Home > Film > Finding Nemo – A fish and his father

Finding Nemo – A fish and his father

Finding Nemo, one of the movies from the famed filmmakers at Pixar, is an aquatic adventure story set in the depths around Australia. It is a touching story of a widower and his only son, although both happen to be fish.

However, the cold blooded nature of the stars does not subtract one bit from the warmth of this family film which beautifully portrays the relationship between a father and son, as well as all their growth.

The namesake of the film, Nemo, is a young fish who never knew his mother. Since Nemo has a damaged fin, his father is very protective of him. Over protectiveness seems to be a common trait among parents, especially fathers, and this is the source of the conflict Nemo has with his father, Marlin.

Marlin, a widower before his children were even born (hatched), is a fantastic father figure. At first he is over protective, but that’s not entirely a bad thing, and once Nemo goes missing he sets out on his quest to find his son. Marlin demonstrates amazing dedication to his child, never wavering in his determination to find Nemo, no matter where in the ocean he may be. He faces all perils and all challenges to find his boy. Anyone who says men like to abandon their children should pay close attention to Marlin. They could learn a thing from this fish.

Beside Marlin, the importance of fathers is also praised in Finding Nemo by the character Bruce, the great white shark. A reformed carnivore, Bruce laments at the fact that he ‘never knew his father *sobs*’, further reaffirming the importance of fathers to children.

Come to think of it, Crush the turtle is also a good father figure. Something of a foil to Marlin, he allows his son to be very independent, letting him seek his own boundaries while also always being there when needed and encouraging his son in his exploration.

Through the movie, Nemo and Marlin both grow tremendously, Marlin as a father and Nemo toward his…well, ‘manhood’, if only in the fish sense.

Marlin must come to grips with the fact every parent must face, that their children are growing up. However, I greatly prefer how Finding Nemo shows this to many other portrayals. Often the analogy of children ‘leaving the nest’ is used, signifying the children separating from the parents. However, Marlin simply comes to understand what Nemo is capable of and to trust his judgment. There is none of the forced separation which is so common in American families.

It is not so much letting go as coming to be mutually holding on to each other.

Nemo also has to grow, to find his own limits and confidence. Being the impetuous youth, Nemo does not lack guts in the start, but he does have to find his self-belief, overcoming his fears to be able to do his best, taking a step toward being a good adult.

Through the whole movie, Marlin and Nemo show a deep bond which never wavers, even when they get angry with one another. Marlin never stops looking for his son and Nemo never stops trying to find a way to return to his father. It is a heart warming depiction of father and son which will remind anyone of how dedicated fathers are.

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  1. AQ
    March 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Yay! Finding Nemo really is a great movie! I taught me to speak like a whale and made me want to be a sea turtle when I grow up.

    I totally agree that they depict a good parent-child relationship in this movie.

    I would like to point out though that when you say the movie “is a heart warming depiction of father and son which will remind anyone of how dedicated fathers are”, I think you can’t really use a cartoon as evidence of real fathers’ dedication to their kids. It shows how dedicated to their children the film makers think fathers should be, or something like that. But, it is a completely relevant and important fact that many movies put this emphasis on the importance of fathers’ involvement with their childrens’ lives. I think this may point to a general cultural desire for full parental involvement by all parents, which is, I think, a good thing indeed.

  2. March 23, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    One hundred years a go, parents sent their children to work in factories for 12 hours a day … one hundred years later more men than has probably ever been witnessed per capita in history are striving to stay home and become a part of their children’s lives. What is it about this recent generation of father’s that has allowed them to express and pursue a closer, more intimate and loving relationship with their children?

    Is it a change in men’s inner yearning?
    Is it a result of more women finding purpose in working outside the home?
    Is it a result of the atom bomb spawning a middle class economy that
    didn’t deliver the inner satisfaction it pretends?

    What do you think?

  3. marcy
    May 13, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Would enjoy seeing your responses to these questions …

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