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Finding Nemo

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This article is dedicated to Glenn McQueen (December 24, 1960-October 29, 2002)

Finding Nemo
220px-Finding Nemo.jpg
"There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They're looking for one."
Genre: Animation
Directed By: Andrew Stanton
Produced By: Graham Walters
Written By: Andrew Stanton
Bob Peterson
David Reynolds
Starring: Albert Brooks
Ellen DeGeneres
Alexander Gould
Willem Dafoe
Cinematography: Sharon Calahan
Jeremy Lasky
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release Date: May 30, 2003
Runtime: 100 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $94 million
Box Office: $871 million
Franchise: Finding Nemo
Sequel: Finding Dory

"I promise I will never let anything happen to you, Nemo."

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton with co-direction by Lee Unkrich, the film stars the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and Willem Dafoe as Pixar's 5th feature film.


Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin. When Nemo swims too close to the surface to prove himself, he is caught by a diver, and horrified Marlin must set out to find him. A blue reef fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) -- who has a really short memory -- joins Marlin and complicates the encounters with sharks, jellyfish, and a host of ocean dangers. Meanwhile, Nemo plots his escape from a dentist's fish tank.

Why It Just Keeps Swimming

  1. The film once again shows Pixar's creativity, with the story being centered around fish.
  2. Andrew Stanton did an awesome job for directing this movie.
  3. The part where Nemo meets Dory and later Marlin sees and found his son Nemo is emotional.
  4. The movie has incredibly beautiful and gorgeous 3D animation that is very impressive for the time of release, especially the water in the film, which actually looks life-like!
  5. The idea of having epic journey to searches for a lost son story is interesting.
  6. The moral is more directed towards adults, which is a unique twist as most family or kids films have morals centered towards kids.
  7. Many of the film's action scenes are well-done and intense, notably the chase between Nigel carrying Marlin and Dory and the seagulls.
  8. The film has some pretty hilarious humor, notably Dory's amnesia.
  9. It's not afraid to show target audiences with incorporate mature elements, like the barracuda that kills Marlin's family (but misses Nemo, albeit scratching his egg) in the beginning. This is easily one of, if not, THE MOST scariest movie Pixar has ever come up with. It is probably the closest thing that Pixar has ever gotten to making an actual horror movie.
    • The barracuda just hanging there in the water silently waiting to strike was pretty terrifying too. If you know anything about them they're torpedoes with razor-sharp teeth.
    • Torpedoes, indeed. How do they first notice it? When their entire neighborhood fled without them even noticing until long after, greeted with a dead silence the next time they look at it.
    • A good way of showing this; the barracuda, upon first being seen, is just... observing them in the most frightening way possible. Then, Coral makes a blind move, and literally five seconds later, she's dead with her husband knocked out.
    • The nightmarishness of this scene is mentioned in The Simpsons (in season 22 episode "Homer Scissorhands", to be exact). Milhouse's mother always skips it for him, and he ends up absolutely terrified when he accidentally discovers it on his own.
    • Try watching that scene again in 3-D. There's a shot during Marlin's brief tussle with the natural abomination where it gnaws at him... FROM FIRST-PERSON POV!
    • The roars it utters as it hunts them as well.
    • Considering that real life barracuda don't eat fish eggs is meaning the Barracuda likely only intended to eat Marlin's wife Coral. While a large portion of the eggs may have been taken unintentionally when the Barracuda ate Coral, the rest of the eggs would have been eaten by opportunists who waited for the Barracuda to leave before they moved in to eat the eggs considering that we saw Marlin being knocked out for a long time.
  10. The characters are likable and relatable, kids can relate to Nemo, and adults can relate to Marlin, for example. They are also well developed, even the side characters are very developed.
  11. An interesting plot that even kids can get invested in, and it also has plenty of heartwarming moments and it manages to play out like a grand adventure.
  12. The movie has a very fantastically emotional musical score by Thomas Newman, the first film not be composed by his cousin, Randy. The song Beyond the Sea is incredibly charming as it is also fits well with the theme of the film and even end credits.
    • Special mention goes to the iconic "Nemo Egg" theme, a beautiful accompaniment to both the title screen and Marlin's first promise to protect Nemo no matter what.
    • Thomas Newman seems to sample some of his score from The Shawshank Redemption during the "Keep swimming" scene.
    • "Haiku", the piece played when Marlin and Dory are in the whale. Hauntingly sad and beautiful at once.
  13. Memorable quotes, like "Now what?", "Fish are friends, not food!", "Just keep swimming!", "CURSE YOU, AQUASCUM!", "RING OF FIRE!", "P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney", and most famously, "MINE! MINE! MINE!"
  14. The voice acting is spectacular of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould and, of course, Willem Dafoe.
  15. Throughout the movie, there are no primary antagonists. At first, there are a few small moments where they encounter difficulties, such as when Bruce smells blood and goes to attack them, or when Philip Sherman plans to take Nemo as a gift, but it is actually just small antagonists within the movie to provide slight roadblocks to the eventual reunion of the father and son.

Bad Qualities

  1. Although the movie portrays the idea that fish are flushed down into the toilet and escape through the drain that leads returned to the ocean unharmed, in reality, this is not the case. In reality, though any water that goes down a drain does reach the ocean eventually, it will first go through equipment that breaks down solids, meaning that Nemo would have been killed long before being released into the sea. Pixar manufactures such equipment put out a warning to prevent kids from flushing their fish thinking they were 'releasing' them (noting that in reality, they were grinding Nemo). A planned scene would have shown Nemo in the sewage plant somehow avoiding the grinding machinery (Nemo getting into the filter to jam it would have been a foreshadowing of this), but for this time and pacing, it was cut.
  2. The animation, while great first, can be a bit dated nowadays.
  3. There are many continuity errors:
    • In the beginning of the scene where Marlin and Coral are going to take a look at the eggs in the sea cave. However, it just disappears in the first shot, but now, you can see that the eggs appear in the the third shot.
    • Bloat was positioned in the middle, but then Bloat positioned it to the right next to Gurgle.
    • The scene where the dentist tied the Ziploc bag. However, the edge of the Ziploc bag is nowhere to be seen.
    • The scene where Nigel flies inside the dentist room, it shows that the poster is to the right. However, it moves closer to the window.


Finding Nemo was acclaimed by critics and audiences, who praised the visual elements, screenplay and characters that has been cited as funny to both young moviegoers and their parents. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 99% approval rating, with a rating average of 8.69/10, based on 265 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, the third film by Pixar to earn this score, after Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc..



  • This marks the first Pixar film not to be released in November, instead it is May.
  • The teaser trailer was not only found online, but also on the Monsters, Inc. home video releases. It was even screened in theaters, being attached to the screenings of The Santa Clause 2. Trailers for the film were later attached to the home video releases of Treasure Planet, Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World and other Disney films.
  • A show of the film is rumoured to be in development for Disney+.
  • Unlike other Pixar movies, it is the first movie not to take place in United States. Instead, it is set in Australia.
  • Although the film featured realistically-animated water, said water was slightly animated less realistically to avoid people confusing said water for live footage of the ocean.
  • SERIES TRADEMARK: When Gil is thinking ahead about how he and the fish will escape, as the camera pans toward and out the window, the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story (1995) can be seen on the outside. This is the first film where the truck has a distinctive appearance, being a right-handed vehicle driving on the left side of the road, since it's in Sydney, Australia.
  • Despite Nemo being the titular tritagonist in Finding Nemo, he is the first titular character in the movie.
  • As of September 2015, Finding Nemo (2003) is the best-selling DVD of all time in the world, with 41 million copies sold.
  • 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.
  • Crush makes a special appearance in the "Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman" episode "The Ol' Shell Game".

Pixar Animation Studios

Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - Monsters, Inc. - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - Finding Dory - Cars 3 - Coco - Incredibles 2 - Toy Story 4 - Onward - Soul - Luca - Turning Red - Lightyear - Elemental - Elio - Inside Out 2

Short movies:

Theatrical short films:

The Adventures of André and Wally B. - Luxo Jr. - Red's Dream - Tin Toy - Knick Knack - Geri's Game - For the Birds - Boundin' - One Man Band - Lifted - Presto - Partly Cloudy - Day & Night - La Luna - The Blue Umbrella - Lava - Sanjay's Super Team - Piper - Lou - Bao

SparkShorts series:

Purl - Smash and Grab - Kitbull - Float - Wind - Loop - Out - Burrow - Twenty Something - Nona


Mike's New Car - Jack-Jack Attack - Mr. Incredible and Pals - Mater and the Ghostlight - Your Friend the Rat - BURN-E - Dug's Special Mission - George and A.J. - The Legend of Mor'du - Party Central - Riley's First Date? - Marine Life Interviews - Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool - Auntie Edna - Lamp Life - 22 vs. Earth - Ciao Alberto

Short series:

Cars Toons:

Mater's Tall Tales:

Rescue Squad Mater - Mater the Greater - El Materdor - Tokyo Mater - Unidentified Flying Mater - Monster Truck Mater - Heavy Metal Mater - Moon Mater - Mater Private Eye - Air Mater - Time Travel Mater

Tales from Radiator Springs:

Hiccups - Bugged - Spinning - The Radiator Springs 500½

Toy Story Toons:

Hawaiian Vacation - Small Fry - Partysaurus Rex

Forky Asks a Question:

What Is Money? - What Is a Friend? - What Is Art? - What Is Time - What Is Love? - What Is a Computer? - What Is a Leader? - What Is a Pet? - What Is Cheese? - What Is Reading?

Pixar Popcorn:

To Fitness and Beyond - Unparalleled Parking - Dory Finding - Soul of the City - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love - Chore Day the Incredibles Way - A Day in the Life of the Dead - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads - Dancing with the Cars - Cookie Num Num

Dug Days:

Squirrel! - Puppies - Flowers - Smell - Science

Television series:

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (co-production) - Monsters at Work - Cars On The Road - Win or Lose

External Links


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