Although I loved the 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo and watched it again and over again with my kids, I had no idea about all the interesting stories behind the making of the movie. In fact, the earlier versions of Finding Nemo led Disney executives to think it would be a flop! But there were changes along the way, all for the better. There’s also trivia that will make you look at the movie in a new way.
5. DOGS WERE USED AS MODELS FOR THE FISHY FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.
While the Pixar team’s extensive research on the denizens of the deep yielded a wide variety of spectacular shapes and colors perfectly suited to an animated feature, the underwater populace proved consistently lacking when it came to one anatomical component. The dull eyes of the average finned critter weren’t especially conducive to building expressive characters, so Pixar had to look elsewhere for its optical models. The crew chose one of the most openly expressive members of the animal kingdom on which to model the eyes of its fish characters: dogs.
6. THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT HAD A DIFFERENT TREATMENT FOR THE BARRACUDA INCIDENT.
At first, Stanton kept the inspiration for Marlin’s overprotective attitude—the loss of his wife and all but one of their unborn children in a barracuda attack—a secret to reveal gradually through intermittent flashback sequences. Ultimately, this technique made the revelation obvious and anticlimactic while making Marlin feel substantially less likable, so the script changed.
Read more about the making of Finding Nemo at mental_floss.