Home » Arts & Entertainment » Movies » Pixar’s Art Team Took Marine Biology, Oceanography, Ichthyology and Scuba Before Making “Finding Nemo”
Finding Nemo

Pixar’s Art Team Took Marine Biology, Oceanography, Ichthyology and Scuba Before Making “Finding Nemo”

Pixar is a California-based computer animation firm best recognized for its critically and commercially successful computer-animated feature films. But did you know that their art team studied marine biology and other related courses prior to the making of the animation Finding Nemo?

Before making Finding Nemo, Pixar’s in-house art team was required to take Marine Biology, Oceanography, Ichthyology, and Scuba Diving classes to get the accurate look and feel of the characters and their world.

What Influenced the Making of Finding Nemo?

Although autobiographical isn’t the term that comes to mind when thinking of a road comedy about marine life, Finding Nemo co-writer, and director Andrew Stanton’s screenplay has a personal origin. 

During the film’s creation, Stanton struggled with his inclination to overprotect his kid Nemo, just like Marlin does with his neuroses in parenting his son Nemo. He had a lifelong obsession with all things aquatic, which he traced back to a boyhood fascination with his dentist’s fish tank. He utilized this lifelong passion for telling a very emotional story about the struggles and challenges of fatherhood. (Source: Mental Floss)

How Did Pixar’s Art Team Prepare to Produce Finding Nemo?

Pixar’s art team had to take courses and audit lectures in marine biology, oceanography, and ichthyology. They also enrolled in scuba diving classes. These were the measures taken in order to get the authentic look and feel of Finding Nemo’s characters and underwater world precise. (Source: Mental Floss)

What Animals were Used to Model the Expressions of the Fishes in the Animation?

While the Pixar team’s comprehensive research on the deep’s inhabitants provided a wide array of magnificent shapes and colors ideal for an animated picture, the underwater population continually lacked one anatomical component. 

Pixar had to explore elsewhere for its optical models because the dull eyes of the average finned critter weren’t especially conducive to building expressive characters, so Pixar based the eyes of their fish figures on dogs. (Source: Mental Floss)

Why Did Disney’s CEO Think That Finding Nemo would be a Failure?

The early versions of Finding Nemo seemed terrible because of the poorly cast Marlin, the unsympathetic Gill, and the looping flashbacks. Nobody, however, was more pessimistic than Michael Eisner, then-CEO of the Walt Disney Company. The underwater experience, according to Eisner, will serve as a reality check for Pixar, which has yet to be challenged.

The sole silver lining for Eisner was that a business fight would aid contract renegotiations with the Disney division. Of course, Eisner’s foresight and fund-cutting ambitions were thwarted when Finding Nemo became Pixar’s highest-grossing film, a title it would hold until Toy Story 3 was released in 2010. 

It has since been exceeded twice more: first by Inside Out in 2015 and again by Finding Dory in 2016. (Source: Mental Floss)

How Did the Animation Affect the Clownfish Population?

Following the animation’s premiere, children were so charmed with the cute Nemo that demand for clownfish as pets increased. Excessive collection and selling of the ocean dwellers resulted in a 75% drop in clownfish numbers in some natural areas, such as Vanuatu’s waters. (Source: Mental Floss)

Leave a Comment