Australian Council on Children and the Media

Finding Nemo 3D

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Short takes

Not recommended under 6, PG to 8 (Scary characters and scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Finding Nemo 3D
  • a review of Finding Nemo 3D completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 August 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to scary characters and scenes
Children aged 6-8 Parental guidance recommended due to scary characters and scenes
Children aged over 8 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Finding Nemo 3D
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may frighten young children
Length 100 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This is the 3D re-release of the original Finding Nemo. It opens with excited clown fish parents Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Coral (Elizabeth Perkins), who live on the Great Barrier Reef, doting over their first clutch of eggs. Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived when a rampaging barracuda attacks with devastating consequences. Coral and all but one of the eggs are lost, and Marlin names the surviving egg Nemo.

 When we next see Nemo (Alexander Gould) he is a young clown fish, very excited and eager about his first day at school. Disaster strikes when Nemo, in an act of defiance against his overprotective father, swims out into the open sea where he is captured by a diver. He ends up in a fish tank in the office of a dentist (Bill Hunter) overlooking Sydney Harbor.

 Meanwhile, a distraught Marlin has teamed up with a fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who suffers from short term memory loss, but is able to decipher Marlin’s only clue to Nemo’s whereabouts. Marlin and Dory set off to find and rescue Nemo with the pair encountering many dangers on their journey.

 Nemo, unaware that his father is searching for him, is befriended by an array of marine creatures living in the fish tank including a tough old tiger fish called Gill (Willem Dafoe), who helps Nemo plot his escape.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death and loss of a family member; animal predatory behaviour

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Finding Nemo contains cartoon action violence, at times played for comedy but also scary for younger children, especially with 3D effects. Examples include:

  • A menacing looking barracuda with long sharp teeth attacks Marlin and Coral. The barracuda knocks Marlin unconscious with its tail, then lunges at another target.  When Marlin regains consciousness, Coral and all of their eggs but one are gone.
  • Dory has a nose bleed which attracts a large shark. The shark then goes into afrenzy, attacking and trying to eat Marlin and Dory; we see lots of snapping jaws with the shark nearly eating Marlin and Dory on several occasions. The shark chases Marlin and Dory through a wrecked submarine, crashing into doorways and trying to break through the submarine’s hull in an attempt to get at Marlin and Dory. The two fish shove a torpedo into the shark’s mouth and the shark promptly spits it out. The torpedo floats into an underwater minefield and sets off a chain reaction of explosions.
  • While swimming in deep water, Marlin and Dory are attracted to a small glowing light. The light turns out to be a deep-water angler fish with a mouth full of large sharp teeth, the angler fish chases and snaps at them, swallowing Marlin. We see a comical image of Marlin inside the angler fish’s stomach before it spits him out.
  • In one intense and perilous scene, we see Marlin and Dory surrounded by thousands of poisonous jellyfish. Marlin makes it out safely, but Dory is stung and caught in a jellyfish’s tentacles and Marlin swims back to rescue him. Marlin is stung a number of times while Dory is left unconscious. Dory recovers and is left with a wounded fin.     

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

 

The film contains several threatening and scary looking predator fish that are likely to scare and disturb younger children.

  • The opening scenes of the film include images of a menacing and murderous barracuda fish with a mouth full of oversized needle-like fangs. Bruce the shark is a large white pointer with a mouth full of oversized large sharp teeth. Later in the film a scary looking angler fish makes and appears. The angler fish also has a mouth full of long fang-like teeth and is menacing and evil-looking.
  • Marlin and Dory are sucked inside a humpback whale’s mouth and see the pair swimming uninjured inside of the whale’s stomach. After unsuccessful attempts to escape, Marlin and Dory are blown out of the whales’ blowhole 
  • Nemo swims through the pipes of an aquarium filter to jam a small pebble into the filter’s turbine –like fan. The attempt fails and Nemo is sucked back into the filters fan but is saved by other fish just before being chopped up by the fan. 
  • Nemo and Gill are left flapping around on a table after Nemo’s escape attempt goes wrong.  Nemo is flushed down a drain while Gill is returned to the aquarium. We see Nemo having a wild water slide ride through the drains until he is flushed out into the ocean, uninjured.   

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern in the film, but plenty of associated merchandise, including food products

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

The film contains some minor name calling and toilet humour which may be imitated by younger children. Examples include:

  • “Pony boy; big butt, stinking goldfish, Oh my gosh, fish killer, Mr. Grumpy gills, shut up, maniac, we are swimming in our own sh...(word cut off), What the...?(word cut off).  
  • A young squid becomes scared, with ink shooting out from underneath him. He says, “You made me ink myself”

In a nutshell

Finding Nemo 3D is a re-release of the animated adventure comedy film targeting children and their families. The film features a star studded cast performing the voiceovers and some clever humour. However, the film contains some upsetting scenes, including the death of Marlin’s wife and the destruction of their eggs which younger children may find distressing, and some predator fish that they may find very frightening.  The scary scenes are more intense in this 3D version.   

The main messages from this movie are:

  • While parents know they must eventually let their children grow up they find it difficult to let their children take risks and become independent.
  • A parent’s love can inspire them to accomplish remarkable feats when put to the test.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Self sacrifice: Throughout the film a number of characters risked their lives for the sake of another.
  • Self confidence: Throughout the film Nemo demonstrates a confidence in his own ability to succeed, and it is this self confidence that helps him to escape the confines of his aquarium.   
  • Friendship and selflessness: throughout the film both Nemo and Marlin are befriended by a variety of characters who offer them assistance.  

Parents may also wish to discuss the food chain in the ocean and the behaviour of predator creatures such as sharks.

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