I was watching Finding Nemo with my girlfriend, who is quite the Latin buff, when she said, “Did you know that “nemo” means “no one” or “nothing” in Latin?” That one little question sparked what I like to call “Operation Finding Nemo: A Conspiracy.” Together, we psychoanalyzed Pixar’s Finding Nemo and discovered the hidden meaning behind what appears to be a loving father/son story. The loveable little Nemo is only a figment of Marlin’s imagination.
The first piece of evidence we discovered is that Nemo is the sole surviving egg. Think about how unlikely it is that only one egg would survive! Either the barracuda would’ve attacked and killed all the eggs, or he would’ve missed several of them. Also, Marlin only finds the egg after he’s been knocked unconscious, awoken, and had discovered his entire family was dead. He was probably suffering from physical brain damage from the attack. One doesn’t simply pass out ...view middle of the document...
” Thus, Dory exposed the theme of “letting go” into the story.
There are several examples of Marlin “letting go” of his fears and an event taking a turn for the better as a result. The most literal of these examples is the scene where Marlin and Dory are trapped in the whale’s mouth. The whale informs Dory (because she can speak whale) that her and Marlin should go to the back of his throat. Marlin, scared the whale wants them to go back to his throat so that he can eat them, refuses. The whale lifts his tonged in an attempt to make Marlin and Dory slide to the back of his throat. Marlin grabs ahold of a taste bud with one fin and Dory with the other. Dory encourages Marlin to listen to the whale and “JUST LET GO!” Marlin asks how she knows that it will all be okay, to which she responds, “I don’t!” and lets go of Marlin’s fin, dropping into the back of the whale’s throat. Marlin lets go of the taste bud and follows her. The whale ends up blowing them out of his blowhole near the destination that Marlin believes his son to be located. Letting go, in this way, helped him get closer to Finding Nemo, or no one.
The last piece of evidence is the ending of the movie. Typically, Disney movies end with a happy reunion of the family, a coming together, a party, or something that involves the comradely after all of the conflicts have been resolved. Nemo does not end in this manner. The final scene with Marlin and Nemo in the movie is the scene of Marlin letting Nemo go to school. He’s slightly anxious to let him go, but relatively calmer to the first attempt. As Nemo swims away with his class, Marlin says, “Goodbye, son,” in a voice not loud enough for Nemo to hear. Notice the choice of words used here! There is no “I’ll see you after school!” or “Have a good time, we’ll visit the sea turtles when you get back!” It’s purely a goodbye. It’s finite. There is no evidence of a life continuing after the school day is over. As Nemo fades into the sea, it’s clear that Marlin is finally letting Nemo go. Letting his entire family go. In this moment, he finds no one. In this moment, he moves on.