Confessions of a Nemo Hater

Natalie Schmit, Reporter

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Constant scrutiny and judgement are an innate aspect of the human experience. Yet, the cruel sting of social rejection never softens and the scars left by ostracization from one’s peers never fade away.

My personal struggle with exclusion began with my introduction to the 2003 catastrophe, Disney’s Finding Nemo. Not only were all of the other toddlers delighted by Marlin, Dory, and friends, but they came to worship these weird, little fish in the same way you or I may worship Kylie Jenner or the CSS mascot, a pride lion. As a child, I tried to hide my hatred of the movie. I added the freaky clown fish to my list of favorite animals, and pretended that the tangy, orange of Nemo’s scales didn’t terrify me in the night. However, as proven by Reverend Dimmesdale in the American classic, the Scarlet Letter, living a lie will slowly destroy you. I had to reveal my truth. And so I did.

Confronting life as a social outcast was difficult. It’s hard to be alone. But my hatred for the garish movie which has inspired many a shark-related nightmare has not diminished. In fact, it only increases with each horrified ‘You hate finding Nemo?!’, and even more so with each threat about how I should not publish this very article. I resist these threats with the knowledge that in Trump’s America we will need to stand up for what we believe in, regardless of the possible costs.

Thus, I will take advantage of my first amendment rights and expose why this film does not deserve a place in our hearts. First and foremost, this movie enforces negative stereotypes which can be really damaging to the profession of dentistry. Dentists are people too. But an even greater issue is how preachy this film is. I do not turn on a Pixar movie to learn a lesson, I turn on a Pixar movie to see beautiful animation and to laugh at silly jokes. Yet, this film is so busy teaching lessons to both the child (follow your dreams even if you have a shrunken fin) and to the adult (let your child follow his/her dreams even if he/she has a shrunken fin), that it becomes too sanctimonious to stomach. I refuse to believe that a fish can teach me how to live. Additionally, the movie only barely passes the Bechdel test, and Dory seems to be the only girl fish in the Ocean.

The true heroes of Pixar are the Incredibles, a family of superheroes who save the world, Wall-E, a robot who is the last sentient being on earth, and Merida, a young girl who rejects social norms and stands up to the patriarchy. Whiny little Nemo and his incompetent father simply do not deserve to be equated  with the likes of these role models. Has any kid ever even dressed up as Nemo for Halloween? Do kids even pretend to be Nemo at all? If so, what do they do? Do they just get lost and then yell at their friends? Do they just walk around blubbering like a fish? We as a culture are better than that.

Therefore, I encourage the reader to just keep swimming, away from Finding Nemo.

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