Finding Nemo is undeniably one of Pixar’s most critically and commercially successful films. Thirteen years since its initial release last 2003, the production team finally gave audiences the highly anticipated sequel, Finding Dory. While Dory may be riding on its predecessor’s success, not many know that the folks over at Disney first thought that Finding Nemo would flop at the box office.
Learn more about that and more interesting facts about the hit movie through this list.
5 Interesting Trivia About Finding Nemo
1. Disney’s former CEO thought it would be a failure
Behind the massive success of Finding Nemo was a struggling production, and Disney’s then CEO, Michael Eisner, could not help but point that out. The studio was in the process of purchasing Pixar back in 2001 but decided to postpone contract talks when Eisner was left disappointed after an early screening of Finding Nemo. Eisner was later under the assumption that Pixar wouldn’t be able to improve the film’s quality for its scheduled release two years later and would be given the chance to purchase studio for less, giving the animation giant a “reality check” after experiencing a succession unbroken box-office records.
But as well know, he was proven wrong and Finding Nemo proudly sits as one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Fast forward to the future and Michael Eisner is no longer Disney’s CEO, and Disney and Pixar have produced a slew of successful animated features together. For those wondering, the final price Disney paid for Pixar was roughly at $7.4 billion.
2. Buzz Lightyear makes an appearance in the movie
Pixar is known to insert a ton of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Easter eggs in their films, and Finding Nemo is no exception. In P. Sherman’s dental office, eagle-eyed moviegoers spotted a Buzz Lightyear toy. Not only that, a few other characters from past and future Pixar films make an appearance too. The Pizza Planet truck and Luigi from Cars can also be seen making a cameo. So next time you watch a Pixar movie, be on the lookout for some familiar faces!
3. Albert Brooks replaced William H. Macy
As mentioned above, Finding Nemo initially struggled during its production. They had to redo so many aspects of the film, and that included replacing the lead voice actor. William H. Macy had already recorded all his lines for the character of Marlin but producers thought that he didn’t quite fit the overprotective clownfish that audiences grew to love. They eventually replaced him with Albert Brooks who captured Marlin’s voice with his signature high-strung yet charming tone.
4. The notorious barracuda scene was originally set as flashbacks
Finding Nemo is known to have one of the most gut-wrenching opening scenes ever, and Pixar has seemingly continued that specific trend in their preceding films. The scene showed audiences the brutal murder of Coral, Nemo’s mother, in the hands of a barracuda, and it set the stage for the next events of the movie. But a lot of people may not know that this scene was initially planned to be played as flashbacks. Producers decided to change this so audiences will feel more sympathetic toward Marlin’s overprotective nature.
5. Pixar used dogs to animate the fish
Pixar’s production team is known to be very dedicated when it comes to making a project. For Finding Nemo, they took marine biology and scuba diving classes to really study the movements of fish and the underwater environment. But the next challenge here was developing the facial expressions of fish, as their cold-blooded nature made it difficult for animators to find any. As a result, they decided to turn to dogs. Pixar animators looked at the expressions of lovable canines to model the fishes after.