Finding Nemo

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Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo.jpg
Original theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Stanton
Produced byGraham Walters
Screenplay byAndrew Stanton
Bob Peterson
David Reynolds
Story byAndrew Stanton
Starring
Music byThomas Newman
CinematographySharon Calahan
Jeremy Lasky
Editing byDavid Ian Salter
StudioWalt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • May 30, 2003 (2003-05-30)
Running time100 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$94 million[1]
Box office$936,743,261[1]
 
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Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo.jpg
Original theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Stanton
Produced byGraham Walters
Screenplay byAndrew Stanton
Bob Peterson
David Reynolds
Story byAndrew Stanton
Starring
Music byThomas Newman
CinematographySharon Calahan
Jeremy Lasky
Editing byDavid Ian Salter
StudioWalt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • May 30, 2003 (2003-05-30)
Running time100 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$94 million[1]
Box office$936,743,261[1]

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film written and directed by Andrew Stanton, released by Walt Disney Pictures, and the fifth film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It tells the story of the over-protective clownfish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) who, along with a regal tang named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), searches for his abducted son Nemo (Alexander Gould) all the way to Sydney Harbour. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and let Nemo take care of himself.

It is Pixar's first film to be released in cinemas in the northern hemisphere summer. The film was re-released for the first time in 3D on September 14, 2012, and it was released on Blu-ray on December 4, 2012. A sequel, Finding Dory, is in development, set to be released on June 17, 2016.[2]

The film received universal critical acclaim, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and was nominated in three more categories including Best Original Screenplay. It was the second highest-grossing film of 2003, earning a total of $936 million worldwide.[1] Finding Nemo is the best-selling DVD of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006,[3] and was the highest-grossing G-rated film of all time before Pixar's own Toy Story 3 overtook it. It is the 23rd highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the 3rd highest-grossing animated film. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it the 10th greatest animated film ever made during their Top 10.[4]

Plot[edit]

Two ocellaris clownfish, Marlin and his wife Coral, are admiring their new home in the Great Barrier Reef and their clutch of eggs. An Australian barracuda attacks them, leaving Marlin unconscious. He wakes up to find Coral and all but one of the eggs missing. Marlin names this last egg Nemo, a name that Coral liked.

Nemo develops a small right fin due to damage to his egg from the attack, which limits his swimming ability. After Marlin embarrasses Nemo during a school field trip, Nemo sneaks away from the reef and is captured by scuba divers. As the boat departs, one of the divers accidentally knocks his diving mask overboard.

While attempting to save Nemo, Marlin meets Dory, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss. Marlin and Dory encounter three sharks: Bruce, Anchor and Chum. Marlin discovers the diver's mask and notices an address written on it. When he argues with Dory and accidentally gives her a nosebleed, the scent of blood causes Bruce to enter a feeding frenzy. Marlin and Dory escape from Bruce, but the mask falls into a trench in the deep sea.

During a hazardous struggle with an anglerfish in the trench, Dory sees the diving mask and reads the address located in Sydney, Australia. After receiving directions to Sydney from a school of moonfish, Marlin and Dory encounter a bloom of jellyfish that nearly kills them. Marlin loses consciousness and wakes up to see a sea turtle named Crush, who takes Dory and him on the East Australian Current. Marlin shares the details of his journey with a group of young sea turtles, his story is spread across the ocean, and he finds Nemo in Sydney.

Nemo's captor - P. Sherman, a dentist - places him in a fish tank in his office on Sydney Harbour. Nemo meets aquarium fish called the Tank Gang, led by a moorish idol named Gill, who has a broken fin. The Tank Gang includes Bloat, a puffer fish; Bubbles, a yellow tang; Peach, an ochre starfish; Gurgle, a royal gramma; Jacques, a pacific cleaner shrimp; and Deb, a blacktailed humbug.

The fish learn that Sherman plans to give Nemo to his niece, Darla, who once killed a fish by constantly shaking its bag. Gill reveals his escape plan, which involves jamming the tank's filter, forcing the dentist to remove the fish in order to clean it. The fish would be placed in plastic bags, and they would roll out the window and into the harbor. After a brown pelican named Nigel brings news of Marlin's adventure, Nemo jams the filter, but the dentist installs a new high-tech filter.

Upon leaving the East Australian Current, Marlin and Dory are engulfed by a blue whale. Inside the whale's mouth, Dory communicates with the whale, which carries them to Port Jackson and expels them through his blowhole. They are met by Nigel, who recognizes Marlin from the stories he has heard and takes them to the dentist's office. Darla has arrived and the dentist is giving Nemo to her. Nemo tries to play dead to save himself as Nigel arrives. Marlin sees Nemo and believes he is dead. Gill helps Nemo escape into a drain.

In despair, Marlin leaves Dory and begins swimming home. Dory loses her memory and becomes confused, but meets Nemo, who has reached the ocean. Dory's memory is restored after she reads the word "Sydney" on a nearby drainpipe. She guides Nemo to Marlin. After they reunite, Dory is caught in a fishing net with a school of grouper. Nemo enters the net and directs the group to swim downward to break the net, enabling them to escape. After returning home, Nemo leaves for school and Marlin, no longer overprotective, watches Nemo swim away with Dory at his side.

At the dentist's office, the high-tech filter breaks down and the Tank Gang escapes into the harbor, belatedly realizing they are still confined in the bags of water.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The inspiration for Nemo sprang from multiple experiences,going 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.[5] 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.[6] Later, in 1997, he took his son for a walk in the park, but realized that he was over protecting him and lost an opportunity to have a father-son experience that day.[5]

In an interview with National Geographic magazine, he 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.[7]

In addition, clownfish are very colourful, but do not tend to come out of an anemone very 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.[5]

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".[5] The artists took scuba diving lessons in order to study the coral reef.

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. Ellen DeGeneres was cast after Stanton watched Ellen with his wife and saw Ellen "change the subject five times before finishing one sentence".[5]

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.[5]

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 co-director Lee Unkrich's office.[5]

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.[5]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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. The judge ruled against him, citing the color differences between Pierrot and Nemo.[10]

Home media[edit]

Finding Nemo was released on DVD and VHS on November 4, 2003. The DVD release included an original short film, Exploring the Reef, and a 1989 short animated film, Knick Knack.[11] The film was also released on DVD in a "Gold Edition," which came with a Finding Nemo stuffed toy character.[citation needed] The film had a home video release on both Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on December 4, 2012, with both a 3-disc and a 5-disc set.[12]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

A costume advertisement for the Idaho Aquarium in February 2013.

Finding Nemo achieved widespread critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 99% based on 238 reviews,[13] Metacritic gave an average rating of 89/100 based on reviews from 38 critics.[14]

Roger Ebert gave the film 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".[15] Broadway star Nathan Lane, who was the voice of Timon the meerkat in The Lion King, said Finding Nemo was his favorite animated film.[16]

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".[17]

The 3D re-release prompted a retrospective on the film nine years after its initial release. Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger described it as "a genuinely funny and touching film that, in less than a decade, has established itself as a timeless classic,"[18] with Roger Moore of the McClatchy-Tribune News Service calling the movie "the gold standard against which all other modern animated films are measured".[19]

Box office[edit]

Finding Nemo earned $380,843,261 in North America, and $555,900,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $936,743,261.[1] It was the twenty-third highest-grossing film and the second highest-grossing film of 2003, behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.[20] Worldwide, it was the highest-grossing Pixar film, up until 2010 when Toy Story 3 surpassed it.[21]

In North America, Finding Nemo set an opening weekend record for an animated feature, making $70,251,710 (first surpassed by Shrek 2). It became the highest-grossing animated film in North America ($339.7 million), outside North America ($528.2 million) and worldwide ($867.9 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. After the re-release of The Lion King in 2011, it stands as the fourth highest-grossing animated film in these regions. Outside North America, it stands as the fifth highest-grossing animated film. Worldwide, it now ranks third among animated films.[22][23]

The film had impressive box office runs in many international markets. In Japan, its highest-grossing market after North America, it grossed $102.4 million, becoming the highest-grossing U.S. animated film in the country.[24] 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).[25]

3D re-release[edit]

After the success of the 3D re-release of The Lion King, Disney and Pixar re-released Finding Nemo in 3D on September 14, 2012,[26] with a conversion cost estimated to be below $5 million.[27] 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.[28] In total, it earned $41.1 million in the United States, and $31.0 million outside the U.S.[29]

Accolades[edit]

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.[30]

The film received many other awards, including:

Finding Nemo was also nominated for:

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.[4][31] 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[edit]

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.[32] The demand for clownfish was supplied by large-scale harvesting of tropical fish in regions like Vanuatu.[33]

The Australian Tourism Commission (ATC) launched several marketing campaigns in China and the United States in order to improve tourism in Australia, many of them utilising Finding Nemo clips.[34][35] Queensland used Finding Nemo to draw tourists to promote its state for vacationers.[36]

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 many other reef areas.[37]

After seeing the film, although some aquarium owners released their pets into the ocean, they released them into the wrong ocean, which introduced species harmful to the indigenous environment and is harming reefs worldwide.[38][39]

Music[edit]

Finding Nemo
Film score by Thomas Newman
ReleasedMay 20, 2003
Recorded2002–2003
Length60:21
LabelWalt Disney
ProducerThomas Newman, Bill Bernstein
Pixar soundtrack chronology
Monsters, Inc.
(2001)
Finding Nemo
(2003)
The Incredibles
(2004)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Film Score Reviews5/5 stars
SoundtrackNet3.5/5 stars

Finding Nemo, the original soundtrack album,[40] was the first Pixar film not to be scored by Randy Newman. The album was nominated for the Academy Award for Original Music Score, losing to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

All songs written and composed by Thomas Newman, except track 40 (Charles Trénet, Jack Lawrence and Albert Lasry). 

No.TitleLength
1."Wow"  2:31
2."Barracuda"  1:29
3."Nemo Egg (Main Title)"  1:16
4."First Day"  1:15
5."Field Trip!!"  0:57
6."Mr. Ray, Scientist (I'm a scientist)"  1:28
7."The Divers"  1:56
8."Lost"  1:03
9."Short-Term Dory"  0:43
10.""Why Trust a Shark?""  1:17
11."Friends Not Food"  1:51
12."Fish-O-Rama"  0:29
13."Gill"  1:40
14."Mt. Wannahockaloogie"  1:20
15."Foolproof"  0:32
16."Squishy"  1:32
17."Jellyfish Forest"  1:32
18."Stay Awake"  1:47
19."School of Fish"  1:03
20."Filter Attempt"  2:05
21."The Turtle Lope"  2:04
22."Curl Away My Son"  1:28
23."News Travels"  1:13
24."The Little Clownfish from the Reef"  1:15
25."Darla Filth Offramp"  2:22
26."Lost in Fog"  1:05
27."Scum Angel"  1:22
28."Haiku"  1:41
29."Time to Let Go"  2:22
30."Sydney Harbour"  0:28
31."Pelicans"  1:12
32."Drill"  0:50
33."Fish in My Hair!"  1:29
34.""All Drains Lead to the Ocean""  1:36
35."P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney"  0:39
36."Fishing Grounds"  1:41
37."Swim Down"  1:46
38."Finding Nemo"  1:19
39."Fronds Like These"  1:57
40."Beyond the Sea" (performed by Robbie Williams)4:08
Total length:
60:21

Theme park attractions[edit]

Finding Nemo has inspired numerous attractions and properties at Disney Parks around the world.

Finding Nemo – The Musical[edit]

The "Theater In The Wild," home to Finding Nemo – The Musical


The stage musical Tarzan Rocks! occupied the Theater in the Wild at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida from 1999 to 2006. When the musical closed in January 2006, it was rumored that a musical adaptation of Finding Nemo would replace it.[41] This was confirmed in April 2006, when Disney announced that the musical adaptation of Finding Nemo, with new songs written by Tony Award-winning Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, would "combine puppets, dancers, acrobats and animated backdrops" and open in late 2006.[42] Tony Award-winning director Peter Brosius signed on to direct the show, with Michael Curry, who designed puppets for Disney's 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".[43] To condense the feature-length film to 30 minutes, she and Lopez focused on a single theme from the movie, the idea that "the world's dangerous and beautiful".[43]

The 40-minute show (which is performed five times daily) opened on January 2, 2007. Several musical numbers took 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.

Finding Nemo was the first non-musical animated film to which Disney added songs in order to produce a stage musical. In 2009, Finding Nemo – The Musical was honored with a Thea Award for Best Live Show from the Themed Entertainment Association.

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film was released in 2003, for PC, Xbox, PS2, GameCube and GBA.

Sequel[edit]

In 2005, after disagreements between Disney's Michael Eisner and Pixar's Steve Jobs over the distribution of Pixar's films, Disney announced that they would be creating a new animation studio, Circle 7 Animation, to make sequels to the seven Disney-owned Pixar films (which consisted of the films released between 1995 and 2006).[44] The studio had put Toy Story 3 and Monsters, Inc. 2 into development, and had hired screenwriter Laurie Craig to write a draft for Finding Nemo 2.[45] Circle 7 was subsequently shut down after Robert Iger replaced Eisner as CEO of Disney and arranged the acquisition of Pixar.

In July 2012, it was reported that Andrew Stanton was developing a sequel to Finding Nemo, to be titled Finding Dory,[46][47] with Victoria Strouse writing the script and scheduled to be released in 2016.[48] The same day the news of a potential sequel broke, director Andrew Stanton called into question the accuracy of these reports. The message said, "Didn't you all learn from Chicken Little? Everyone calm down. Don't believe everything you read. Nothing to see here now. #skyisnotfalling".[49] According to the report by The Hollywood Reporter published in August 2012, Ellen DeGeneres was in negotiations to reprise her role of Dory.[50] In September 2012, Stanton confirmed, saying, "What was immediately on the list was writing a second Carter movie. When that went away, everything slid up. I know I'll be accused by more sarcastic people that it's a reaction to Carter not doing well, but only in its timing, but not in its conceit".[51] In February 2013, it was confirmed by the press that Albert Brooks would reprise the role of Marlin in the sequel.[52]

In April 2013, Disney announced the sequel, Finding Dory, confirming that Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks would be reprising their roles as Dory and Marlin, respectively. It was scheduled to be released on November 25, 2015,[53][54] but the film's ending was revised after Pixar executives viewed Blackfish.[55][56] On September 18, 2013, it was announced that the film would be pushed back to a June 17, 2016, release. Pixar's The Good Dinosaur was moved to the November 25, 2015 slot in order to allow more time for production of the film.[2]

References[edit]

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  56. ^ Barnes, Brooks (August 9, 2013). "‘Finding Nemo’ Sequel Is Altered in Response to Orcas Documentary". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]