Today’s Prayer Focus

Finding Nemo

also known as “Buscando a Nemo,” “Findet Nemo,” “Hitta Nemo,” “À Procura de Nemo,” “Alla ricerca di Nemo,” See more »

Reviewed by: Megan Basham

Moral Rating: Good
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: All Ages
Genre: Animation Comedy Adventure Family
Length: 1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release: 2003
USA Release: May 30, 2003 (wide)
3D version: September 14, 2012 (wide—2,900+ theaters)
DVD 3D: December 4, 2012
Copyright, Buena Vista Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures

importance of listening to your parents instruction—otherwise trouble and danger follows

Although you may be different from your peers (as Nemo had an unusually small fin), you can still succeed.

understanding why parents are sometimes overprotective

fish in the Bible




the sea



fish hooks

Animals in the Bible


FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

AFRAID OF THE DARK—How can I help my child to trust in God’s care when she is afraid at night? Answer

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Family Answers HOME page
Featuring Albert BrooksMarlin (voice)
Ellen DeGeneres … Dory (voice)
Alexander Gould … Nemo (voice)
Willem DafoeGill (voice)
Geoffrey RushNigel (voice)
Eric BanaAnchor (voice)
Stephen RootBubbles (voice)
Allison JanneyPeach (voice)
See all »
Director Andrew Stanton
Lee Unkrich (co-director)
Producer Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
See all »
Distributor Buena Vista Pictures

“There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean; they’re looking for one.”

Sequel: “Finding Dory” (2016)

Seventy-one percent of the Earth is covered in water. 3.7 trillion fish live in that water. As our story opens, one of them gets lost…

Marlin Clownfish (Albert Brooks) and his wife Coral (Elizabeth Perkins) are living the great fishy dream: They have a house in an upscale barrier reef, a beautiful view of the expanding sea, and 400.5 little fishlings on the way. Life seems perfect. That is until a hungry barracuda wipes out Marlin’s entire family, leaving him desolate, alone, and single parent to one surviving little egg, Nemo. The tragedy takes its toll on Marlin, and his vow to “never let anything happen to Nemo” causes him to become a neurotic and overprotective, if well intentioned, father. In his desire to shield Nemo, he even tries to keep his son from starting school and embarrasses him in front of all the other slimy little ones of the sea. Naturally, Nemo resents this suffocating love, and in an act of defiance, swims out beyond the safety of the reef and gets scooped up by a scuba diver’s waiting net.

Devastated by yet another loss, Marlin resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the boat speeding away with his son. And so to aid him on his mission (or at least to keep him company), he teams up with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a dingy, ADD-afflicted blue tang with a cheerful demeanor and major short-term memory problem. Their quest isn’t easy… Not only do they encounter poisonous jellyfish, sunken subs, and World War II mines, they also run into the local chapter of Sharks Anonymous, a support group whose mantra is “Fish are friends, not food.” This might be fine, except it seems the twelve-steppers have a tendency to fall off the wagon…

Like other Pixar releases before it, “Finding Nemo” is a visually breathtaking film. In fact, with its ethereal scenes of dreamlike floating jelly-fish and murky, sleepy-eyed whales, it actually outpaces it predecessors. But outstanding as the aquatic graphics are, it isn’t the watery backdrop that sets this film apart from the rest of the kiddie fare—rather, it’s the hilarious dialogue and family-friendly story line.

“Finding Nemo” features several principles that would make for great discussion between parents and kids. For one thing, while it’s true that Marlin was being unfair, by disobeying him, Nemo put himself in harm’s way and landed in a dentist’s fish tank. Had he listened to his father, he could have avoided a lot of pain. Conversely, though the story is simple, parents get a reminder that there is such a thing as too much involvement in their children’s lives—at some point you have to let them sink or swim. Finally, as Marlin risks fin and scale for the love of his son, you might draw a parallel for your children of all that God risked because of His love for us.

This is not to say that “Finding Nemo” is weighed down by a lot of heavy-handed morals. Actually, DeGeneres and her fellow comedic cold-bloods are such a riot, you might even miss them. From surfer-dude turtles to Hitchcockian seagulls, there’s plenty of jokes only older ticket-holders will get. And though they might go kicking and screaming, my bet is that teenagers will enjoy it as well (just don’t ask them to admit it!). As summer movies go, this one’s packed to the gills with family fun!

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I took my two children to see this film and we all enjoyed it very much. I could not find anything wrong with it. It was very funny and had a great story line. I thought that it sent out a positive message to children and parents. It taught children the importance of obeying their parents and the consequences when they didn’t and it gave a good lesson to parents, (smothering children can sometimes drive them to do the very opposite of what they’re told to do).
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
Michael, age 29
Positive—This movie has everything. The best digital animations to date, the story is classic yet introspective with a grand parental charm and wit coupled with brave and ingenious relationships, genuine heart-felt characters and a clean sweeping pace to the story. It was a tremendous 2 hours of movie magic at its very best. I can’t wait for the DVD—we will buy it and cherish it for years, just as we have “Bug’s Life”, “Toys Story” and “Monsters Inc.” This is a new level though, the water surface is incredible and real looking. New, fresh look and feel for Pixar and Disney. My three year old and my 11 year old as my wife and I loved this film!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Michael Allard, age 39
Positive—This is a good family movie for all ages. The techincal aspects of the movie are well done, and there are many parts that are funny and enjoyable for both kids and adults. The son learns that he should have heeded his father’s warnings about danger. The father learns that love overcomes fear and that he couldn’t protect his son from everything in life. There are also good lessons about friendship and working together as a team. Our whole family enjoyed it—parents in our 40’s and 9 year-old daughter.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Chris Brunner, age 44
Positive—An excellent whole-family film. Very young ones (six and under) may be upset by events early in the film, but even they will be captured by the uplifting, often humorous, events and characters that follow. Overcoming is a central theme of our faith and of this movie, done in one of the most creative ways I have ever seen. Technically and creatively excellent. Go see it!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Bill Holmes, age 51
Positive—We took the whole family (including 2 teens) and all of us had a great time. This is Pixar’s best in our opinion. The story was outstanding, the graphics breathtaking, and the dialog was hilarious. Just a great family film that I would recommend without reservation.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Michael Glatz, age 45
Positive—This is a terrific movie. I saw it with two teenagers, an 11 year old, two senior citizens, and we are 40, and we all agreed that it was well written and very funny. It shows beautiful ocean scenery and realistic sea life. The story line shows the importance of family and of raising children in a loving, responsible, but not fearfully overprotective way. There was no bad language. The only scary parts for very young children would be at the beginning when baracuda eat the mom fish and most of her eggs (not shown), and when the sharks first come on scene—but they quickly become a comedy group.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Shannon Heckelsmiller, age 40
Positive—This is a great all around movie! It has something for everyone. The plot is simple enough for children to follow, but deep enough for adults to enjoy. The animation is everyting you have come to expect from Pixar and more. Best of all, there is NOTHING that makes you say, “It was great, except for that one part…” I wish more movies were like this one!
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
Anna, age 27
Positive—I thought the film was hilarious, as did my 14-year-old daughter. My 16-year-old also thought it was great. We laughed so hard we may have distracted others in the theater! I recommend the film whole-heartedly.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Martha Swinney, age 40
Positive—One of the best films I’ve ever seen! I was plesantly surprised by this film. The graphics were breathtaking-I felt as if I was scuba diving undersea with the characters. Each characters is unique in its own way: Dory with her hilarious remarks that will literally keep you laughing out loud, Marlin with his fatherly traits, Nemo with his enthusiastic attitude of a young child, the laid-back and groovy sea-turtle, etc. The movie does a great job of teaching the value of obedience to little kids although some scenes (such as the sudden shark attacks) might scare little ones. The writers did a superb job of writing a script that the whole family can laugh at-even the ending had me amazed by the writers’ creativity and wit. I highly recommend this one!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Claire, age 18
Positive—We definitely enjoyed it but there are times when it is too scary for younger viewers (6 and under).
We found it on par with Monsters Inc. but may defer to that one as our favorite of the Pixar ones.
My Ratings: [Average / 5]
Tim Emmerich, age 36
Positive—Wow! I saw it with my boyfriend, and we loved it! We would totally reccomended it for couples, parents, single parents, children, teenagers… just everyone. You cannot leave this movie, learning something new about FAITH in you and your family… or a reminder about love. I was really impressed. PIXAR seems to be on our side… but we’ll see. I say see it, buy it, RATE it, and just LOVE it… I know I did.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
Rose Navarrete, age 19
Neutral—Plusses in this movie definitely included high visual appeal and child-like humor using easy-to-understand terminology. I was distracted by the too often action changes: Absolutely frantic and having to strain to understand character dialogue, followed by slow and heartfelt conversation that I felt I had been set up to receive without question. I was impressed that the movie contained ambiguous underlying moral messages, but it also contained more sustained violence (e.g., shark scene, pandemonium in the dentist’s office)than was appropriate for young children. Too many attempts at “bathroom” humor throughout, and the scene in the water treatment plant wherein the crabs were feeding on seeping waste and sewage from the pipe, calling it “manna from heaven,” I found to be extremely offensive. Nemo’s disobedience was regarded as honorable in that its end (his heroic action to rescue Dory) was the justification for having earlier rebelled against his parent.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
J’eane Bailey, age 54
Neutral—There were a lot of cute things in this movie and a lot of funny things that adults can laugh at, but my four year old was scared by a lot of the scenes. The shark chasing the fish was too intense for him and the fish Marlin and Dorey ran into in the dark was terrifying. The little girl was also very scary looking… my son said she “looked bad.” I also questioned the “ritual” that Nemo had to go through in the tank to be “inducted.” It reminded me of a tribal ritual that people must go through the fire as they worship their gods.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
Monica, age 33
Comments from young people
Positive—I LOVED it! It was cute and hilarious! I think the morals are good, too. It’s my favorite movie! It’s definitely a must-see!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Katherine, age 12
Positive—I went to see this movie with about 20 people from my church. It turned out to be a great movie. It was clean and fun. It kept me laughing most of the time. Even though some parts were just a tad corny, it really was a good movie.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
Clint Davenport, age 15
Positive—I have already seen this movie twice and I already LOVE IT! and can quote most of the lines from the movie. I would say it is my favorite movie because it was clean and there wasn’t much if anything that was objectionable. But there is one thing I would say. I am planning on being a kindergarten teacher and I am pretty sure there would be parts in this movie that would scare a child of that age. They did a good job at taking away a lot of the surprise fear but there were some parts where I found myself leaning back in my seat and wincing a little bit. It was a movie for all ages in the family and I’m sure everyone will enjoy it!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
Lauren, age 14
Positive—I thought “Finding Nemo” was a fun movie with lots of action. I wouldn’t recommend it to very small children, (2 or 3 year olds) because there are quite a few scary scenes. But other than that, I loved the movie! What was realy good about it was that it kept you on the edge of your seat! There wasn’t any bad language that I remember, and and Dory was hilarious! And the movie sort-of showed that if you disobey your parents, you can get in some sticky situations.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
Annette, age 12
Positive—“Finding Nemo” was so cute, I loved it.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
Elise, age 10