Finding Nemo (2003) Poster



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Pixar's characters are often planned years in advance. Nemo first appeared as a stuffed toy on a couch in Boo's room in Monsters, Inc. (2001). This movie introduces the main characters of post-2003 Pixar films. A boy in the dentist's office is reading a "Mr. Incredible" comic book, anticipating The Incredibles (2004). Luigi the car is driving by the dentist's office, anticipating Cars (2006).
The great white shark's name in the movie was Bruce. "Bruce" was the nickname given to the models used for the shark in the original Jaws (1975), named after Spielberg's lawyer, Bruce Ramer.
Director Andrew Stanton did the voice of Crush the sea turtle. Stanton never intended to do the voice of Crush, only providing the voice for the film's rough cut, but when it proved popular in test screenings, he decided to do it for the final film. Stanton recorded all of Crush's dialogue lying on his couch in his office.
Andrew Stanton pitched his idea and story to Pixar head John Lasseter in an hour-long session, using elaborate visual aids and character voices. At the end of it, the exhausted Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought, to which Lasseter replied, "You had me at 'fish'."
Dory is the first role ever written specifically for Ellen DeGeneres.
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.
Dedicated to the memory of Glenn McQueen (1960-2002), a Pixar animator who would later be honored as the namesake of Lightning McQueen in Cars (2006).
The dentist's diploma is from Pixar University School of Dentistry.
In order for it to sound like Nigel had Marlin and Dory in his mouth, Geoffrey Rush held onto his tongue as he said his lines.
Surpassed The Lion King (1994) to become the highest-grossing animated film at that time. The Lion King (1994) producer Don Hahn called director Andrew Stanton to congratulate him and said, "It's about time".
Pixar developed a very realistic look of the surface water, but had to make it look more fake so people wouldn't think it was real footage of the ocean surface.
As of January 2005, it is the bestselling DVD of all time in the world with 22 million copies sold.
Film makers were worried that comedienne Ellen DeGeneres might not be able to perform the dramatic scene where Dory begs Marlin not to leave, so at the end of a day of recording other scenes asked her to record a trial reading of the scene with the intention that she go home with a recording of it to work on her actual performance. DeGeneres agreed, but her trial reading was so heartfelt and emotional that (apart from a few small edits) this is what was used in the final cut of the film.
Dory Lane and Marlin Drive are intersecting streets in the Bay Area suburb of Redwood City, just across the bay from Pixar's home.
To see how realistic they could make it appear, the art team were asked to make exact copies of actual underwater and above-water shots. Ultimately the results were simply deemed "too realistic" for a cartoon.
EASTER EGG: On the Bonus Features menu on disc 2, highlight the return symbol, then press down, and a green fish will appear. Select this to see a commercial for the Aquascum 2003.
Though never mentioned in the film, it is revealed by the directors in the commentary that Crush and his crew of thrill-seeking turtles are headed for Hawaii. Also mentioned in the commentary is that the young turtles' shells are modeled after Hawaiian shirts.
Deb's reflection/alter ego is Flo, as in "ebb" and "flow", like the tide.
The look and feel of the underwater world was essential to the film's success. To that end, the production crew were all exposed to visits to aquariums, diving stints in Monterey and Hawaii, study sessions in front of Pixar's own 25-gallon fish tank and even a series of in-house lectures from an ichthyologist.
Director Andrew Stanton originally planned to reveal the fate of Marlin's wife gradually through flashbacks seen periodically as the story unfolded. After a few early in-house screenings, he found that Marlin came off as too much of a worrywart, and decided to reveal the entire back-story up front, thus making Marlin more appealing by establishing the reason for his over-protectiveness.
For the jellyfish sequence, Pixar's Ocean Unit created an entire new system of shading which they called "transblurrency" - see-through but blurred, much like a frosted bathroom window.
Squirt the sea turtle is voiced by Nicholas Bird, the young son of Pixar director Brad Bird. Director Andrew Stanton was inspired to cast Nicholas when Brad Bird was showing home movies around the Pixar offices.
Among the toys in the waiting room are the jack-in-the-box and Buzz Lightyear and, on a shelf, the plane he used to "fly" in Toy Story (1995) and Pixar's trademark ball from Luxo Jr. (1986).
Dory does get Nemo's name right a total of 7 times, 4 of them without being corrected first. Of course some of these times are in quick succession. She also calls him Chico, Fabio, Bingo, Harpo, and Elmo, in that order.
Rendering a frame which lasted about 1/24th of a second in the film could take up to four days because of the complexity of the underwater environment with sunlight coming through the water and hitting fish scales.
Afraid that kids would try releasing their pet fish by flushing them down a drain, a company that manufactures equipment used by water filtration and sewage treatment plants released a warning the Thursday after the film came out saying that, even though drains do eventually reach the ocean, before it got there the water would go through equipment which breaks down solids, and went on to say that in real life the movie would more appropriately be called "Grinding Nemo".
Nemo's father Marlin was originally voiced by William H. Macy. According to James Stewart's book "DisneyWar", it was after seeing an early cut of the film with Macy's voice that then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner infamously told his board of directors, "This will be a reality check for those guys...It's OK, but nowhere near as good as their previous films. Of course, they think it's great. Trust me, it's not." Director 'Andrew Stanton' recast the role of Marlin with Albert Brooks, and the film went on to get some of Pixar's best reviews ever and become the highest-grossing animated film of all-time.
In the tank gang in the dentist's office, the germophobic purple and yellow fish is the only one never mentioned by name. His name was later revealed to be Gurgle.
Per the DVD extras, Albert Brooks spent an entire day in the recording studio improvising badly mangled versions of the anemone joke; no two tellings were fumbled in the same way. He had the recording technicians in stitches for the duration.
Albert Brooks was always Andrew Stanton's first choice to voice the part of Marlin. Although Brooks had done several episodes of The Simpsons (1989), he found voice work for a feature length cartoon to be substantially different in that he had to do it in isolation, and not alongside any other actors. He didn't particularly enjoy the experience.
According to the DVD, the names of the nine boats seen in the Sydney harbor are: Sea Monkey, Major Plot Point, Bow Movement, iBoat (a reference to iTunes, the company created by Pixar CEO Steve Jobs), Knottie Buoy, For the Birds (2000), Pier Pressure, Skiff-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (a reference to Song of the South (1946)'s most famous song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"), and The Surly Mermaid.
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 (1998) 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.
There are up to 200 turtles in the background of the turtle drive sequence.
When Dory is comforting Marlin in the whale, the animators used the same sequence earlier in the movie when Dory meets Marlin for the first time.
The dentist's camera's model number is A-113, a number which appears in all Pixar movies as a reference to the California Arts University room where the animators of Pixar Studios attend.
The waving strands on the anemones on the seabed move about using the same computer program that animated Sully's hair in Monsters, Inc. (2001).
Had the biggest opening weekend for any animated film upon its US release (30 May 2003).
As "research", the key figures of the production crew had to get SCUBA certification and go to the Great Barrier Reef on the insistence of John Lasseter.
In Latin the word nemo means 'nobody' or 'no one'. It is also a reference to Captain Nemo in Jules Verne's novel "20,000 leagues under the sea".
The coloration of Gill's face simulates the characteristic lines around the mouth of voice actor Willem Dafoe.
Animators studied dogs' facial expressions, paying particular attention to the eyes, to animate the expression of the fish.
The names of the two main Turtles are also the names of citrus soda brands popular in the United States: Crush and Squirt.
The waiting room in the dentist's office was modeled after the waiting room in a real dentist's office in Emeryville, California, where Pixar Animation Studios has its headquarters.
Work first began on the movie in 1997. Physical production actually began in January 2000 with a crew that ultimately comprised 180 people.
Co-writer Bob Peterson doubled as the voice of Mr. Ray.
In the original cut of the movie, the whale that swallows Marlin and Dory approaches them from the front. This version of the scene appeared in an early trailer. The final version, with the whale coming from behind, was inspired by an early animation test showing a whale emerging from the murk of the ocean behind a small fish.
John Lasseter considered Danny Elfman to score the film. When he turned it down Hans Zimmer was asked, but he turned it down as well.
On the bottom of a tank is an algae-coated model boat, on top of which is the mermaid from Knick Knack (1989).
Director Andrew Stanton cast Austin Pendleton because Stanton had always been a fan of Pendleton's work in The Muppet Movie (1979).
One of the boats is named Jerome's Raft, after Jerome Ranft, a Pixar art department sculptor.
Jacques' character is partly based on actor Fritz Feld, whose trademark was to "pop" his mouth by slapping it with the palm of his hand to indicate his "superior" annoyance.
The theatrical release poster is based on a food web that displays on what order animals eat from small to big.
Darla is named after Pixar producer Darla K. Anderson.
Nigel's line, "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat" is a reference to the line "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly," in the song "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" from the Broadway musical 'Show Boat'.
William H. Macy was originally cast as Marlin and recorded all of his dialogue. He was ultimately replaced with Albert Brooks.
One of the dentist's patients is "little Davy Reynolds", a reference to David Reynolds, one of the film's writers.
Claimed the all-time first day USA record for home-release sales with 8 million copies sold (80% of which were on DVD).
One musical theme that Thomas Newman composed for the score did not end up in the final film but still appeared both in one of the trailers and on one of the DVD menus.
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Demand for tropical fish exploded right after the film's release, especially for clown fish and blue tang, the main characters' species. And just like Darla, many new pet buyers had no idea how to take care of their pets and ended up killing them. It was later revealed that saltwater tropical fish need a 30-gallon aquarium with carefully controlled salinity levels, anything less will kill them. The rise in demand took fish importers by surprise and the population of clown fish dropped to 75 percent in some areas.

Although this isn't the first time something like this happened, Finding Nemo is different, because this time the whole premise of the movie was freeing the animal from being a pet. Then again, pet owners who took that premise to heart didn't respond much better. Some released their venomous fish into the ocean, ruining Florida's ecological balance. Others flushed fish down the toilet to free them and these fish died before even reaching the sewers.
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According to the DVD, there are some references to Massachusetts in the film as one of the creators is from Rockport, Massachussetts. While various sea creatures are relating Marlin's quest across the ocean, one step is a group of lobsters that speak with Boston accents and slang ("wicked daahhk").
Ranked #10 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation" in June 2008.
Buzz Lightyear is on the floor of the waiting room.
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Marlin and Dory have opposite personalities. Their body colors are also opposite colors on the color wheel, orange and blue.
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The animation team fluctuated between 28 and 50.
The name of the fish that yells "Oh, my gosh! Nemo's swimming out to sea!" is Kathy.
Crush says dude 21 times. Squirt says it 4 times.
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Nathan Lane's favorite animated film.
Dory says the address 11 full times (counting figuring it out at first as 1). She also says it 9 partial times (3 of them were stating they were in Sydney).
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The name of the underwater bubble-volcano which Nemo must swim through can be heard phonetically as "Wanna-hawk-a-loogie?"
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Rove McManus:  the crab threatened by Dory. Rove was the biggest late night talk show host in Australia at the time, with his show Rove Live (2000).


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Mike from Monsters, Inc. (2001) can be seen snorkeling in the closing credits.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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