.
In 2016, Disney Character Voices International's senior vice president Rick Dempsey, in collaboration with the Navajo Nation Museum, created a Navajo dubbing of the movie titled Nemo Há’déést’íí which was released in theaters March 18–24 of the same year. The project was thought as a means to preserve Navajo language, teaching the language to kids through a Disney movie. The studio held auditions on the reservation, but finding an age-appropriate native speaker to voice Nemo was hard, Dempsey said, as the majority of native Navajo speakers are over 40 years old. The end credits version of the song Beyond the Sea, covered in the English version by Robbie Williams, was also adapted into Navajo, with Fall Out Boy's lead singer Patrick Stump performing it.Finding Nemo was the second movie to receive a Navajo dubbing: in 2013, a Navajo version of Star Wars was created.
Main article: Finding Nemo (video game)
A video game based on the film was released in 2003, for PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance. The goal of the game is to complete different levels under the roles of Nemo, Marlin or Dory. It includes cut scenes from the movie, and each clip is based on a level. It was also the last Pixar game developed by Traveller's Tales. Upon release, the game received mixed reviews. A Game Boy Advance sequel, titled Finding Nemo: The Continuing Adventures, was released in 2004.
During its original theatrical run, Finding Nemo grossed $339.7 million in North America, and $531.3 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $871.0 million. It is the 12th highest-grossing animated film, and the second-highest-grossing film of 2003, behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Worldwide, it was the highest-grossing Pixar film, up until 2010, when Toy Story 3 surpassed it. The film sold an estimated 56.4 million tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run.
In North America, Finding Nemo set an opening weekend record for an animated feature, making $70.3 million (first surpassed by Shrek 2) and ended up spending 11 weeks in the top 10 domestically (including 7 weeks in the top 5), remaining there until August 14. It became the highest-grossing animated film in North America ($339.7 million), outside North America ($531.3 million), and worldwide ($871.0 million), in all three occasions out-grossing The Lion King. In North America, it was surpassed by both Shrek 2 in 2004 and Toy Story 3 in 2010. Outside North America, it stands as the fifth-highest-grossing animated film. Worldwide, it now ranks fourth among animated films.
The film had impressive box office runs in many international markets. In Japan, its highest-grossing market after North America, it grossed ¥11.2 billion ($102.4 million), becoming the highest-grossing foreign animated film in local currency (yen). It has only been surpassed by Frozen (¥25.5 billion). Following in biggest grosses are the U.K., Ireland and Malta, where it grossed £37.2 million ($67.1 million), France and the Maghreb region ($64.8 million), Germany ($53.9 million), and Spain ($29.5 million).
After the success of the 3D re-release of The Lion King, Disney re-released Finding Nemo in 3D on September 14, 2012, with a conversion cost estimated to be below $5 million. For the opening weekend of its 3D re-release in North America, Finding Nemo grossed $16.7 million, debuting at the No. 2 spot behind Resident Evil: Retribution. The film earned $41.1 million in North America and $28.2 million internationally, for a combined total of $69.3 million, and a cumulative worldwide total of $940.3 million.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 99% approval rating, with a rating average of 8.70/10, based on 268 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown." Another review aggregation website, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 90 out of 100, based on 38 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare average grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars, calling it "one of those rare movies where I wanted to sit in the front row and let the images wash out to the edges of my field of vision".Ed Park of The Village Voice gave the film a positive review, saying "It's an ocean of eye candy that tastes fresh even in this ADD-addled era of SpongeBob SquarePants." Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune gave the film four out of four stars, saying "You connect to these sea creatures as you rarely do with humans in big-screen adventures. The result: a true sunken treasure." Hazel-Dawn Dumpert of LA Weekly gave the film a positive review, saying "As gorgeous a film as Disney's ever put out, with astonishing qualities of light, movement, surface and color at the service of the best professional imaginations money can buy." Jeff Strickler of the Star Tribune gave the film a positive review, saying it "proves that even when Pixar is not at the top of its game, it still produces better animation than some of its competitors on their best days." Gene Seymour of Newsday gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, saying "The underwater backdrops take your breath away. No, really. They're so lifelike, you almost feel like holding your breath while watching." Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Parental anxiety may not be the kind of stuff children's films are usually made of, but this perfectly enchanting movie knows how to cater to its kiddie audience without condescending to them."
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film three-and-a-half out of five, saying "The best break of all is that Pixar's traditionally untethered imagination can't be kept under wraps forever, and "Nemo" erupts with sea creatures that showcase Stanton and company's gift for character and peerless eye for skewering contemporary culture." Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film four out of five stars, saying "Visual imagination and sophisticated wit raise Finding Nemo to a level just below the peaks of Pixar's Toy Story movies and Monsters, Inc.." Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press gave the film three out of four, saying "As we now expect from Pixar, even the supporting fish in "Finding Nemo" are more developed as characters than any human in the Mission: Impossible movies." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film three and half out of four, saying "Finding Nemo is an undersea treasure. The most gorgeous of all the Pixar films—which include Toy Story 1 and 2, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc.—Nemo treats family audiences to a sweet, resonant story and breathtaking visuals. It may lack Monsters, Inc.'s clever humor, but kids will identify with the spunky sea fish Nemo, and adults will relate to Marlin, Nemo's devoted dad." Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle gave the film an A-, saying "Finding Nemo lives up to Pixar's high standards for wildly creative visuals, clever comedy, solid characters and an involving story." Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film an A-, saying "A simple test of humanity: If you don't laugh aloud while watching it, you've got a battery not a heart."
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film four out of four, saying "A dazzling, computer-animated fish tale with a funny, touching script and wonderful voice performances that make it an unqualified treat for all ages." Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times gave the film four out of four, saying "Enchanting; written with an effortless blend of sweetness and silliness, and animated with such rainbow-hued beauty, you may find yourself wanting to freeze-frame it." Daphne Gordon of the Toronto Star gave the film four out of five, saying "One of the strongest releases from Disney in years, thanks to the work of Andrew Stanton, possibly one of the most successful directors you've never heard of." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the film three and a half out of four, saying "Finding Nemo isn't quite up there with the company's finest work—there's finally a sense of formula setting in—but it's hands down the best family film since Monsters, Inc." C.W. Nevius of The San Francisco Chronicle gave the film four out of four, saying "The visuals pop, the fish emote and the ocean comes alive. That's in the first two minutes. After that, they do some really cool stuff." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post gave the film a positive review, saying "Finding Nemo will engross kids with its absorbing story, brightly drawn characters and lively action, and grown-ups will be equally entertained by the film's subtle humor and the sophistication of its visuals." David Ansen of Newsweek gave the film a positive review, saying "A visual marvel, every frame packed to the gills with clever details, Finding Nemo is the best big-studio release so far this year."
Richard Corliss of Time gave the film a positive review, saying "Nemo, with its ravishing underwater fantasia, manages to trump the design glamour of earlier Pixar films."Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A, saying "In this seamless blending of technical brilliance and storytelling verve, the Pixar team has made something as marvelously soulful and innately, fluidly American as jazz." Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film three out of four, saying "As eye-popping as Nemo's peepers and as eccentric as this little fish with asymmetrical fins." David Germain of the Associated Press gave the film a positive review, saying "Finding Nemo is laced with smart humor and clever gags, and buoyed by another cheery story of mismatched buddies: a pair of fish voiced by Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres." Anthony Lane of The New Yorker gave the film a positive review, saying "The latest flood of wizardry from Pixar, whose productions, from Toy Story onward, have lent an indispensable vigor and wit to the sagging art of mainstream animation." The 3D re-release prompted a retrospective on the film nine years after its initial release. Stephen Whitty of The Star-Ledger described it as "a genuinely funny and touching film that, in less than a decade, has established itself as a timeless classic." On the 3D re-release, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote that its emotional power was deepened by "the dimensionality of the oceanic deep" where "the spatial mysteries of watery currents and floating worlds are exactly where 3D explorers were born to boldly go".
Main article: List of Pixar awards and nominations: Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo won the Academy Award and Saturn Award for Best Animated Film. It also won the award for Best Animated Film at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards, the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards, the National Board of Review Awards, the Online Film Critics Society Awards, and the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards. The film received many other awards, including: Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Movie and Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie (Ellen DeGeneres), and the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress (Ellen DeGeneres).
The film was also nominated for two Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Ellen DeGeneres), a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and two MTV Movie Awards, for Best Movie and Best Comedic Performance (Ellen DeGeneres).
In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten Top Ten", the best 10 films in 10 "classic" American film genres, after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Finding Nemo was acknowledged as the 10th best film in the animation genre. It was the most recently released film among all 10 lists, and one of only three movies made after the year 2000 (the others being The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Shrek).
American Film Institute recognition:
Environmental concerns and consequences
The film's use of clownfish prompted mass purchase of the fish breed as pets in the United States, even though the story portrayed the use of fish as pets negatively and suggested that saltwater aquariums are notably tricky and expensive to maintain. The demand for clownfish was supplied by large-scale harvesting of tropical fish in regions like Vanuatu. The Australian Tourism Commission (ATC) launched several marketing campaigns in China and the United States to improve tourism in Australia, many of them utilizing Finding Nemo clips.Queensland used Finding Nemo to draw tourists to promote itself to vacationers. According to National Geographic, "Ironically, Finding Nemo, a movie about the anguish of a captured clownfish, caused home-aquarium demand for them to triple."
The reaction to the film by the general public has led to environmental devastation for the clownfish, and has provoked an outcry from several environmental protection agencies, including the Marine Aquarium Council, Australia. The demand for tropical fish skyrocketed after the film's release, causing reef species decimation in Vanuatu and several other reef areas. After seeing the film, some aquarium owners released their pet fish into the ocean, but failed to release them into the correct oceanic habitat, which introduced species that are harmful to the indigenous environment, a practice that is harming reefs worldwide.
Finding Nemo was released on VHS and DVD on November 4, 2003. The DVD release included an original short film, Exploring the Reef, and the short animated film, Knick Knack (1989). It would go on to become the best-selling DVD of its time, selling over 2 million units in its first two weeks of release.
The film was then released on both Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray on December 4, 2012, with both a 3-disc and a 5-disc set.
Finding Nemo was the first Pixar film not to be scored by Randy Newman. The original soundtrack album, Finding Nemo, was scored by Thomas Newman, his cousin, and released on May 20, 2003. The score was nominated for the Academy Award for Original Score, losing to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Theme park attractions
Finding Nemo has inspired numerous attractions and properties at Disney Parks around the world, including: Turtle Talk with Crush, which opened in 2004 at Epcot, 2005 in Disney California Adventure Park, 2008 in Hong Kong Disneyland, and 2009 in Tokyo DisneySea; Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, which opened in 2007 in Disneyland Park; The Seas with Nemo & Friends, which opened in 2007 at Epcot; Finding Nemo – The Musical, which opened in 2007 in Disney's Animal Kingdom; and Crush's Coaster, which opened in 2007 at Walt Disney Studios Park.
Main article: Finding Dory
A spin-off sequel[a] to this film was released in June 2016, titled Finding Dory. It focuses on Dory having a journey to reunite with her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy). Like the previous film, Finding Dory was a financial success and fared well with critics.
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