'Finding Nemo' Turns 20: Reflecting on the Pixar Film That Captured Our Hearts

Time to feel old

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When life gets hard what do you do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. And where are we swimming to again? Why, P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way Sydney that is. It's hard to believe, but Finding Nemo was released a whopping twenty years ago on this day, and for many of us who were kids during that time period, there were so many lessons in this movie that has gone on to make much more sense as we've gotten older. A tale about a perhaps overly-conscious father who's worst fears come true when his son gets taken by a human, Finding Nemo is a summation of what a parent will do for their child when their kid is in danger. Along the way we got to meet many different characters—some funny, some endearing, and some downright vicious, and we're left with classic one-liners that we'll always remember ("fish are friends, not food").

In honor of the film's 20th anniversary, we're reflecting back on all the things that made Finding Nemo great and a worthy generational pass down.

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Finding Nemo begins with a clownfish named Marlin and his wife Coral living in anemone in the Great Barrier Reef. The two are excitedly waiting for their dozens of eggs to hatch, when an awful barracuda comes from out of nowhere to start trouble. Coral rushes down to protect the eggs (to which Marlin tries to save her but is unsuccessful) which causes the barracuda to chase and eventually eat Coral and all of the eggs except one—Nemo, the name Coral insisted at least one of the baby clownfish should have.

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From there we meet a precocious Nemo, who's full of energy and ready for his first day of school. Marlin would be more than happy for Nemo to sit out another year, but Nemo is insistent upon going to school. We also learn he has a "special fin," which presumably was damaged during the incident with the barracuda. Long story short, Marlin accompanies Nemo to school in a massive state of paranoid, and ends up going on Nemo's field trip where he's... induced into an even more anxious state.

Annoyed by Marlin's overprotection, Nemo aims to prove to his dad that's he's capable of being independent, which ends badly with a sea diver scooping him up (which we later learn was an attempt by the diver to "save him"). Now, Marlin is faced with the near-impossible task of saving his son.

From there, he meets a blue tang named Dory who has a case of short-term memory loss that has to be up there with the worst ever, and together they embark on a hectic but beautiful journey to find Nemo.

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Instead of putting the trailer, we thought we'd expand on the nostalgia vibes by putting in a clip of the original VHS intro (remember those) leading into the movie. Take a look at it. You might see the trailers for some films that ended up coming out in late 2003/2003.

The Lessons 'Finding Nemo' Taught Us:

There were/are some valuable lessons to be learned from each of the main characters in Finding Nemo.

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Maturing has made me understand Marlin better. When I was a kid, I thought Marlin was just an "annoying overprotective parent," but what I didn't understand was that he had gone through a traumatic loss, where he'd lost just about everything and everybody close to him. When that happens to you, you're likely to start moving through life in a paranoid way, but you have to learn how to strike a balance, particularly with your kids/younger siblings/younger family member and friends because you could end pushing them to do the very exact thing you are afraid of. Towards the end of the movie, Marlin begins to understand that more.

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The lesson we learned from Nemo? It's important to listen to your parents and elders even if the message is being delivered wrong, because their fears are indeed correct. Luckily Nemo's dad was there to save him.

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From Dory? Sometimes you have to lighten up a bit, and when you put your mind to something, you can make it happen. Dory suffered from acute memory loss, but she knew she needed to hold on to the name of that address (P. Sherman 42, Wallaby Way Sydney) and she made sure she didn't forget it.

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Disney Pixar

And even though Bruce isn't technically a main character, there's an important lesson to be learned from him as well—people can switch up on you in a minute.

The Success of 'Finding Nemo'

We'll be watching Finding Nemo tonight and if we haven't convinced you to watch as well, then we haven't done our jobs properly. Thank you Pixar for making such a wonderful film that made us happy as children, and continues to make our inner child happy.

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