Finding Nemo (2003) Poster



The coloration of Gill's face simulates the characteristic lines around the mouth of voice actor Willem Dafoe.
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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).
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, an exhausted Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought, to which Lasseter replied, "You had me at 'fish.'"
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 Steven Spielberg's lawyer, Bruce M. Ramer. Before Barry Humphries was cast, many other Australian actors were considered for the part. They include John Jarrett, Ray Meagher, Ross Higgins, Peter Moon, Glenn Robbins, Russell Gilbert, Jamie Dunn, Bert Newton, Mark Mitchell, Paul Hogan, Bryan Brown, Michael Veitch and Kim Gyngell.
The dentist's diploma is from Pixar University School of Dentistry.
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.
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 September 2015, Finding Nemo (2003) is the bestselling DVD of all time in the world, with 41 million copies sold.
In order for it to sound like Nigel had Marlin and Dory in his mouth, voice actor Geoffrey Rush held onto his tongue as he said his lines.
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. This idea would eventually be used in the film's sequel Finding Dory (2016), where Dory starts to have flashbacks about her family, and starts to remember who she is.
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).
This movie 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."
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 (the branch of zoology that deals with fish).
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.
Dory does get Nemo's name right a total of seven times, four 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 (at a resolution of 1600x900), 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.
Dory Lane and Marlin Drive are intersecting streets in the Bay Area suburb of Redwood City, just across the bay from Pixar's home.
Nemo's father Marlin was originally voiced by William H. Macy. According to James B. 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. Even worse for Eisner, Disney's distribution contract with Pixar was close to expiring at this time and thus he was facing a difficult position of trying to renew it with Pixar's owner, Steve Jobs, who already loathed Eisner before that insult. That situation of Disney in danger of losing their most consistently successful producer of films because of Eisner's denigration proved to be one of the numerous complaints about him to finally prompt the shareholders to fire him.
Film makers were worried that comedian Ellen DeGeneres would 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, they 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.
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.
Crush's son Squirt is voiced by Nicholas Bird, the young son fellow Pixar director Brad Bird. Director Andrew Stanton was inspired to cast Nicholas when Brad was showing home movies around the Pixar offices.
To see how realistic they could make it appear, the art team was asked to make exact copies of actual underwater and above-water shots. Ultimately, the results were simply deemed "too realistic" for a cartoon.
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.
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.
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, as anything less will kill them. The rise in demand took fish importers by surprise and the population of clown fish dropped by 75 percent in some areas. Although this isn't the first time something like this happened, Finding Nemo was 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 did not 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.
Dory is the first role ever written specifically for Ellen DeGeneres.
Deb's reflection/alter ego is Flo, as in "ebb" and "flow," like the tide.
SERIES TRADEMARK: 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).
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.
There are up to 200 turtles in the background of the turtle drive sequence.
EASTER EGG: On the Bonus Features menu on Disc 2, if you highlight the return symbol, then press down, a green fish will appear. Select this to see a commercial for the Aquascum 2003.
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."
SERIES TRADEMARK: 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.
Animators studied dogs' facial expressions, paying particular attention to the eyes, to animate the expression of the fish.
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.
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 by Apple, 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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
Had the biggest opening weekend for any animated film upon its U.S. release (May 30, 2003).
Work on the movie first began in 1997. Physical production actually began in January 2000, with a crew that ultimately comprised of 180 people.
First Pixar film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
On the bottom of a tank is an algae-coated model boat, on top of which is the mermaid from Knick Knack (1989), the short which accompanied this film.
Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story (1995) is on the floor of the waiting room.
The names of the two main turtles are also the names of citrus soda brands popular in the United States, Crush and Squirt.
One of the boats is named "Jerome's Raft," after Jerome Ranft, a Pixar art department sculptor, who'd replace his brother Joe Ranft as the voice of Jacques after his death in 2005.
Most of the fish are actual saltwater fish that can be found in the pacific ocean. Nemo is a clownfish (so is Marlin), Dory is a Regal Blue Tang, Gil is a Moorish Idol, Bloat is a Porcupine Puffer Fish, Bubbles is a Yellow Tang, Peach is an Ochre Starfish, Gurgle is a Royal Gramma, Jacques is a Cleaner Shrimp, and Deb is a Damsel Fish.
Darla is named after Pixar producer Darla K. Anderson.
The theatrical release poster is based on a food web that displays on what order animals eat from small to big.
William H. Macy was considered for the role of Marlin.
Co-writer Bob Peterson doubled as the voice of Mr. Ray.
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").
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.
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.
The fact that Dory suffers from short-term memory loss is a humorous reference to the widespread but mistaken belief that goldfish only have a three-second memory.
One of the dentist's patients is "little Davy Reynolds," a reference to David Reynolds, one of the film's writers.
Director Andrew Stanton cast Austin Pendleton because Stanton had always been a fan of Pendleton's work in The Muppet Movie (1979).
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."
The submarine that the sharks take Nemo and Dory to is an American Gato-class World War II-era submarine. The Submarine is USS Flier (SS-250) which was sunk by a mine on a war patrol out of Brisbane.
Marlin and Dory have opposite personalities. Their body colors are also opposite colors on the color wheel, orange and blue.
One musical theme that Thomas Newman composed for the score did not end up in the final film but still appeared in both one of the trailers and on one of the DVD menus.
Claimed the all-time first day USA record for home-release sales, with 8 million copies sold (80% of which were on DVD).
Ranked #10 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation" in June 2008.
Ellen DeGeneres was cast when Andrew Stanton saw an episode of her chat show in which she essentially changed the subject about 5 times in the space of a few minutes.
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This film holds the record for "Best-Selling DVD" release of all time, selling over 40 million copies.
Crush says "dude" twenty-one times. Squirt says it four times.
Two experiences in Andrew Stanton's life shaped the film. The first one was recalling trips to the dentist as a child and being fascinated by the aquarium there, the second was realizing that he was naturally over-protective of his young son.
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Last of the 3 Consecutive Pixar Films to have Lee Unkrich as the Co-Director. He wouldn't be able to direct another Pixar Film until Toy Story 3 (2010)_ and Coco (2017) 7 and 14 years later respectively as the Main Director.
Ellen DeGeneres loved playing Dory so much that was constantly asking Pixar to make a sequel, which they eventually did with Finding Dory (2016).
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Dory says the address eleven full times (counting figuring it out at first as one). She also says it nine partial times (three of them were stating they were in Sydney).
The actors who voice Nemo (Alexander Gould), Marlin (Albert Brooks), and Coral (Elizabeth Perkins) also portray main characters in the Showtime series Weeds (2005): Gould as Shane Botwin, Brooks as Len Botwin and Perkins as Celia Hodes.
This is the first Disney Pixar film to not be released in November.
Dory never says Marlin's name in the whole movie despite being with him through out most of the film.
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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?"
Unusually for an animated film, this entered into production with a completed screenplay.
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The animation team fluctuated between 28 and 50.
The tiki heads in the tank are caricatures of Pixar employees Peter Sohn, Nelson 'Rey' Bohol and Ricky Nierva.
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The highest grossing G-rated film until Toy Story 3 (2010) came along 7 years later.
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Nathan Lane's favorite animated film.
The scene where Crush tells Marlin not to puke over his shell, since he just waxed it, is a reference to the carwash and -wax brand called 'Turtle Wax'.
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Pre-production began in 1997 when Andrew Stanton was in post-production on A Bug's Life (1998).
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Tad is voiced by Jordan Ranft, the son of Joe Ranft, who voiced of Jacques the Shrimp in this film.
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The scene where Bruce chases Dory and Marlin is a clear reference to The Shining (1980). The famous line "Here's Johnny!" is changed to "Here's Brucie!".
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Only Pixar Film with Andrew Stanton as the Main Director to not have any Characters voiced by Sigourney Weaver.
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The first Pixar film not to have a score by Randy Newman.
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The second highest grossing film of 2003.
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Brad Garret's 2nd Pixar Film. The first one being A Bug's Life (1998) (which was co-directed by this film's Main Director Andrew Stanton), and his 3rd one would later be Ratatouille (2007).
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The scene were Nigel evades a group of seagulls by narrowly passing between the mast and mainsail of a yacht recalls a similar scene in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In that movie, Harrison Ford's character Han Solo flies his ship, the Millennium Falcon, through a narrow canyon in order to evade the pursuit of a group of TIE fighters. In both instances, the hero, at the last instant, rolls 90° and flies through the opening, while his pursuers hit the surrounding walls (or sails in the case of the seagulls).
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Bruce is also the name of the puppet that portrayed the great white in the movie "Jaws".
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Pixar Animation Studios' 5th feature film.
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This is the second Pixar film after A Bug's Life (1998) to say the end at the end. Both of these films had Directorial Efforts done by Andrew Stanton.
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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 items below may give away important plot points.

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."
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.
Mike from Monsters, Inc. (2001) can be seen snorkeling in the closing credits.
The name of the fish that yells "Oh, my gosh! Nemo's swimming out to sea!" is Kathy, who's never mentioned by name in the film itself.
The pre-end credit scene show all the aquarium fish from the dentist's office are free and out of their plastic bags. As the closing credits are about to end, there was a short segment where the angler fish swims up to the tiny green fish and the tiny fish opens its mouth and swallows the angler fish.
As well as Crush, Director Andrew Stanton also voiced the Seagulls that go "Mine, Mine, Mine".
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The first Pixar Film to show blood (not counting A Bug's Life (1998) where it was only a sample as opposed to someone bleeding from an injury), as well as the only G Rated Film of Pixar's to have it shown. It was shown where Dory got hit in the face by a scuba mask when she was trying to show it to the sharks and read what the mask says, but Marlin refuses to have the mask be shown and he pulls it but Dory pulls back, and Marlin accidentally gave Dory a nosebleed after letting go of the mask.
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The voice of Peach the Starfish Allison Janney in one episode of The West Wing (1999), her character CJ had a root canal, and in Finding Nemo (2003) Peach describes a root canal.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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