Finding Nemo first swam into theatres in 2003, and we’ve been obsessed with the film ever since. We decided to dive deep and find some Finding Nemo facts you probably didn’t know. (We’re looking at you Sandy Plankton.) Just keep swimming for a sea of knowledge:
1. The anemone was animated using the same technology as Sulley’s hair.When animators needed to create the tendrils of Marlin and Nemo’s home they turned to the technology from Monsters, Inc. that created Sulley’s massive amount of hair. Instead of letting gravity pull the tendrils down, they programmed them to stand up and wave around in the water. However, the simulator didn’t always act as the animators wanted so some strands were animated by hand.
2. The reef is split into three simplified ideas: tall vertical things, big flat horizontal things, and round masses.If you’ve ever been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef (or anywhere), you know that the ocean is a super-complicated place. Animators had to find a way to simplify the reef while still making it believable. Breaking it down into these three ideas made it easier. It looks real to us!
3. Marlin was a protective parent because Andrew Stanton (the film’s director) was a protective parent.Stanton remembers walking with his son to the park one day and being worried that his little guy would get hurt. In that moment, Stanton wanted so badly to be a good father but he also realized that by being overprotective he was missing out on being present with his son. It was an ironic dilemma that became the missing link Finding Nemo needed to pulled the story together.
4. Animators coined the phrase “the gummy effect.”Have you ever stared at a fish tank (maybe one in a dentist’s office) and noticed how light sort of passes through fish? Now try to explain that to a bunch of animators who have to recreate it. Good luck. Eventually Andrew Stanton compared the phenomenon to light passing through a gummy bear, and “the gummy effect” was born.
5. The turtle kids’ shells are meant to look like Hawaiian shirts.They come in three basic patterns: several flowers, one big flower, and tie-dyed. Each design has a couple different color variations in the film. (They remind us a little of John Lasseter’s shirts too. Coincidence? We think not.)
6. Darla is named after Darla Anderson, the producer of Monsters, Inc.Over the years Darla Anderson played a lot of practical jokes on Andrew Stanton. She believes that this was his way of getting back at her. We wonder how she’ll get back at him.
7. The tiki heads in the tank are caricatures of Pixar employees.To be specific, they’re caricatures of Peter Sohn (production artist), Nelson Bohol (production artist), and Ricky Nierva (art director/characters). How do we get our caricature in the next Pixar movie?
8. A tool called Pisces was used to create the schools of fish.It was used to simulate the behaviors of tiny schools of fish in the reef, the medium school of moonfish giving Dory and Marlin directions, and even the HUGE schools of fish in the backgrounds of scenes. When fish were misbehaving in simulations they’d be taken out. (Some CG fish may or may not have been harmed during the making of this film.)
9. One of these boats is named after Andrew Stanton’s dad’s boat.Keep your eye out for the Aeolus III in the Sydney harbor. The boat actually had another name at one point, but when Stanton realized he had forgotten to put his dad’s boat in the movie, he scrambled to add it in.
10. The seagulls “mine” squawks were translated into languages other than English.These languages included Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Russian, Hebrew, Czech, Tagalog, Greek, Nepalese, Serbo-Croatian, Farsi, and Scottish Gaelic. You can potentially learn how to say “mine” in over 15 languages!
11. Geoffrey Rush literally held his tongue when recording some of his lines.Why? So his character Nigel would actually sound like he had Marlin and Dory in his beak as he talked.
12. There’s a lot hiding in Dr. Sherman’s office.You’ve probably already noticed the incredible comic the little boy is reading. Next time you watch the movie, keep an eye out for a couple of lighthouse lamps. They’re modeled after the Thacher Island Twin Lights in New England. There are two lighthouses on either side of the office just like there are two lighthouses on either side of the island in Massachusetts.
We bet Sandy Plankton wouldn’t have been able to tell you all of those cool Finding Nemo facts! Now that you’re expert of the open sea, find out if you’re fluent in whale and see if these Disney Pixar Easter eggs swam right by you!