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"There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They're looking for one."

Finding Nemo is Pixar's fifth feature film. It was originally released in theatres on May 30, 2003 and re-released in 3D on September 14, 2012, along with the Toy Story Toon short, Partysaurus Rex. The sequel, Finding Dory, was released on June 17, 2016.


The story of Finding Nemo centers on a widowed clownfish named Marlin and a blue tang fish named Dory traveling across the ocean to Sydney to find Marlin's lost son, Nemo.


A clownfish couple Marlin and Coral, are about to be the parents of 400 unborn children, However, a marauding barracuda attacks their home. Marlin survives but the Barracuda, Coral and 399 of her eggs are out of sight. However, Marlin sees that the Barracuda missed one egg and comes to its aid. He promises that he will never let anything happen to the remaining egg, which he names Nemo because that was one of Coral's favorite names.

6 years ago later, Nemo born with a deformed fin due to damage the egg took during the barracuda attack begins his first day at school and is eager to get going. However, his overprotective father Marlin is nervous about letting his son go to school. After Marlin sends Nemo off to class with his teacher Mr. Ray the stingray, he goes to check on Nemo and catches him about to be brave and swim out into open water. The two of them argue in front of Nemo's classmates and Nemo, angry with his father, bravely swims away into the open water. Once there, he is captured and taken by a diver, who immediately leaves on a speedboat.

Marlin chases after the speedboat but soon loses it. Asking for directions, he meets Dory, a blue tang who suffers from short-term memory loss. She helps him find out that Nemo has been taken to Sydney, and the two of them travel there on the East Australian Current. During their time together, Dory teaches Marlin to be more carefree.

Meanwhile, Nemo is placed in a fish tank in a dentist's office. He discovers that he is to be the present of the dentist's niece Darla, a serial fish killer according to the other fish in the tank as she has no idea on how to properly care for fish leading to them quickly dying under her care. Gill, one of the fish in the tank, proposes an escape plan involving Nemo jamming the filter in the tanks, which Nemo attempts, but initially fails at.

Meanwhile, Marlin and Dory meet fish-friendly sharks, who had sworn never to eat a fellow fish, and they adopt Marlin and Dory as buddies. Later, Marlin notices the main clue as to Nemo's whereabouts is a mask. But when he and Dory fight over how to read it, it hits her nose, causing a small nosebleed, which Bruce, a shark, accidentally sniffs, causing him to go wild. His shark friends tried to restrain him as the two fish trying to escape. But an accidental torpedo launch causes every depth charge nearby to explode, though no one gets killed.

Later on, while Marlin and Dory are sleeping, the sub they're on is about to tumble down into the depths, as well as the mask. The two fish follow it down, as the darkness overtakes them. Dory's forgetfulness causes her to think Marlin is her conscience before they see a light, but it turns out to be a lure from anglerfish. Marlin keeps it busy while Dory tries to read the mask, giving her information which directs them to someplace called Sydney.

While they were on their mission to find Nemo, Marlin and Dory stop to have a small talk. Marlin explains to her that he could take it from here by himself he thinks Dory is so annoying when she kept talking to herself and saying 'P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney' over and over again. When Marlin says he doesn't want Dory with him, Dory starts crying and says Marlin doesn't like her. Marlin says that he does, but to make things worse, he says it's a complicated emotion.

A school of Moonfish tells Marlin and Dory to take the East Australian Current to Sydney but advises Dory to go through the trench, but she forgets. Marlin's paranoia of the trench has them swim above it, only to find a school of jellyfish above it. Luckily, the tops of the jellyfish don't sting, so they treated it like a game. But Dory fails to get out, having been stung repeatedly. Marlin manages to get her out before passing out. He later awakes with a legion of sea turtles on the East Australian Current. When he catches Dory still dead, he feels bad for leading her over instead of through the trench; however, she makes a full recovery also. After getting near their destination, they accidentally get swallowed by a whale, who was chasing krill. When Marlin fails to break out, once again, Dory swims down to him and says the same eight words she said when she first met Marlin. While refusing that rudely but sadly, Marlin tells his promise to Nemo on Dory. She explains that Marlin can never let anything happen to Nemo. This being what should've happened to Marlin to protect his son, he sighs sadly. While inside, Dory tries to talk to him the whale and the whale tells them to let go as he sprouts them out. The tale travels faster than Marlin by way of gossip among the sea creatures and eventually, Nemo hears it from Nigel, a brown pelican who occasionally comes to visit the fish in the tank. Upon hearing all of his Dad's adventures, Nemo is inspired to attempt to jam the filter again. This time he is successful. The tank begins to get really really dirty. At this point in Gill's plan, the dentist would take the fish out of the tank and into small plastic bags. The fish would then roll out the window, onto an awning, across the street, and into the conveniently situated harbor. However, the dentist installs a laser filter which cleans the tank while the fish are sleeping.

Marlin and Dory are then swallowed by Gerald until Nigel makes Gerald cough them up. The two fish meet Nigel who agrees to take them to the dentist's office. While they are en route, the dentist puts Nemo in a bag to give to his niece, but Nemo gets the idea to pretend to be dead so that the dentist will flush him down the potty, which will take Nemo to the ocean. Marlin, Dory, and Nigel arrive at the office and are horrified to see Nemo dead. Gill saves Nemo from getting thrown in the trash can instead of the toilet and helps Nemo escape the dentist's sink.

Marlin, depressed, thinking that he broke his promise, determines to go home, meanwhile, Dory becomes forgetful again until she meets Nemo. When she reads Sydney on a water tube, her entire memory suddenly returns and helps Nemo finds Marlin by forcing a crab to tell where Marlin went. With is information, Marlin and Nemo are reunited, but moments later they find that Dory is caught in a fishing net. Nemo has a plan to save her, but Marlin is reluctant to let him go for fear that he will lose him again. Marlin realizes he must let him go, and Nemo's plan succeeds.

After their adventure, Marlin is now not nearly overprotective of his son knowing he can look after himself. Dory also spends a lot of time with the two, and she accompanies Marlin as he takes Nemo to school.

As an epilogue, the fish in the dentist's fish tank is shown to succeed after a fashion in their last escape attempt after sabotaging the filter. However, they are still in their plastic bags, floating in the water.

In a post-credits scene, a quivering Blenny overcomes his fears and consumes the Anglerfish in a single bite.

Voice Cast[]

Additional Voices are provided by Carlos Alazraqui, James S. Baker, Bob Bergen, Bobby Block, Susan Blu, Geoff Brooks, Jane Carr, Jennifer Darling, Paul Eiding, Jessie Flower, Aaron Fors, Leland Grossman, Bradley Trevor Greive, Jess Harnell, Lili Ishida, Marc John Jefferies, Caroline Kindred, Oliver Kindred, Noah Luke, Sherry Lynn, Danny Mann, Andrew McDonough, Mickie McGowan, Alec Medlock, Laura Marano, Vanessa Marano, Nicole Miller, Laraine Newman, Annelise Nolting, Jeff Pidgeon, Daryl Sabara, Evan Sabara, David Ian Salter, Emmett Shoemaker, Eliza Schneider, Ben Stanton, Lee Unkrich, James Kevin Ward, and Kali Whitehurst.


The inspiration for Nemo was made up of multiple experiences. The idea goes back to when director Andrew Stanton was a child 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 he saw 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 found that he was over protecting him constantly and lost an opportunity to have any "father-son experiences" on that day.

Pre-production of the film took place in early 1997. The artists took scuba diving lessons so they could go and study the coral reef. The idea for the initiation sequence came from a story conference between Andrew Stanton and Bob Peterson while driving to record the actors. Ellen DeGeneres was cast after Stanton was watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show with his wife and seeing Ellen "change the subject five times before finishing one sentence" as Stanton recalled. There was a pelican character known as Gerald (who in the final film ends up swallowing and choking on Marlin and Dory) who was originally a friend of Nigel. They were going to play against each other as Nigel being neat fastidious while Gerald being scruffy and sloppy. However, the filmmakers could not find an appropriate scene for them that didn't slow the pace of the picture down, so Gerald's character was minimized.

The water and lighting effects for Finding Nemo were far more complex than any other project previously attempted by Pixar. Water is particularly difficult to animate since its motions are extremely complex and splashes can have thousands of individual drops. Pixar relied heavily on particle simulation techniques developed during the production of Monsters, Inc. for these shots, which were later refined to be rendered as water and bubbles instead of fur, clothing, or snow. Pixar also reused some of the "auto-rusting" functions from the Pipe-o-Matic program used for the factory scenes in Monsters, Inc. to create rust on the inside of the submarine. Although the presence of human characters in the film was minimal, there is a significant improvement in photorealism over the human characters from Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2. The tentacles of the anemone were actually constructed with Sulley's fur, which was altered to be thicker and affected by buoyancy instead of gravity.

The complexities of CGI water proved challenging for the lighting department as well since they were tasked with convincingly creating the dancing "caustic lights" on the ocean floor that results from wave motion at the surface. The lighting department also experimented with refraction, as seen with multiple shots of the "Tank Gang."

Megan Mullally revealed that she was originally doing a voice in the film. According to Mullally, the producers were quite disappointed to learn that the voice of her character Karen Walker on the television show Will & Grace wasn't 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 fired.

Glenn McQueen, a supervising animator who worked on the movie, died from skin cancer in October 2002, and thus the film is dedicated to him.


Critical Response[]

The film received universal acclaim, as it currently holds a 99% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes with 100% by top critics, an average of 89% on Metacritic and four stars from Empire. Roger Ebert gave it four stars, saying "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."

Box Office Results[]

According to Box Office Mojo, Finding Nemo ranks number 1 of all Pixar movies in both the domestic (at $339.7 million) and international ($524.9 million) markets. Finding Nemo set a record as the highest grossing opening weekend for an animated feature, making $70 million (surpassed in 2007 by Shrek the Third). With a total domestic gross of $339.7 million, Nemo was, for a time, the highest grossing animated film of all time, eclipsing the record set by The Lion King. However, about a year later, Shrek 2 surpassed Finding Nemo's domestic and worldwide gross, and six years later, Toy Story 3 eclipsed both animated films with over $1 billion of worldwide (but not domestic) gross. By March 2004, Finding Nemo was one of the top ten highest-grossing films ever, having earned over $850 million worldwide.


Finding Nemo was the first Pixar feature-length film to receive an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. It was nominated for three additional Academy Awards: Original Screenplay (Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, and David Reynolds), Original Score and Sound Editing. It also won a number of other awards.

Attached Short Film[]

Theatrical and home video releases include an edited version of Knick Knack, which was released fourteen years before the movie's release.

For the theatrical 3D re-release, the Toy Story Toons short Partysaurus Rex is included.

Finding Nemo - The Musical[]


Larger-than-life puppets in a scene from the stage adaptation of Finding Nemo at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

A half-hour live show, Finding Nemo - The Musical, is performed four times daily at Disney's the Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida. The show opened on January 24, 2007.

The show was written by Tony Award-winning Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez. [11]Tony Award-winning director Peter Brosius signed on to direct the show, with Michael Curry, who designed puppets for Disney's the successful stage version of The Lion King, serving as leading puppet and production designer.

Anderson-Lopez said that the couple agreed to write the adaptation of "one of their favorite movies of all time" after considering "the idea of people coming in [to see the musical] at 4, 5 or 6 and saying, 'I want to do that'... So we want to take it as seriously as we would a Broadway show." To condense the feature-length film to thirty minutes, she said she and Lopez focused on a single theme from the movie, the idea that "the world is dangerous and beautiful." [12]

Several musical numbers take direct inspiration from lines in the film, including "(In The) Big Blue World," "Fish Are Friends, Not Food," "Just Keep Swimming," and "Go With the Flow." In January 2007, a New York studio recording of the show was released on iTunes, with Lopez and Anderson-Lopez providing the voices for Marlin and Dory, respectively. Avenue Q star Stephanie D'Abruzzo also appeared on the recording, as Sheldon/Deb.

It is unknown whether the show will be expanded and transfer to Broadway, though Walt Disney Parks & Resorts executive Ann Hamburger has said that "she would love for that to happen." [12] Nemo is notable for being the first non-musical animated film to which Disney has added songs to produce a stage musical.

Theme Park Attractions[]

  • Epcot: The Seas with Nemo & Friends (2007) containing Turtle Talk with Crush (2004)
  • Disney's California Adventure: Turtle Talk with Crush (2005)
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom: Finding Nemo - The Musical (2007)
  • Disneyland: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (2007)
  • Walt Disney Studios Park: Crush's Coaster (2007)


A sequel titled Finding Dory was released in summer 2016. Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, and Vicki Lewis reprised their roles of Marlin, Dory, Gill, and Deb. with Nemo being voiced by Hayden Rolence. The plot focuses on Dory, Marlin, and Nemo going to a Marine Life Institute to find Dory's parents Jenny and Charlie (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy).

Andrew Stanton hinted there might be another sequel sometime after Pixar releases Toy Story 4, Cars 3, Incredibles 2 and Coco.




Character Images[]

Concept Art[]