This is the 3D re-release of the original Finding Nemo. It opens with excited clownfish parents Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Coral (Elizabeth Perkins), who live on the Great Barrier Reef, doting over their first clutch of eggs. Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived when a rampaging barracuda attacks with devastating consequences. Coral and all but one of the eggs are lost, and Marlin names the surviving egg Nemo.
When we next see Nemo (Alexander Gould) he is a young clownfish, very excited and eager about his first day at school. Disaster strikes when Nemo, defying his overprotective father, swims out into the open sea where he is captured by a diver. He ends up in a fish tank in the office of a dentist (Bill Hunter) overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Marlin is distraught. He teams up with a fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who suffers from short-term memory loss, but can work out Marlin’s only clue to Nemo’s whereabouts. Marlin and Dory set off to find and rescue Nemo and come across many dangers on the way.
Unaware that his father is searching for him, Nemo is befriended by an array of marine creatures living in the fish tank. They include a tough old tigerfish called Gill (Willem Dafoe), who helps Nemo plot his escape.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Death and loss of a family member; animal predatory behaviour
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Finding Nemo contains cartoon action violence. The violence is often meant to be funny but could be scary for younger children, especially with the 3D effects. For example:
- A scary-looking barracuda with long sharp teeth attacks Marlin and Coral. The barracuda knocks Marlin unconscious with its tail, then lunges at another target. When Marlin regains consciousness, Coral and all but one of their eggs are gone.
- Dory has a nosebleed, which attracts a large shark. The shark attacks and tries to eat Marlin and Dory. The scene includes lots of images of snapping jaws. The shark chases Marlin and Dory through a wrecked submarine, crashing into doorways and trying to break through the submarine’s hull to get at Marlin and Dory. The two fish shove a torpedo into the shark’s mouth, and the shark spits it out. The torpedo floats into an underwater minefield and sets off a chain reaction of explosions.
- While swimming in deep water, Marlin and Dory are attracted to a small glowing light. The light turns out to be a deep-water fish with a mouth full of large sharp teeth. The fish chases and snaps at them, swallowing Marlin. There is a comical image of Marlin inside the fish’s stomach before it spits him out.
- In one intense and scary scene, Marlin and Dory are surrounded by thousands of poisonous jellyfish. Marlin makes it out safely, but Dory is stung and caught in a jellyfish’s tentacles. Marlin swims back to rescue him. Marlin gets stung many times while Dory is left unconscious. Dory recovers but has a wounded fin.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- The movie shows several threatening and scary-looking predator fish that are likely to scare and disturb younger children. The opening scenes of the movie include images of a menacing and murderous barracuda with a mouth full of big, needle-like teeth. Bruce the shark is a large white pointer with a mouth full of big, sharp teeth. Later in the movie a scary-looking deep-water fish appears. It also has long, fang-like teeth and is scary and evil-looking.
- Marlin and Dory are sucked inside a humpback whale’s mouth. They swim around unhurt inside the whale’s stomach. They can’t escape but are eventually blown out of the whale’s blowhole.
- Nemo swims through the pipes of an aquarium filter to jam a small pebble into the filter’s turbine-like fan. He can’t do it and gets sucked back into the filter’s fan. The other fish save him just before the fan chops him up.
- Nemo and Gill are left flapping around on a table after Nemo’s escape attempt goes wrong. Nemo is flushed down a drain while Gill is returned to the aquarium. Nemo slides wildly through the drains until he is flushed out into the ocean. He isn’t hurt.
Children in this age group might also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
Nothing of concern
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
None of concern
Nudity and sexual activity
None of concern
There is no product placement of concern in the movie, but there is plenty of associated merchandise, including food products, on the market.
The movie has some minor name-calling and toilet humour, which younger children might copy.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Finding Nemo 3D is a re-release of an animated adventure comedy movie. Its target audience is children and their families. The movie features lots of movie stars doing the voiceovers and some clever humour. But the movie does have some upsetting scenes, including the death of Marlin’s wife and the destruction of their eggs. Younger children might find these scenes upsetting. They might also be sacred by the scenes with the predator fish. The scary scenes are more intense in this 3D version.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- Although parents know they must eventually let their children grow up, they find it hard to let their children take risks and become independent.
- Parental love can inspire parents to do amazing things.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the following:
- Self-sacrifice: many characters in the movie risk their lives for the sake of others.
- Self-confidence: Nemo shows a confidence in his own ability to succeed, and this helps him escape from the aquarium.
- Friendship and selflessness: both Nemo and Marlin make friends with other characters, who help them in different ways.
You could also talk about the food chain in the ocean and the way predator creatures such as sharks behave.