‘Finding Nemo’ is one of Pixar’s best and most important and is one of the big exponents of the studio’s golden age. More than that, the film became the company’s first to win the Oscar for Best Animation, in addition to winning three other award nominations (including Best Original Screenplay).
With over $ 940 million in worldwide box office revenue, the acclaimed production revolves around Marlin, an overprotective clownfish who crosses the ocean in search of his son, Nemo, led by a pair of divers. Faced with hungry sharks, dangerous jellyfish and a gigantic whale, Marlin and Dory, a small fish with recent memory loss syndrome, fight their worst fears to save young Nemo.
To celebrate the film’s importance and recent anniversary, CinePOP has put together a short list of ten behind-the-scenes anecdotes.
Director Andrew Stanton introduced the design and idea to Pixar boss John Lasseter in an hour-long session, using visual aids and very elaborate voices for the characters. At the end of the meeting, Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought about it – and he replied, “You got me with ‘fish’.”
The Pixar animators had built a very realistic ocean, but they had to make it a little more out of the ordinary so people wouldn’t think the scenes were true.
Stanton voiced the iconic Crush the sea Turtle character. The director never intended to do his voice – on the contrary, he would provide the lines for the first cut. However, when the screening tests turned out to be very well received, he decided to keep the role. Stanton recorded all the lines lying on the couch in his office.
Originally, Stanton planned to reveal the past of Marlin and his wife, Coral, gradually and with the help of flashbacks. However, after a few testing sessions, he realized that Marlin seemed too far-fetched and decided to reveal the whole story in the very first sequence – explaining the reason for his overprotection towards Nemo. The idea of flashback would eventually be used in the sequel “Finding Dory”.
William H. Macy had provided the voice for Marlin at the start of filming. However, according to the DisneyWar book by James B. Stewart, Disney CEO Michael Eisner said the film would fail, claiming that “it will be a reality check for people. That’s good, but it doesn’t quite match up with previous films. Of course, they think it’s great. Believe me, this is not the case. Stanton then recast the role of Albert Brooks – and the result was splendid, with universal critical success and a monstrous box office.
“HEY! MY NAME IS DORY”
Dory, the patella surgeon who crosses paths with Marlin, is one of the main characters in the film and, in fact, manages to steal virtually every scene. Voiced by presenter Ellen DeGeneres, this was the first role written specifically for a celebrity.
In the film’s original cut, the swallowing whale Marlin and Dory approach them head-on. Such a version appeared in the first trailer for the film. In the final cut, the whale comes in from behind and hints at an animation test that showed the animal emerging from the ocean floor behind a small fish.
In several interviews, Megan Mullally has revealed that she would originally do the voice of Dory in the animation, but the producers were disappointed to find that the voice of her character Karen Walker on the sitcom “Will & Grace” did was not natural. She ended up getting hired anyway and encouraged to use Karen’s voice for the role. When she refused, the producers fired her.
Most of the fish in the film are found in the Pacific Ocean. Nemo and Marlin are clownfish; Dory is a patellar surgeon; Gil is a Moorish idol; The acorn is a puffer fish; Blister is a yellow surgeon; Fishing is a starfish; Gurgle is a royal-gamma fish; Jacques is a shrimp cleaner; and Deb / Flo is a striped damsel.
Pixar Studios characters are usually planned years in advance. Nemo first appeared as a toy in Boo’s bedroom in ‘Monsters SA’ (2001); “Finding Nemo”, meanwhile, features characters from future films: in the scene where Darla is attacked by Nigel the Pelican, the camera shows a boy reading a comic book by Mr. Incredible (referring to “The Incredibles” from 2004); Through the window of the dentist’s office it is possible to see a yellow Fiat 500, alluding to Luigi, a character from ‘Cars’ (2006).
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