Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo
Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
Written by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds based on a story by Andrew Stanton.
(number 416)

I first saw this movie in a preview screening at Weta theatre in Miramar with Svend. I remember being very excited that all the drinks, snacks and popcorn were free to take and I ate a lot of candy and popcorn. Afterwards we had a big argument in the car over whether the seagulls were saying ‘mate’ (everyone else’s stance) or ‘mine’ (my stance) and it took ages to get it resolved because it was a pre-release preview and no one else saw the film for ages.

Watching it again on a Sunday night for the first time in quite a while. First of all Pixar is horrible and emotionally manipulative. Like, right at the start of the film we have to deal with the death of Marlin’s wife and 399 of their kids. Then you have the trauma of Marlin being a paranoid father and freaking out over Nemo going to school and trying to fit in. Then Nemo is kidnapped in front of his panicking father. It’s rough!

Dory is not neurotypical, which is kind of really cool. It’s nice to have a non-neurotypical character which isn’t totally played for laughs. I mean, it is sort of a source of jokes, but you also get real emotional depth from Ellen’s performance. Especially when Marlin leaves her behind at the end.

The Nemo part of the film becomes a heist and the Marlin part of the film is a road trip. It’s a parallel which works pretty well given that they both have the same aim – to reunite father and son. Then once they are reunited there’s a pretty scary sequence with a fishing net on a boat and Marlin using Dory’s advice to just keep swimming to save them all.

Does it make me love the people? The fish, yes 🙂
I am a worrier, so I can relate to Marlin, although he does take it rather to extremes. Dory is sweet and funny and sincere, always ready to help someone out, although it is concerning how much poor treatment she just kind of ignores.

Bechdel test: Deb talks to her ‘sister’ Flo, but… that’s both just her? Does that count as a win? Pretty much every fish and marine animal Marlin and Dory encounter are males, which is kind of stupid. I mean, there’s gotta be female sea turtles out there, not sure why we couldn’t have had surfer chick as well as a surfer dude.

Best line: I’m very partial to ‘shark bait, ooh ha ha!’

but I think my absolute favourite is the songs Mr Ray the teacher sing to his class. I can’t easily find the lyrics online but they’re funny and I like them.

Nemo: Are you all right?
Dory: [exasperated] I don’t know where I am… I don’t know what’s going on. I think I lost somebody but I, I can’t remember… and I can’t remember…

State of Mind: Ooooowwwwwch. I do love this film but ooooooouuuch. Ultimately heartwarming yes. Keep swimming…

Watched movie count


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