I’m not sure that I have met one person that has ever said to me that they dislike the movie Finding Nemo. There is just something so endearing about our favorite little orange clown fish. And if you aren’t into cute, it’s pretty hard not to have a soft spot for the forgetful, bumbling Dory. And if she annoys you, then for sure you must enjoy the soft cynicism that Nemo’s father Marlin brings us.
I think the reason why Finding Nemo was, is, and will be such a screen triumph is that it speaks to everyone. Children enjoy the cute and funny characters, and look at the film as exactly what the title suggests. They wait the whole movie to find Nemo, and then are thrilled at the end when he is reunited with his father safe and sound. They relate to the desire that Nemo has to go touch that boat just to prove to the world that he can, and want to be just like Squirt who knows how to rip it, roll it, and punch it. Parents look at the film, and might see themselves in Marlin. A father who is so afraid that the big bad ocean is going to swallow up his little fish, only to find that the only way to let him thrive is to let him swim out a little farther and trust that he will come home to his anemone safe and sound. Others might enjoy the message that Crush sends us. To hold on to something so tight that it can’t breath is only going to suffocate it. Loosen your grip a bit, and koo koo katchoo, it will find it’s way right back to you. Still others may find themselves a bit like Dory. Confused, and trying to find her place in the ocean, she finds comfort in reminding herself to just keep swimming when things are looking down.
Nemo is a constant favorite in our Disney movie collection, and I’m excited about it all over again, knowing that it will be in theaters again come September, this time, presented in 3D. If there is anyone on this planet who has not taken a worth while lesson away from Finding Nemo, maybe they will this time around, when the characters are seemingly swimming right off the screen, and into your hearts once again.
And just for the record, my favorite character is totally Crush, dude. What’s yours?