Disney (Wednes)Day: Finding Nemo

I know, I know, it’s kind of an abomination I have never seen Finding Nemo because it was HUGE and is probably the biggest Disney release of the 2000s, at least in my perception. It was talked about long after its initial release and I’m excited to be finally remedying this past mistake of mine. Let’s boogie then.

A clownfish couple is talking. They just moved in to their now home and it’s beautiful. They have a bunch of fish eggs waiting to hatch and all is well. They debate over what to name their kids. The dad wants them to be named Marlin after him but his wife argues in favour of Nemo. They agree to name at least one of them Nemo. They continue to be totally adorable with each other until they look outside of their new home and all the other fish are gone. Just then Coral (the wife) sees a barracuda. She can only think of her babies, we get a glimpse of a fight and then fade to black.

Next up, Marlin wakes up but his wife and eggs are gone and this is all so sad. The movie barely started and I already have all the feels. But just then, Marlin finds one remaining egg and we all know what that’s going to be called.



At least Disney continues with its tradition of killing mothers in their movies. Not that this makes me happy or anything, just stating a fact. Cue title cards.

We cut to a significant amount of time later. It’s Nemo’s first day to go to school and he is excited but his father is cautious and you can tell it all comes from a deep love for him but also speaks to the trauma he endured with losing his wife and remaining children. I know this is a very obvious observation but I had to make it.

Marlin and Nemo have a great relationship. At school, Marlin runs into some other fathers from his boy’s class. They want to hear a joke since he is a clownfish and they must be funny. Marlin tries telling a joke but nope, not a thing.

Anyway, just before school starts, Nemo makes friends with some of the other kids though they comment on his tiny fin which he and his dad call a lucky fin. The poor guy was born with it and Marlin is afraid the kid can’t properly swim with it. Hmmm. I feel a Life Lesson coming up with this one but we will see.

They leave for class and it’s adorable. They all mount a big fish and start floating around. They’re going to the drop off which lets Marlin panic when he hears.

At the drop off, Nemo’s new friends sneak out of class to go to the placer where there nice reef drops off and becomes the ocean. They play a game of blackmailing each other to get further away from the abyss. There is also a boat there which the kids call a butt.

Just when it’s Nemo’s turn to swim out farther than the rest, Marlin drops in and goes crazy. He is a helicopter mom.

Marlin starts arguing with the teacher and so doesn’t notice when Nemo starts swimming all the way to the boat and back. He nearly makes it until a diver appears and collects the poor guy to speed away with his boat. Like a maniac, Marlin tries to follow the boat.

At some point, Marlin loses the trail of the boat and is left to panic even more. Oh my poor heart. He meets Dory who informs him that she just saw a boat pass and will show him the way so Marlin follows her. But then Dory goes crazy because she thinks Marlin is stalking her. It turns out, she has a short term memory problem. Dory is voiced by Ellen and I have to say, they couldn’t have found a better person for the job but that’s just my humble opinion.

Dory seems to have no trust issues whatsoever and makes friends with a shark who ushers both of the fish off to some remote location with him. Oy. The shark’s name is Bruce and it turns out they are like the Cullens only in fish form. They don’t eat other fish and today was “Bring a Fish Friend” to their meeting. There are two other big fish there and it’s like an AA meeting. They all talk a little bit about themselves. When it’s Marlin’s turn, he gets asked to tell a joke because clownish, haha, but in the middle of the not-joke, he starts talking about Nemo and the abduction.

Now I don’t remember how Dory got injured but she does and bleeds some which Bruce smells/tastes and goes bonkers. Also Dory can read and they found a diving mask, oh, that’s how she got injured, anyway, Dory, Marlin and the mask try to get away from Bonkers!Bruce. In that process, a missile from the old military ship that was there meeting place gets detonated.

Cut to Nemo in a fishtank at some dentist’s office. There are a bunch of other fish in the tank, they all talk about the dentist appointments and such. Also, they are all store grown and not from the ocean like poor Nemo. A pelican appears to chat with the fish about the root canal that is just happening.

It turns out Nemo is supposed to be a present for Darla, the dentist’s niece who is also the death of every fish. Neo panics and gets sucked into the filter thingy. (I’m sorry I don’t know anything about fishtanks.) Just then another fish comes forward and talks Nemo down. He isn’t going to pull him out but talks the little guy through doing it himself. Oh, I like this! Neo frees himself, huzzah!!

Cut to Marlin and Dory. They are asleep somewhere on that ship which starts to move off the rock/ground it is sitting on. In the process, they lose the diving mask with the address on the back. Did I mention the address before? Dunno but I did now so all is well. The mask falls down, down down into the deep dark see. Marlin is afraid and wants to give up but Dory, ever the optimist, takes his hand and together they swim into the nothingness of black deep sea.

Out of nowhere, there is a small light and it’s pretty but nobody knows what it is or where it came from. I have a suspicion I will be singing a certain song very soon but okay. And yes, it’s an anglerfish!! And it’s after Marlin while Dory tries to read the address on the mask. She does, the anglerfish gets trapped in the mask and off they swim into not so deep dark waters.

Meanwhile in the fishtanks. Neo is asleep but gets woken up to his very own initiation. It’s adores and he proves himself one of the group. The leader was once in the ocean as well. He also has a tiny/injured fin but says it was never a problem for him. Together they all want to save Nemo from Darla and come up with a ridiculous plan which I think won’t work but okay. Nobody asked me.

Back in the ocean, Marlin tells Dory she is dragging him down and wants to continue without her. She isn’t taking it very well. Marlin tries to get info on how to get to Sydney where the mask is from, from a swarm of fish but they don’t give him the time of day. However, they stop for Dory because she seems upset. Some bantering and she asks them about Sydney and they tell them where to go. Only one of the vital informations gets lost in her short term memory and they go over the difficult patch instead of through it. There they get stuck in a landfill of jellyfish which sting.

Marlin makes it through but loses Dory so he has to go back in and save her. They both lose consciousness.

In the tank, Nemo executes the escape plan but it doesn’t work.

Marlin wakes up on the back of a sea turtle called Crush. They are riding the East Australian Current which is what the swarm of fish told them to do in the first place. Awesome! Dory is with them and upbeat as ever though she has an injury on her side from the jellyfish. Marlin feels bad because this would’t have happened without him.

Marlin tells his story about losing Nemo to the sea turtles and they tell it to everyone in the ocean. It goes as far as the pelicans and seagulls hearing about this story. I see what you’re doing there, movie. I also didn’t just get chills from what one of the pelicans proclaiming Marlin as one brave and devoted father, nope.

Just then, the pelican from the dentist’s office hears of Marlin’s story and heads to the office to tell Nemo his dad is coming for him. Neo can’t believe all the brave tales he is hearing about his old man but gets excited. He goes to do the escape plan one more time and it works. Now the tank has to dirty itself up so the dentist has to clean it.

It’s time for Dory and Marlin to exit the East Australian Current. It’s an adventure but afterwards, Marlin enjoys it. Cute. Just then they need directions but all that is available is a whale.


Dory tries to speak whale with him but Marlin thinks she is just making this up and the whale swallows them.

The dentist comes in, sees the dirty tank and announces he will clean it the next day just before Darla comes by.

Marlin and Dory are floating around inside the whale and Marlin has a meltdown. But it turns out the whale was listening and drops them off in the Sydney harbour where they wanted to go.

The fish in the tank wake up and it’ clean. THE HORROR! The dentist installed a new self cleaning filter and oh no, Darla is there!!! ABORT!

The friendly pelican picks up Dory and Marlin to get them to Nemo but it’s too late. Nemo is already in a  plastic bag but playing dead so he gets flushed down the toilet because all drains lead into the ocean. Okay, that’s certainly not how it works but whatever.

Only, the dentist isn’t going to flush Nemo but drop him in the garbage. The pelican enters the room, makes a mess but can’t get to Nemo and the dentist throws the pelican out. Memo’s plastic bag pops, and after a fight with Darla, he gets down the drain and into the sewage line.

Coincidentally, the pelican leaves Marlin ad Dory next to a sewage ocean part sign. Marlin is sad because it didn’t work and they were too late to safe Nemo. Dory has some feels-y things to tell Marlin and omg I can’t even!

After Nemo struggling through the sewage lines and running into Dory who, at first, doesn’t remember a thing, suddenly remembers EVERYTHING they get to Marlin and YAY REUNION!

Only they are now in the fishing grounds and end up in a net. Father and son can get through the net but Dory os trapped. They get all the other trapped fish to swim down and eventually the net breaks loose and everyone is free and happy.

Back home, Marlin is a big hero and also found his sense of humour. He is also not a helicopter mom anymore but his relationship with Nemo is still adorable and it’s all so gooooood.

The end.

You guys, I LOVED this movie. I really, really did! I love that Nemo has a disability but manages to prove himself and be a hero. I love that he is raised by his overprotective dad and they have an amazing relationship. Yay for single fathers! I love the way Dory and Marlin start being friends. Dory manages to not be annoying. It was a fine line for me and they managed to keep her on track. It did help that I love Ellen. I love that Marlin goes out of his comfort zone to get his son back and basically, I love everything about this movie! SO MUCH! And here is your Disney Life Lesson, small things can’t keep you down; you can overcome any obstacle in your way; sometimes friendships form in the unlikeliest of ways and even annoying people are there to stay.

I did complain a lot about some of the movies I had to watch recently, not all but a lot of them weren’t good. This one, however, was amazing. I’m also glad I don’t hate every popular thing because I was afraid of that. It happens with books a lot lately and so I was concerned. The animation was lovely and it was just something so different with a story everyone can relate to but it really works for older people as well because you can identify with the dad and what it must be like, first losing his wife and then his son. SO. MANY. FEELS.

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  • Return to the ’80s (Paul)

    This is one of my favorite Pixar movies. It’s a great story, and the voice acting is incredible. I love this movie, and even own it on DVD.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It really is a fantastic movie!

  • Tim

    The more I meet people, the more I’m convinced that I’m the only person in the world not to love Finding Nemo. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly fine movie, and certainly not bad. But…it’s not great either. It just kind of exists to me.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      If this project taught me anything, it is that I often have a vastly disagreeing opinion on Disney movies than the majority of the population (see Toy Story etc.) but I did really love this one. I wasn’t expecting to and Dori should have been annoying as hell but nope.

      • Tim

        Dory is a relatively enjoyable part of the movie for me. That said, I think my like for Ellen makes Dory better, not the character itself.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          I’m pretty sure that was a big part for me as well.


    • Wilhelmina Upton


  • cupitonians

    Just keep swimming!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      That’s the spirit!