15 Things You Never Knew About Pixar's Finding Nemo

Released in 2003, the beloved movie inspired a sequel in 2016

By Zach Johnson May 31, 2018 5:45 PMTags
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Fifteen years ago yesterday, Finding Nemo swam into theaters.

The Pixar project, written and directed by Andrew Stanton, went on to become an instant phenomenon, earning $940.3 million worldwide on a reported $94 million budget. To date, Finding Nemo remains the best-selling DVD title of all time, and it inspired attractions at Disney theme parks around the world. It didn't hurt that the movie featured an all-star voice cast: Eric Bana as Anchor, Nicholas Bird as Squirt, Albert Brooks as Marlin, Willem Dafoe as Gill, Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, LuLu Ebeling as Darla, Brad Garrett as Bloat, Alexander Gould as Nemo, Barry Humphries as Bruce, Allison Janney as Peach, Vicki Lewis as Deb/Flo, Austin Pendleton as Gurgle, Elizabeth Perkins as Coral, Bob Peterson as Mr. Ray, Joe Ranft as Jacques, Stephen Root as Bubbles, Geoffrey Rush as Nigel, Bruce Spence as Chum and Stanton as Crush.

Fans clamored for a sequel—and in 2016, Finding Dory was released.

In celebration of the first film's 15th anniversary, E! News rounded up 15 fun facts:

School of Fish

Mr. Ray's class swims through swims through 12,996 corals, which were individually animated.

Circling the Drain

William H. Macy originally voiced Marlin, even though Albert Brooks was Andrew Stanton's first choice. But, after an early screening, Brooks was brought in to replace Macy.

Fish-Eating Grin

Bruce has 202 teeth, each of which can be animated individually.

Big Fish in a Small Pond

Megan Mullaly was fired after she refused to use her "Karen Walker voice" from Will & Grace. "I said, 'Now, wait a minute: You're telling me you want this fish who lives in a fish tank in a dentist's office to be a fictitious character from an NBC sitcom?'" she told a New York radio station. "I mean, it just doesn't make any sense to me."

A Fish Out of Water

Look closely and you'll find Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear on the floor in the dentist's office.

Sink or Swim

Out of the Tank Gang, Bubbles has the least amount of dialogue.

In the Swim of Things

Pixar's in-house art team was required to take courses and audit lectures in ichthyology, marine biology and oceanography to make the film more lifelike. The artists were also required to enroll in scuba diving classes.

Out to Sea

For the jellyfish scene, Pixar's Ocean Unit created a new shading system: "transblurrency."

Drink Like a Fish

Two of the turtles are named after citrus soda brands: Crush and Squirt.

Bigger Fish to Fry

This is the first Pixar film not composed by Randy Newman. His cousin, Thomas Newman, scored the soundtrack.

Fishing for Compliments

This is the first Pixar film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. A Bug's Life, Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were released before the category was added to the ceremony, and Monsters, Inc. lost to Shrek.

Hell and High Water

Nemo's name is a nod to Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

In Too Deep

One of the boats in Sydney Harbor is named "For the Birds," a reference to the Pixar short of the same name.

Going With the Flow

A boy in the dentist's office reads a Mr. Incredible comic book, foreshadowing The Incredibles.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

This is the first Pixar movie to have a post-credits scene.