Written and Directed by Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo was released on May 30th, 2003. The movie begins with a couple of clownfish, Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Coral (Elizabeth Perkins), in their new home in the Great Barrier Reef. One day they spot a barracuda swimming near by. Coral wanted to check on her eggs, Marlin tries to stop her when the barracuda attacks, eating Coral and all but one egg.
Fast Forward a few years, its Nemo’s (Alexander Gould) first day of school. Marlin is reluctant to let him go but the teacher, Mr. Ray (Bob Peterson) reassures him. Unconvinced, Marlin finds the class on their field trip, embarrassing Nemo. In retaliation to his father and to prove that he’s brave, Nemo swims out into open water touch the butt, aka boat, but is soon swooped up by a human.
Marlin see the incident. Panicking he tries to follow the boat but he is too slow so he starts asking fellow fish if they have seen which way the boat went. He runs into a blue tang named Dory (Ellen Degenerous), whose seen the boat. Marlin starts to follow Dory but she quickly turns around, confused on why Marlin is chasing her. Marlins finds out that Dory has short – term memory loss. Saddened by the loss of his son, Marlin pouts when he remembers that the human dropped his mask. Marlin and Dory go in search of it. On their journey they meet the shark recovery group, which consisted of Bruce (Barry Humphries), Anchor (Eric Bana) and Chum (Bruce Spence), who invites Dory and Marlin to their meeting. In the ship where the meeting is being held, Marlin notices the mask. While trying to get Dory’s attention to show her the mask, her nose begins to bleed, causing the sharks to go into a frenzy.
Dory and Marlin grab the mask and try to escape but as they are being chased, they accidentally set off the old bombs. They drop the mask into a deep cavern. Trying to find it in the dark and read the address, they are chased by an anglerfish . Dory is finally able to read that the address says 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. They escape out of the trench and with the help from a school of fish, a blue whale, and two sea turtles named Crush (Andrew Stanton) and his son squirt (Nicholas Bird), and a pelican named Nigel (Geoffery Rush), Marlin and Dory make it to Sydney Harbor.
Meanwhile, Nemo was brought to a dentist office, here he will later be a present to Darla (Lulu Ebeling), the dentist’s niece. In the tank, Nemo meets Gill (Willem Dafoe), Bloat (Brad Garrett), Peach (Allsion Janney) Bubbles (Stephon Root), Gurgle (Austin Pendleton), Deb/Flo (Vicki Lewis) and Jacques (Joe Ranft). They welcome him as shark bait. Together they devise a plan to jam the tank’s filter. After a very dangerous try in which Nemo almost dies, he tries again and is successful. The dentist (Bill Hunter) puts the fish in bags. Nigel arrives to help Nemo, who doesn’t know, so he plays dead. Darla and the dentist flush Nemo down the drain. Meanwhile, Nigel had returned to tell Marlin of Nemo’s death. Marlin, heartbroken, begins the journey home. Dory, whose still by the pipes in the harbor, encounters Nemo. Making the connection that it’s Marlin’s son, she rushes after Marlin, reuniting father and son.
Except for the beginning, the film is funny and cute, and full of vibrant colors showing what the reef is like. We get glimpses of what fish think and act, but also how vast and different parts of the ocean are. Plus there are some classic lines that continue to be referenced like “fish are friends not food” and “just keep swimming.” There are also a lot more Easter eggs than you realize linking Finding Dory to other films, especially in the Pixar Theory. Do you know any?