Finding Nemo…..Could it Be About a Child with Diabetes?

Nemo MarlinOf course the initial answer would be no.  But if you watch Finding Nemo  again, now that I have asked the question, you might find a great deal of similarities between what we go through as parents and what Marlin (Dad) goes through with Nemo (his son).

One could argue the point that every child and parent will have differences growing up and the strong conflicting desire to be allowed to venture on their own as portrayed in the movie.  This point is true but the geniuses at Pixar led by John Lasseter, the producers of the film, add something that differentiates this movie from being a parent-child movie to a parent-child-with-a-situation-to-deal-with movie. They did not just leave it at a parent-child conflict.

Nemo has a fin that is much smaller than it is supposed to be.  Nemo has a disability.

The over-protective father looks at this son’s fin/disability as an even a more reason that he needs to have a watchful eye on his struggling son, Nemo.  Every move Nemo wants to do is scrutinized by his dad.  Problem is, Nemo doesn’t think he needs as close an eye as his father is giving him.  Sound familiar?

All Nemo wants to do is be like all the other kids (fish); sound familiar?

 Nemo wants to be left alone when it comes to an over-bearing parent; sound familiar?

The move is full of incredible quotes that may sound very familiar:
Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?
Marlin: No I don’t wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.

Marlin: Now, what’s the one thing we have to remember about the ocean?
Nemo: It’s not safe.
Marlin: That’s my boy.

Nigel: No, I know your son. He’s orange and has a gimpy fin on one side.
Marlin: [shouts and jumps] That’s Nemo!

Dory: No. No, you can’t… STOP. Please don’t go away……And-and I look at you, and I… and I’m home. Please… I don’t want that to go away………

The movie is just full of gems that make complete sense especially to parents like us; as we go through our world with diabetes.  But the movie makers could not give a fish diabetes; could they?  That would make no sense.   Once you accept the suspension of disbelief in this fantasy (talking fish,etc); John Lasseter (the head of Pixar) and his incredible team take huge efforts to make their films as real one could expect.  But by giving Nemo a ‘disability’ he accomplishes everything he sets out to do.

Watch the movie again and tell me I am wrong?  I find the parallels to our children living with diabetes and  Finding Nemo extraordinary.

Of course also helping me in this possible scenario/conclusion is the fact that John Lasseter’s son was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001; which would be at about the exact same moment they were working on Finding Nemo………..hmmmmmmmm……coincidence?  What do you think?

I am a diabetes dad.

PS:  Additional Interesting Fact:  My friend John Ratzenberger (Cheers, etc) is the only actor to appear in all of Pixar’s Films.  John Lasseter calls him his good luck charm.  John Ratzenberger has done a great deal of work in the diabetes community as well; he too has a child with Type 1 diabetes.

6 replies on “Finding Nemo…..Could it Be About a Child with Diabetes?”

Don’t forget the best quote of the movie for over-protective parents.
Marlin: I promised I’d never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Hmm. That’s a funny thing to promise.
Marlin: What?
Dory: Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

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