Finding Nemo (2003)

G | 100 or 104 mins | Comedy-drama | 30 May 2003

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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HISTORY

The film ends with the statement: “For Glenn McQueen, 1960—2002.” As noted in the DVD version of the film, McQueen, a longtime supervising animator at Pixar Studios, created such characters as “Woody” from Toy Story . Closing credits include a lengthy roster of acknowledgments, which includes several administrative departments, a list of babies born during production, and institutions such as the Aquarium of the Pacific and the City and County of San Francisco. An additional recognition reads: “Special thanks, Adam P. Summers, Fabulous Fish Guy University of California—Irvine.”
       Press materials for the film state that Summers provided staff members with insights into marine life by holding “essentially graduate-level ichthyology courses.” The closing credits also mention Finding Nemo books, video games, merchandise and soundtrack availability. After the credits end, an animated epilogue features a small fish being pursued by a large predator, which the little fish eats, followed by the statement: “Created and produced at Pixar Animation Studios, Emeryville, California.” Several crew members also provided additional voices to the film, including writer-director Andrew Stanton, who provided the voice for “Crush.”
       The following information, unless otherwise noted, was gathered from studio press materials and information provided on the 2003 Finding Nemo Collector's Edition DVD release: Stanton first conceived the story of a father fish searching for his lost son during a 1992 visit to Marine World in Vallejo, CA. He combined his experience there with his memories of a fish tank in his dentist’s office, as well as his personal concerns about being an overprotective father to his son. Stanton co-wrote all four previous Pixar features and was the co-director of A Bug’s Life ... More Less

The film ends with the statement: “For Glenn McQueen, 1960—2002.” As noted in the DVD version of the film, McQueen, a longtime supervising animator at Pixar Studios, created such characters as “Woody” from Toy Story . Closing credits include a lengthy roster of acknowledgments, which includes several administrative departments, a list of babies born during production, and institutions such as the Aquarium of the Pacific and the City and County of San Francisco. An additional recognition reads: “Special thanks, Adam P. Summers, Fabulous Fish Guy University of California—Irvine.”
       Press materials for the film state that Summers provided staff members with insights into marine life by holding “essentially graduate-level ichthyology courses.” The closing credits also mention Finding Nemo books, video games, merchandise and soundtrack availability. After the credits end, an animated epilogue features a small fish being pursued by a large predator, which the little fish eats, followed by the statement: “Created and produced at Pixar Animation Studios, Emeryville, California.” Several crew members also provided additional voices to the film, including writer-director Andrew Stanton, who provided the voice for “Crush.”
       The following information, unless otherwise noted, was gathered from studio press materials and information provided on the 2003 Finding Nemo Collector's Edition DVD release: Stanton first conceived the story of a father fish searching for his lost son during a 1992 visit to Marine World in Vallejo, CA. He combined his experience there with his memories of a fish tank in his dentist’s office, as well as his personal concerns about being an overprotective father to his son. Stanton co-wrote all four previous Pixar features and was the co-director of A Bug’s Life (1998). Finding Nemo marked his solo feature directing debut.
       A crew of 180 people at Pixar Studios performed all of the animation for the film. Pixar’s technical and creative team designed many new, innovative techniques to depict underwater imagery. Research and development began with identifying the key elements to underwater environments, including lighting, surge and reflections. Each animator was licensed in scuba diving for dives in Monterey and Hawaii, visited and studied various marine life aquariums, and watched Jacques Cousteau videos and underwater scenes in previous Walt Disney films, such as 1989’s The Little Mermaid , for inspiration.
       In addition to analyzing and recreating realistic fish motion, six technical teams, specializing in the different settings used in the film, developed the individualized underwater environments. For instance, the reef scenes used a stylized, vibrantly colorful look, while the jellyfish scenes used a shading system the animators called “transblurrency,” and the interior whale shots required constantly mobile, organic images of splashing water.
       Similarly, the underwater sound effects required a break with traditional Foley methods, which normally involves individuals approximating footsteps and other land-based noises utilizing ordinary materials. Many of the effects in Finding Nemo were manufactured, including the sound of “Marlin” and “Dory” bouncing on jellyfish, which sound designer Gary Rydstrom created by tapping his finger on a hot-water bottle. Other sounds were caught during real-life experiences, such as the dental drill sound, which was recorded while Rydstrom’s assistant, Dee Selby, had a cavity filled. In addition, according to a 26 Jun 2003 DV article, Rydstrom relied on the sound library at the Skywalker studios for extra sound effects, and introduced the Kyma digital signal processor, which merged digitally stored sounds with noises Rydstrom made with his mouth. This technology was used in the shark chase scene, for which the designer combined the word “Nemo” with water noises. Thomas Newman’s musical score was recorded with a 105-piece orchestra.
       The DVD adds that Stanton named the character of brat “Darla” after a producer of the 2002 Pixar film Monsters, Inc. , Darla Anderson, who frequently played practical jokes on the director. After three years of work on the film, the first preview screening took place in Oct 2002, and received the highest ratings in Pixar history. The DVD version of Finding Nemo includes several deleted scenes, including one in which Marlin tells “Nemo” about his old home and Nemo recalls his mother’s face; one in which the sharks play “ball” with a mine; and one in which Nemo learns that the story “Gill” told about his past was fabricated from a children’s book.
       Reviews of the film were uniformly admiring. The LAT critic commented on the “rapturous undersea-world-of-our-dreams colors” of the Great Barrier Reef and the “level of smarter-than-the-room humor noticeably wacky and sophisticated for studio family fare,” while Var called the film “a buoyant adventure that entertainingly continues the Disney/Pixar winning streak.”
       On 25 Aug 2003, DV reported that Finding Nemo ’s box office had at that point reached $329.8 million domestically, making it the top-grossing cartoon of all time. The picture’s success affected the already planned negotiations between Pixar and Disney, whose long-term distribution contract with the animation studio ends in 2005. [That contract affords Disney a distribution fee plus 50% of distribution-side box office in exchange for providing half of production costs for all Pixar features.] According to an 8 Aug 2003 LAT article, Pixar executive Steve Jobs wanted to be allowed to retain ownership of the studio’s films and pay Disney only a distribution fee. Although previous to Finding Nemo ’s success, Disney was reluctant to agree to the new terms, many trade articles noted that Pixar now had more hope of a favorable contract. The LAT piece quoted Jobs as saying that he would prefer “to stay tied to Disney” but would look elsewhere if necessary.
       When Disney released Finding Nemo on VHS and DVD on 4 Nov 2003, it set the first-day sales record for home video, with HR reporting an estimated eight million copies sold. In addition to being selected by AFI as one of the top ten films of 2003, Finding Nemo received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was nominated in the categories of Original Screenplay, Original Score and Sound. The picture was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture—Musical or Comedy; was named best animated film of the year by The National Board of Review; was selected as one of the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s top ten films of the year as well as their pick for best animated film; and was listed on People and Newsweek magazines’ top ten lists of 2003. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 May 2003
p. 4, 16.
Daily Variety
3 Jun 2003
p. 6, 38.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 2003
p. B1, B4.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 2003.
---
Daily Variety
25 Aug 2003
p. 36.
Entertainment Weekly
6 Jun 2003
pp. 53-54.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 2003
p. 22, 68.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 2003
p. 1, 35.
Los Angeles Times
25 May 2003
Calendar, p. 1, 13.
Los Angeles Times
30 May 2003
Calendar, p. 1, 12.
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 2003
Calendar, p. 1, 9.
Time
26 May 2003
pp. 60-63.
Variety
26 May 2003.
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CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Co-dir
Supv tech dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Story supv
Story supv
Story supv
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Cam supv
Cam software & engineering
Cam software & engineering
Cam software & engineering
Cam software & engineering
Cam tech
Cam tech
Photoscience mgr
Photoscience mgr
Dept admin
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir, characters
Art dir, shading
Art dir, environments
Art dir, environments
Story mgr
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Story artist
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Addl storyboarding
Digital storyboarding
Story consultant
Story coord
Story coord
Story prod asst
Art mgr
Char des
Addl char des
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Prod artist
Sculptor
Sculptor
Art coord
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
2d film ed
2d film ed
2d film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Editorial coord
OMF coord
Ed prod asst
Ed prod asst
Ed prod asst
Senior mgr ed and post prod
Post prod projection
Post prod ed services
Post prod ed services
Post prod ed services
Negative cutting
MUSIC
Rec and mixed
Orch rec
Asst mus ed
Temp mus ed
Mus contractor
Mus preparation
Digital audio
Mus prod supv
Mus prod mgr
Mus prod coord
Mus prod asst
Mus prod asst
Mus rec and mixed at
Mus rec and mixed at
Mus rec and mixed at
SOUND
Sd des/Re-rec mixer/Supv sd ed
Asst sd des
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Asst supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed/Addl dial rec
Orig dial mixer
Addl dial rec
Addl dial rec
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
ADR ed
Mix tech
Mix tech
Post prod sd services by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Lead, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
Development team, studio tools R&D
End credit des
Final rendering systems
Rendered by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Casting
Casting
Addl ADR voice casting
Addl Australian voice casting
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Scheduling coord
Dir of prod finance
Supv of prod resources
Asst to the prod
Asst to the dir
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Disney prod representative
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Addl prod support
Mgr and lead, information systems
Mgr and lead, information systems
Mgr and lead, information systems
Mgr and lead, information systems
Mgr and lead, information systems
Mgr and lead, information systems
Mgr and lead, information systems
System admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Systems admin & support, information systems
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
ANIMATION
Supv anim
Anim mgr
Directing anim
Directing anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Senior layout artist
Fix anim
Fix anim/Anim wrangler
Anim coord
Anim fix coord
Animated on
CG supv, characters
CG supv, ocean unit
CG supv, ocean unit
CG supv, reef unit
CG supv, tank unit
CG supv, sharks/Sydney unit
CG supv, global technology
CG supv, digital final/Tech development team
CG supv, schooling/Flocking
Unit mgr, characters
Unit mgr, characters
Unit mgr, ocean unit/Tank unit
Unit mgr, reef unit
Unit mgr, sharks/Sydney unit
Unit mgr, schooling & flocking
Unit mgr, digital final
Unit coord, characters
Unit coord, ocean unit
Unit coord, reef unit
Unit coord, reef unit
Unit coord, sharks/Sydney unit
Unit coord, tank unit
Unit coord, digital final
Lead, characters
Lead, characters
Lead CG painter
Lead, ocean unit/CG artist, tank unit
Lead, ocean unit
Lead, ocean unit/Tank unit
Lead, ocean unit/Sharks/Sydney unit
Lead, reef unit
Lead, reef unit
Lead, reef unit
Lead, sharks/Sydney unit
Lead, sharks/Sydney unit/Tech development
Lead, tank unit
Lead, tank unit
Lead, schooling & flocking/CG artist, ocean unit
CG painter
CG painter
CG painter
CG painter
CG painter
CG painter
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters/Ocean unit
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters/Tech development team
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, characters
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist ocean unit/Tank unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit/Tank unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit
CG artist, ocean unit/Tank unit
CG artist, ocean unit/Schooling & flocking
CG artist, ocean unit/Tank unit
CG artist, reef unit/Tech development team
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit/Digital final
CG artist, reef unit/Tank unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, reef unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit/Tech development tea
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit/Tank unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, sharks/Sydney unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit/Tech development team
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, tank unit
CG artist, schooling & flocking
CG artist, schooling & flocking/Tech development t
CG artist, digital final
CG artist, digital final
CG artist, digital final
Addl CG artist, tech development
Addl CG artist, tech development
Addl CG artist, tech development
Addl CG artist, tech development
Addl CG artist, tech development
Addl CG artist, tech development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Visual development
Addl visual development
Tech development lead
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
Tech development team
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Fandango," written by Bob Bain
"Psycho (the Murder)," written by Bernard Herrmann.
SONGS
"The Girl from Ipanema," written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius De Moraes and Norman Gimbel
"Beyond the Sea," written by Charles Louis Trenet, Albert Lasry and Jack Lawrence, performed by Robbie Williams, courtesy of EMI Records under license from EMI Film & TV Music
"Whale of a Tale," music by Al Hoffman, lyrics by Norman Gimbel.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 May 2003
Production Date:
January 2000--2002
Copyright Claimant:
Pixar Talking Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 June 2003
Copyright Number:
PA0001146502
Physical Properties:
Sound
SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; dts Digital Sound; Dolby Digital in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor
Animation
Widescreen/ratio
PixarVision
Lenses/Prints
Kodak
Duration(in mins):
100 or 104
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
39772
SYNOPSIS

In Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a clownfish named Marlin and his wife Coral take up residence in an anemone at the edge of the coral reef. Although Marlin frets that his four hundred as-yet-unhatched children will not like him, Coral assures him that he will be a wonderful father. Just then, however, a barracuda attacks the anemone, knocking Marlin unconscious, and he awakens to discover that Coral and all the eggs, except one, have been eaten. Cradling his remaining son, Nemo, Marlin vows to protect him forever. Soon, Nemo is a happy, curious boy, who lets neither a malformed fin nor his father’s overprotectiveness dampen his energy. On Nemo’s first day of school, Marlin embarrasses him at the schoolyard by anxiously fussing over him and insisting on cautiousness. To prove that he does not need coddling, Nemo accepts the other kids’ dare to swim out to a ship just past the reef drop off. Although he bravely swims into the open sea, which his father has taught him is perilous, touches the boat and turns back in triumph, a scuba diver nets him before Nemo can reach safety. Horrified, Marlin rushes to his son’s aid, but the boat speeds away too quickly for Marlin to keep up with it, and when he begs for help, only a cheerful blue tang named Dory responds. She offers to help him follow the ship, which she saw pass by, but after several minutes, Marlin realizes they are swimming aimlessly. As Dory explains that she suffers from short-term memory loss, a menacing shark named Bruce forcibly escorts the pair to a twelve-step meeting designed to cure fish-eating addictions. Chanting “Fish are friends, not ... +


In Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a clownfish named Marlin and his wife Coral take up residence in an anemone at the edge of the coral reef. Although Marlin frets that his four hundred as-yet-unhatched children will not like him, Coral assures him that he will be a wonderful father. Just then, however, a barracuda attacks the anemone, knocking Marlin unconscious, and he awakens to discover that Coral and all the eggs, except one, have been eaten. Cradling his remaining son, Nemo, Marlin vows to protect him forever. Soon, Nemo is a happy, curious boy, who lets neither a malformed fin nor his father’s overprotectiveness dampen his energy. On Nemo’s first day of school, Marlin embarrasses him at the schoolyard by anxiously fussing over him and insisting on cautiousness. To prove that he does not need coddling, Nemo accepts the other kids’ dare to swim out to a ship just past the reef drop off. Although he bravely swims into the open sea, which his father has taught him is perilous, touches the boat and turns back in triumph, a scuba diver nets him before Nemo can reach safety. Horrified, Marlin rushes to his son’s aid, but the boat speeds away too quickly for Marlin to keep up with it, and when he begs for help, only a cheerful blue tang named Dory responds. She offers to help him follow the ship, which she saw pass by, but after several minutes, Marlin realizes they are swimming aimlessly. As Dory explains that she suffers from short-term memory loss, a menacing shark named Bruce forcibly escorts the pair to a twelve-step meeting designed to cure fish-eating addictions. Chanting “Fish are friends, not food,” the three group members welcome Marlin and Dory, and while Bruce recounts the tale of his father’s abandonment of the family, Marlin spots a diver’s mask and, sure it belongs to the human who captured Nemo, inadvertently cuts Dory in his excitement. The scent of her blood mesmerizes Bruce, who chases the fish into a wrecked ship, and although Marlin and Dory escape, the chase sets off a mine explosion. Meanwhile, Nemo is transported to a fish tank in the Sydney office of dentist P. Sherman. The other aquarium inmates, including Jacques the shrimp, Deb, a starfish named Peach and Bloat the blowfish, welcome the boy, but when he becomes stuck in a filter, their gruff leader, Gill, insists that Nemo escape without help, demonstrating his own damaged fin as proof that a handicap need not impede him. The tank members soon “initiate” Nemo into their society and form an escape plan to save Nemo from being given to the dentist’s niece, Darla, a notorious fish abuser. Gill’s plan calls for Nemo to swim into the filter and jam it with a pebble, after which the dentist will clean the tank, transferring them to plastic bags in which they plan to hurl themselves out the window and into the harbor below. Back in the sea, Marlin swims, with Dory’s encouragement, to the ocean depths to find the fallen mask. In the dark, both are spellbound by the light of a predatory angler fish, but manage to spot the mask. While Marlin distracts the angler, Dory slowly reads the dentist’s address on the mask, and is thrilled to discover that she can remember it. Soon annoyed by her blithe chatter, enthusiasm and memory lapses, Marlin informs Dory that he would like to travel alone, and her subsequent sobs attract the chivalry of a school of fish, who scorn Marlin but provide Dory with direction to the Sydney harbor. Now aware that he needs Dory’s help, Marlin apologizes and swims off before he can hear the school’s advice to avoid the upcoming trench. Although Dory tries to warn Marlin, she forgets the details and follows him above the trench, which serves as a jellyfish bed. Marlin is resistant to the stings, but Dory is not, so to save his oblivious friend, Marlin pretends to play a “game” with Dory in which she bounces harmlessly over the jellyfish tops, thus avoiding the dangerous tentacles. Before they reach the end, however, Dory is stung and lies unconscious. As they both recover in open waters, Nemo continues his getaway attempts, sure that his timid father would never risk the open water to rescue him. He fails to achieve the dangerous task, however, and the tank fish sink into dejection. Meanwhile, Marlin awakens on the back of a sea turtle named Crush, who explains that his school is riding the East Australian Current into Sydney. Dory is nearby, playing games with the turtle children, including Squirt, whose independence while swimming the rapid current impresses Marlin. The youngsters idolize Marlin, as does Dory, as she listens enraptured to his tales of their own travels through the ocean. Marlin’s astounding stories soon spread throughout the ocean until they reach the pelicans in Sydney Harbor, one of whom, Nigel, regularly visits the dentist’s office and recognizes Nemo’s name. When he informs Nemo of his father’s courageous search, Nemo is overjoyed and, inspired, flings himself into the tank filter and jams it. At the same time, Marlin and Dory leave the turtles to brave the current alone, and Marlin finds himself invigorated by the adventure. They swim toward shore but are soon lost in the vast ocean, and after Dory tries to ask a whale direction in its own language, the whale swallows them both. Inside its mouth, Marlin rages at his friend. After he states that he must keep his promise to Nemo never to let anything happen to him, Dory points out that this promise cannot be any fun for the child. Dory then assures Marlin that the whale has told her “it’s time to let go,” and although Marlin is frightened, he does so, allowing the whale to expel them via his blowhole into the harbor. The next morning, the tank fish awaken to discover that a new filtration system has cleaned the aquarium. The dentist then nets Nemo, and although the others try to wrench him free, the dentist succeeds in capturing Nemo just as Darla arrives. Outside, a pelican tries to eat Marlin and Dory, whose struggles attract the attention of Nigel. Upon hearing Marlin say Nemo’s name, Nigel offers to carry them in his mouth to the dentist’s office. Marlin is suspicious, but when hungry seagulls approach, he readily agrees. They reach the office in time to see Nemo feigning death, hoping to be flushed down the toilet, as Gill has assured him that all drains lead to the sea. When Darla grabs Nemo, Gill jumps onto her head, and pandemonium erupts in the office. Soon, the dentist is unconscious and Gill has sacrificed his own chance for escape by tossing Nemo down the spit bowl. As Nemo is flushed into the Sydney water treatment pipes, he calls for his father, who is despondent at this missed opportunity to save his son. Believing Nemo to be dead, he mournfully bids goodbye to Dory, and when she begs him to stay with her so she can continue to regain her memories, Marlin states that he wants only to forget his. Soon, Nemo struggles out of the pipes, and although he meets Dory, she fails to remember that she is on a quest to find him. Suddenly, however, her memory returns, and she brings Nemo to his father, who embraces him joyously. Within moments, the trio is caught up in a fisherman’s net along with a huge school of fish. Marlin tries to hold Nemo back but finally relents when the boy asserts that he can remedy the situation, coaching the fish to swim downward as one. The combined force of their movement breaks the net from its rope, and all are freed. When Marlin searches for Nemo, however, he finds him dazed beneath the fallen net. Marlin cradles his son, who soon regains consciousness. Later, back on the reef, Marlin urges Nemo to get to school on time, and once there, jokes easily with the other fathers, proud to see his son leave to explore his ocean home. At the same time, the tank fish achieve their goal and throw themselves into the ocean, where they float in perfect happiness, though still unsure how to escape their plastic bags. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.