10+ Random Facts Fans Didn't Know About 'Finding Nemo'

Twenty years ago, Pixar was hard-pressed to convince anyone that a clownfish named Nemo would be their next big hit. Fast-forward to today and Finding Nemo remains firmly atop the Pixar Mount Rushmore.

A lot went into making the film beyond just what we see on the big screen. Have a look and check out these 10+ things fans likely didn't know about Finding Nemo.

1. *Finding Nemo's* creative team was nearly sued!

An author by the name of Franck Le Calvez sued for plagiarism. He claimed that his short story, "Pierrot Le Poisson-Clown", was the inspiration for Nemo and his wild sea-faring adventure.

The case was thrown out.

2. The design team all became scuba-certified!


This was done in an attempt to give the animators first-hand knowledge of what a reef looked like and how the ecosystem functioned.

You have to hand it to Pixar — their dedication to realism is unmatched.

3. The story was inspired by director Andrew Stanton.

Around the time that Finding Nemo was being developed, Andrew Stanton was a new father.

He said he realized that his overprotective behavior was inhibiting him from truly bonding with his son.

Hence, Finding Nemo was born!

4. Nemo's mom is technically his dad.


Here's a fun lesson in biology: all clownfish are born male. They're what's known as a sequential hermaphrodite.

This means that they can change their sex in order to mate and procreate — then change back!

5. The powers that be were certain that the film would flop.

Then Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, was so confident that the film would be a failure that he postponed contract negotiations with Pixar!

Eisner thought it was one of the weakest offerings in the history of Pixar.

6. Andrew Stanton owes a lot to Albert Brooks:


As the director explained in an interview with Jim Hill Media,

"He absolutely saved this picture. He is exactly what I needed this father character to be. You needed someone who was neurotic, over-protective but still appealing throughout. And that is one of Albert's gifts."

7. The animators studied the movements of real fish to better understand how they moved.

As Pixar animator Dylan Brown explained to PixarTalk.com,

"Fish underwater can travel three feet in a flash. You blink and the thing is gone. We were wondering how they did that and studied their movements on video. By slowing things down, we could figure it out."

8. The first drafts of animation looked too real.


You'd think this would be a good problem to have but apparently not. When production compared the shots of live-ocean footage to cells they'd just animated, no one was able to tell the difference.

Animators were sent back to the drawing board to make the film appear more cartoonish.

9. There's another very famous Nemo!


The character of Nemo in Finding Nemo is actually taken from Jules Verne's immortal classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

The main antagonist of the film is also named Nemo, captain of the futuristic submarine The Nautilus.

10. Megan Mullany was fired from the set!

Megan is best-known for playing Karen Walker on Will & Grace. Apparently, production was insistent that Megan used the same high-pitched voice she once did for Karen.

When she refused, she was fired.

11. The character of Dory was based on Ellen Degeneres.


Before Ellen, Dory was actually going to be a male character! Director and co-writer Andrew Stanton had a chance encounter of watching The Ellen Show with his wife.

He thought it was funny how the comedian seemed to jump from one thought to the next.

Sound familiar?

12. William H. Macy was the original voice of Marlin!

Unfortunately, Disney felt that William lacked the warmth necessary to be convincing in the role. He recorded all of the dialogue and was let go at the last minute.

After his departure, Albert Brookes was brought in.

13. Andrew Stanton is the voice of Crush the sea turtle!


Crush Turtle or C. Turtle — get it? Supposedly Stanton had never intended on lending his voice to the character but after the test-screening was so successful Andrew decided to stick it out.

He recorded all of his lines while lying down on his couch.

14. The film put a serious stress on the clown fish population.

As you can imagine, children everywhere wanted them as pets after seeing the movie. This rapidly depleted the natural supply.

Pet stores across the country couldn't stock the florescent fish fast enough.

Others became inclined to liberate their captive fish!


I guess I can sort of understand why someone would want to free their fish but the lack of forethought is comical.

Many people were releasing the fish into the wrong waters or into high-predator zones.