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FINDING NEMO

About The Production
The story of "Finding Nemo” was very personal for director/writer Andrew Stanton, derived from a series of events in his own life. A visit to Marine World in 1992 started him thinking about the amazing possibilities of capturing an undersea world in computer animation. This was three years before "Toy Story” made its debut, but Stanton was fascinated with the prospect of creating such a wondrous environment. Another piece of the puzzle came from Stanton's childhood memories of a fish tank in his family dentist's office. He recalls looking forward to going to the dentist just so he could look at the fish. Stanton remembered thinking, "What a weird place for fish from the ocean to end up. Don't these fish miss their home? Would these fish try to escape and go back to the ocean?” 

The final piece of the puzzle for Stanton was his own relationship with his son. He explains, "When my son was five, I remember taking him to the park. I had been working long hours and felt guilty about not spending enough time with him. As we were walking, I was experiencing all this pent up emotion and thinking ‘I-miss-you, I-miss-you,' but I spent the whole walk going, ‘Don't touch that. Don't do that. You're gonna fall in there.' And there was this third-party voice in my head saying ‘You're completely wasting the entire moment that you've got with your son right now.' I became obsessed with this premise that fear can deny a good father from being one.With that revelation, all the pieces fell into place and we ended up with our story.” 

Pitching the story to his mentor and colleague John Lasseter was the next step in "Nemo's” evolution. Stanton prepared a roomful of elaborate visual aids and launched into a pitch to sell his story idea. After an hour, an exhausted Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought. "You had me at ‘fish,'” Lasseter replied. 

Lasseter recalls, "I remember when we were working on ‘A Bug's Life' Andrew had this great little drawing that he did over his desk which showed two small fish swimming alongside a giant whale. And I always liked that. He told me it was something he was thinking about but I didn't hear anything more about it until the pitch. I've been a scuba diver since 1980 and I just love the underwater world. When he pitched this idea, I knew that it was going to be amazing in our medium. We always pride ourselves at Pixar on matching the subject matter of our movies with the medium. I really did know when he said ‘fish' and ‘underwater' that this film was going to be great. "

Andrew is such a great storyteller,” adds Lasseter. "He has an absolute fantastic devotion to making sure that the movie is not predictable. He's always added that to all of our films and I've learned a lot from him in that area. He believes that if something is getting too schmaltzy, he has to turn it on its ear.He has a way of getting sincerity through insincerity, but it's not so insincere that it doesn't have heart. He tends to be a little cynical but, in the end, there's so much heart underneath what he's doing.” 

Stanton concludes, "Telling a story where the protagonist is the father got me excited. I don't think I've ever seen an animated film from that perspective. It made me interested in wanting to write it because I knew I could tell that story. I also thought that the ocean was a great metaphor for life. It's the scariest, most intriguing place in the world because anything can be out there. And that can be a bad thing or a good thing. I loved playing with that issue and having a father whose own fears of life impede his parenting abilities. He has to overcome that issue just to become a better father. And having him in the middle of the ocean where he has to confront everything he never wanted to face in life seemed like a great opportunity for fun and still allowed us to delve into some slightly deeper issues.” 

He adds, "My dad gave me s

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