20 Years of ‘Finding Nemo’: 5 Facts to Celebrate the Film’s Anniversary

finding nemo
20 Years of 'Finding Nemo': 5 Facts to Celebrate the Film's Anniversary 1

Finding Nemo swam into theaters on May 30th, 2003 and we’ve never looked back! Finding Nemo was the highest-grossing animated film at the time of its release. The technology stands the test of time – as the underwater animation still leaves fans stunned. Disney has integrated Finding Nemo throughout many of their theme parks and its cultural significance cannot be understated. People love this story – so much so that Pixar created a sequel to answer all the questions we had about the first film! To celebrate its 20th anniversary, we’ve found 5 fun facts so you can learn a bit more about this beloved film!

  • The Newman Swap
    • Did you know that the first 4 Pixar films were composed by Randy Newman? Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters Inc. all had soundtracks composed by Randy! Finding Nemo would take a slight departure. Why slight? Finding Nemo would go on to be composed by Thomas Newman – Randy Newmans’ cousin!
  • Ivy League University
    • Philip Sherman (yes, THE P. Sherman) is a very successful dentist. Just look at his office’s view! He wouldn’t have gotten there without some stellar education. If you look closely, at the diploma on his wall you can see that he attended “Pixar University School of Dentistry”. Where is this Pixar University and how do I become a student?
  • 1997, Baby!
    • Pixar films are no small feat. The production of Finding Nemo began in 1997. During a tumultuous time for Pixar, no one knew if the studio would have the longevity – but the animation house endured. Finding Nemo would be the second-highest total-grossing film of 2003. The first? Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  • Color Me Confused, Karen
    • For fans of the NBC hit show, Will and Grace, you may know the legendary character of Karen played by Megan Mullaly. For those who may not know – Karen has a high-pitched voice that became iconic for the show. It seems that Pixar casting was hoping for the same voice! When Mullaly was called in to audition for the role of one of the fish in the dentist’s office tank, she was quoted as saying, “I said, ‘Now, wait a minute: You’re telling me you want this fish who lives in a fish tank in a dentist’s office to be a fictitious character from an NBC sitcom?”… “I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.”. We have to agree!
  • Back to School
    • For those who know Disney’s history, Walt made sure his animators were face-to-face with the subjects they would be drawing. Animators would sketch live deer for Bambi or Dalmatian puppies for One Hundred and One Dalmatians. This practice even went on after Walt. Make sure to check out animators studying lions for The Lion King. Similarly, Pixar’s art team had to have a thorough understanding of the deep sea. They were required to take classes in Ichthyology (Zoology branch focusing on Fish), Marine Biology, as well as Oceanography!

We cannot believe it has been over 20 years since this powerhouse of a film came out. Pixar has since released even more films that have made such an impact in not only filmmaking but technology itself. We cannot wait to see what else Pixar has in store!

Images: Pixar, Disney

20 Years of 'Finding Nemo': 5 Facts to Celebrate the Film's Anniversary 2

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Danielle H