Ap Lang and Comp
1 March 2015
Nemo is Not the Only Thing Marlin Found
Finding Nemo apart from all of the other Pixar movies is that within the first 5 minutes of the movie they have killed off almost an entire family. The degree of difficulty of this film is extreme and given to the rookie director, Andrew Stanton, at the same time makes it seem like they were trying to haze the him. To begin, it’s a movie about fish. Really if thought about, any animator can make toys, bugs and monsters dance and sing, but a fish is just a floating face.
It’s as if they took Stanton’s characters, yanked off their arms and legs and handed them back.
On top of all of this, most of the movie takes place in the ocean. A good third of the movie has no background at all and much of the rest takes place on a dull, featureless sea floor. Really this movie was just an impossible task. As said in
The Filmist, creating
Finding Nemo is “like a circus act that piles on more obstacles, just to be more insane”.
(“On Pixar”). Even through all of these obstacles put in front of Stanton, he created a movie that pulls at the heartstrings and keeps us wanting more. How? Let’s look a little deeper.
At the surface,
Finding Nemo is a story about a father traveling across an ocean facing obstacles like sharks and jellyfish, while also making some new friends out of a Regal Tang and a Turtle, to find his son, and bring him back home. But to keep us wanting more, as Jeff Smith discusses in his religious review of the movie, “the film focuses on real life issues: unexpected loss, parent child struggles, independence, a parent’s love to save a child from harm, trust,
Hinkley 2 friendship, and the internal struggle of a parent who knows he/she cannot protect their child from every possible danger” (Smith). The movie’s underlying theme is the unexpected loss and how
Marlin deals with it, but all of the other issues that arise sprout from that. Marlin, the father, lost his wife and all but one of his children to a barracuda attack in their neighborhood. Marlin does not want anything bad to ever happen to his son, Nemo. Later on Nemo’s first day of school, they take a trip to the drop off, where Marlin’s wife, Coral, and all of their children were taken from him. Then a diver took Nemo from Marlin. This made Marlin go on an adventure across an entire ocean to find Nemo, and along the way he found out things about himself that he had forgotten a long time ago.
Even though Finding Nemo is usually regarded as a nurturing tale of a father going through challenging obstacles to keep his son safe and by his side, it more importantly exposes how it is necessary to deal with the feelings and any grief that comes with losing someone very close. These feelings must be dealt with in a healthy way, usually known as the stages of grief.
Grief is thought to be gone through in five stages. According to Lawther and Oehmen in their article about how counselors should help children dealing with grief, “the stages of grief are… denial… bargaining… anger… guilt… [and] resolution” (Lawther). Only when these stages are worked through can the loss be truly dealt with. Marlin tries to avoid dealing with his grief but is forced to when Nemo is taken from him. Marlin entered into the movie happy and about to have his children hatch, but after the attack, where he had no control, he focuses solely on having control of every aspect in his son’s life and not taking time to look at