Everybody Loves a Clownfish


Finding Nemo – I saw this one in the theater when it was new, but haven’t watched it since then. The animation of animals under the sea is quite impressive. Pixar humans still looked weird at this point, but we don’t see very many of them. The film starts with a disturbing sequence where Nemo’s mother and all but one of her 400 eggs are eaten by a barracuda. I know dead parents are a Disney staple, but this is going above and beyond on the sadness scale. There was even a joke on The Simpsons about how Milhouse’s mom always skipped the first chapter on the DVD. An IMDb comment indicated that Nemo’s father Marlin should have become female after that (clownfish are hermaphroditic), but instead he’s an overprotective single dad, made even worse by the fact that one of Nemo’s fins is considerably smaller than the other. Nemo is so bothered by his dad’s insistence that he can’t do anything on his own that he swims out to touch a boat, and ends up being caught by a scuba-diving dentist. Marlin goes to search for him and runs into Dory, a regal blue tang with memory loss issues, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. I did find it strange that these two fish have personal (or should that be “ofishal”?) names of other kinds of fish, but they’re also both actual names (well, with different spellings). Dory is able to read (possibly something covered in the sequel that I haven’t seen yet), and learns from the diver’s dropped scuba mask that he lives in Sydney. Meanwhile, Nemo is put in a tank in the dentist’s office, but soon learns that he’s supposed to become the pet of his niece, who kills fish.

There’s a joke about one of his patients being the Prime Minister, which I’m not sure I entirely get, but it reminds me of the Simpsons bit where the PM is sitting on a pool float and drinking a beer.

Since I’ve commented on the predator/prey issue in other animated films, I’ll point out that this one mostly portrayed it pretty accurately. That said, there’s a group of sharks who are trying to stop eating fish, portrayed like recovering alcoholics.

That raises the question of what they ARE supposed to eat, since I wouldn’t think they could get the necessary sustenance from anything else. Nigel the pelican is friends with the fish in the tank and helps out Marlin and Dory, but he indicates that he does eat fish. I guess it’s okay as long as he doesn’t know them personally.

Also, sharks speak the same language the smaller fish do, but whales apparently don’t.

Anyway, Marlin and Dory make it to the dentist’s office, but are unable to save Nemo, who ends up being flushed down the dental sink. He manages to survive this and reunite with his dad, also saving Dory and a bunch of other fish from being caught in a net. Not only did this movie increase the demand for clownfish and blue tangs, both of which need large tanks to survive outside the ocean; but some kids flushed their pet fish due to Gill’s insistence that all drains lead to the ocean. A company that made sewage treatment equipment spoke up on this, saying that in real life, it would be “Grinding Nemo.” Or is it a joke on how primitive Australian water treatment is?

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This entry was posted in Animals, Cartoons, Families, Humor, Names, Revisiting Disney, Television, The Simpsons, VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Everybody Loves a Clownfish

  1. rocketdave says:

    I haven’t seen Finding Nemo since it was in theaters either, so even though my memory is not as bad as Dory’s, my memory of the movie is not so clear, apart from the basic plot. That wasn’t a problem when I saw Finding Dory a few months back, except for a post credits scene that was a callback to something from the first movie. I likened it to telling a joke and then randomly delivering a punchline a dozen years later.

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