Moments from “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” That Stand Out to Me

When Finding Nemo came to movie theaters in 2003, it pleased millions of people. Thirteen years later, we got a sequel, Finding Dory.

I enjoyed both films. And as someone who can also be critical with certain elements in storytelling, whether it’s written or visual, certain details stand out to me.

Below are those moments:

Finding Nemo

When Marlin wanted Nemo to play by the sponge beds, with the baby fish

After losing all his eggs and his wife, Coral, from a barracuda, Marlin becomes overprotective of his son, Nemo. When Nemo wakes up Marlin for the first day of school, Marlin hesitates to take him.

After the two arrive, Nemo wants to play with the other kids. But his dad would rather let him play by the sponge beds with the baby fish. One even falls and cries.

Every time I think of that scene, my thought is, I think Nemo’s too old to play there. I don’t support overprotectiveness unless absolutely necessary or done in a legit manner. And having an older child play with babies instead of his, their, or her peers isn’t appropriate. That is where overbearing crosses the line.

Dr. Philip Sherman having his work address on the back of his diving mask 

A YouTube channel, “Cinemasins,” pointed this out in a video where the narrator points out different issues of the movie. He made a very good point about how no one would put his, their, or her work address on a diving mask. This was merely for plot convenience.

I understand that the address was necessary to the story. And cartoons can get away with lacking realism to a certain extent. Still–it’s bizarre and not that believable. But it was probably the only way Marlin and Dory could find Nemo.

Darla got to get another fish for her birthday, despite shaking her fish from the previous year to the point where it died

If a child shakes a bag of fish until it dies, then they don’t deserve another one at all – or even another pet. Yet Dr. Sherman allowed her to get another one, which is Nemo.

The scene where Nigel bursts into Dr. Sherman’s office makes a perfect penalty for both Darla and Dr. Sherman. And Gil sets Nemo free when he helps Nemo down the sink where patients spit. That ought to teach Darla a lesson.

Hopefully, she never got a pet fish again – or, at least, not for another few years.

The whale that swallowed Marlin and Dory was a blue whale 

Although I didn’t study marine science when this movie came out, a year later, when I was in 5th grade, I did. I learned about different species of whales.

I also knew that the blue whale is the largest mammal in the world – 100 feet wide. The minke whale is one of the smallest kinds. So, I had thought that the whale that swallowed Marlin and Dory was a minke whale, especially since the filmmakers had to do a lot of research for this movie.

But it was a blue whale, which surprised me, particularly since clownfish and blue tangs are small enough to fit in a human’s hand. So, the whale was probably barely bigger than an adult person – at most. 

I had later thought that the whale was either a baby one or had a growth issue. But it’s probably a form of cartoon logic.

Finding Dory

Bailey’s line for when Dory and Hank are being chased by the cops while recklessly driving a truck

“They’re gonna go to fish jail!” 

How much more hilarious can that get? I wonder what the police would have actually done. My guess is that they’d arrest the aquarium staff since their truck was stolen.

When Dory said planning is the worst, and the best things happen by chance

What a terrible lesson to teach kids! Cinemasins said the same thing.

Planning is important and a lot of positive outcomes happen because of planning. The only negative result that could occur is if somebody overplanned

That being said, some good things can happen by chance. But it’s not something to rely on.

When Dory’s parents tell her that she could anything her mind puts her to

At some point, her parents actually say this to her. Just like with the idea of planning being the worst, this message is even worse.

You should never just do anything you put your mind to – UNLESS it’s at the appropriate time and completely harmless. 

Cinemasins stated that this was a terrible lesson to teach children. The narrator said that it could make his kid think that they’re going to watch this movie and jump off a high height.


Like with any creative work, no movie is perfect, not even the most popular ones. Yet I still enjoyed both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

What are your thoughts on these details? Let me know in the comments if you’d like.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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