Monthly Archives: January 2011

Finding Nemo Valuable lessons

Recently we watched “Finding Nemo” with our daughter a few times. She likes the movie so much, she actually tells that story for her bed time. Yes, one of the stories that she would like to say scene by scene before going to bed.

When I first watched that movie a few years ago it was all about entertainment and the laughter. I watched it as just another entertaining movie. But now being a father and watching that movie with my daughter, there are lessons to be learnt from that movie.

The story is about an over-protective clown fish “Marlin” losing his son “Nemo” to a sea diver who takes him to his dental clinic’s aquarium in Sydney Australia. Marlin who is afraid of venturing out of the corals swims all over the ocean and faces many challenges and reaches Sydney to save his son.

Marlin the clown fish is not only over-protective about his son but he is also scared of everything around him. He thinks that the world out there is dangerous and he is skeptical about everything. I think we have Marlin in each of us. In life we all face situations where there is an easy way and there is a slightly skeptical and not so easy way. We tend to go the easy way out and never venture into the unknown. Partly I guess because of the fear of failure and higher chance of success of the known and easy way. When I watch this movie I am reminded of the line the poem by Robert Frost – “….Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”In this movie, Marlin faces “the road less travelled” situation multiple times when he goes to rescue his son. He ends up taking “the road less travelled” every time but UNWILLINGLY. But each time he discovers something that takes him closer to his son.

I have just listed some of those instances which I really liked:

a) If Marlin did not swim behind the diver’s boat like a maniac, he would never have met Dory – Another fish who has short term memory loss but is very adventurous and is not afraid of taking chances. Ideally he would not have gone out of the reef, but since his son was taken away, he had to venture into open waters.

b) Then Dory and Marlin get invited by a shark for a small party – Since Dory was willing to go with the sharks, Marlin gets forced to go as well. But if he had not gone, he would not have discovered the water mask that the diver was wearing and also has his address on it. In this sequence they also discover that Dory can read. So they find the address where Nemo has been taken to.

c) Later when the mask falls down into a dark trench, Marlin is too afraid to swim down. But Dory takes him down with her and they find the mask and also get the address. In this sequence I like something that Dory says to Marlin – “You know what you do when life lets you down…. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” The same thing is true for us… its easy to feel let down and think that the whole world has come to an end… But just keep swimming, just keep swimming; you will overcome the tough times…

d) When he is about to lose hope again, Dory convinces him to ask directions for the address to a whale… They get swallowed by the whale, he thinks it’s a bad decision to have asked direction. But later realizes that the whale actually brought them to Sydney.

When they are inside the whale, I really liked something that Dory tells Marlin… Marlin first says that he promised to Nemo that he will not let anything happen to him but now he is stuck. Dory says that’s a funny thing to promise… “If you never let anything happen to then nothing will ever happen to him”. That I think is a very profound statement… When you are over protective of your loved ones (particularly children), you protect them from good things too… they will never learn certain things which they would have otherwise.

Moral of the story is – If the only thing that prevents you from trying something is fear, then that’s definitely worth trying… We just have one life, its not worth wasting over fear of failure. Also dont let your fears come in way of your children’s aspirations. Be protective, just dont be over protective…