In the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, Marlin, an overly protective clownfish, embarks on a daring rescue mission when his beloved, his only surviving son Nemo, gets scooped up by a diver. With his forgetful friend Dory by his side, Marlin encounters an ocean full of memorable comedic characters, who are differently abled, on the momentous journey to find Nemo. The animation has the depth of the ocean itself.
An epic adventure brought by Disney Pixar in May 2003, still loved by many, kids and adults alike, took more than 3 years to bring it to life. But the efforts and the wait were worth it per the director Andrew Stanton. In order to get the right effects, Andrew wanted most of his production crew to go underwater and visualize the needs of the story. Hence everyone on the production line had to get certified in scuba diving that helped bring the reality on the screen. This movie portrays an underwater world – a diverse reef community – that doesn’t exclude anybody by including unique characterization (diversity) of sea creatures and accommodating different behaviors and disabilities (inclusion).
Apart from addressing Nemo’s disability – a stunted right fin that effects his mobility – the movie also addresses questions that are at the heart of every parent-child relationship. The fact about how parents always protect their children from being hurt (physically and emotionally), and help them to take care of themselves by exposing them to the real world. Both the characters, Marlin and Nemo, portray this association throughout the film. Marlin, an overly protective dad, because he has been through the trauma of his wife and the loss of all her eggs except one being eaten by a giant Barracuda, ultimately recognizes Nemo’s abilities and gives him a lot more freedom to make independent choices.
Dory, a blue tang, is another lively and cheerful character in the film. She has problems with memory loss but doesn’t give up. Knowing Marlin’s loss, Dory brings out his inner spirit by constantly being at his side to help him get over his anxiety disorder (PTSD) and compel him see the fun side of his life. At the end, she just wants others to take her seriously and respect her abilities – specialized skills of reading and talking to whales.
The reef community is diverse with various other characters who play a vital role in the film, for example we have a shark, named Bruce, who has a fish eating addiction and is very friendly. As a form of self-control, however, he reminds himself that “fish are friends, not food”. A sting ray, named Mr. Ray, who is the smartest creature on the reef, encourages his students to remove their shackles and be explorers and promotes togetherness.
Closing comment: Being different is normal. Building an inclusive community comes by acknowledging and accepting differences that we have in our society.
Rating: Personal 9/10