He shall be my squishy

A Clown FishPhotograph of clown fish by aitvaras

How do I love thee Finding Nemo? Let me count the ways…

I am generally quite happy to accept that we all have different opinions, without feeling the need to try and prove that my opinion is the right one. However, if anyone says that Finding Nemo is not the greatest feature length animation film ever made, I shall fight them in the streets over it (figuratively). It has it all – humour, tragedy, courage, determination, loyalty, friendship, a blue fish with a short memory, love, addiction recovery, teamwork, triumph over adversity, beautiful scenery, and a blue fish with a short memory. I took my daughter to see it at the cinema, she must have been 4 or 5; it wasn’t the first time she had been to the cinema, but it was the first time she sat still and watched a whole film through without fidgeting and talking. We were both enthralled.

Aside from loving the film just because it’s great, I’ve also come to realise that so many parts of it are reflections of my life, more metaphorically than literally, but sometimes literally! I have selected a couple of examples:

Near the beginning, when Nemo is getting ready to go to school with his Dad Marlin, they don’t just leave their anemone home once, no, Marlin is very anxious, so they test things out a bit. They go out, and back in again, out and back in again, out and back in again. If you want to see that bit, go along to 1:14 on the clip below (sorry for the quality of it). I shall explain how it relates to me below the clip…

Finding Nemo – TM & Β© Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved

…Because I do some acting and performing, I have to put myself out there a bit. The problem is, I’m actually quite shy and socially awkward – you wouldn’t know it from this site would you, with the big header picture which screams “Look at me everybody!”. I expect a psychologist would say that there is some over-compensation going on here; I put on a display of bold self confidence which I can then hide behind. I expect the psychologist would be right. But sometimes when I come onto this site, I cringe a bit and worry that people must think I’m really “up myself”. The same with my business cards, I had business cards made with my photo on them because it seemed like a good idea, but whenever I give them out I end up apologising that they have a photo of me on them. I go out, and back in again…out, and back in again.

The second and final clip is the classic “Just keep swimming” song. Over recent years I’ve been through some tough times, and the words of this song have quite literally kept me going at times, they really have. Whatever happens, and however difficult things might seem, you just have to keep going until you get through it. I have said it to myself many a time, try it, you’ll see: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Finding Nemo – TM & Β© Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved


28 responses to “He shall be my squishy

  1. Ha! You had me at the title!


  2. I wonder how many posts have been tagged ‘anemone’? I love Finding Nemo too. My colleague at work is still disappointed in me that I never named my first child Nemo, as she was watching the film the night he was born. We called him Matthew. Hmmm… My second son we called Jack, but I forever call him Jack-Jack, because my colleague had just seen The Incredibles. She has more of an impact on my life than I care for, now that I think about it…
    I love Finding Nemo for all the reasons you mention, plus, there’s a reference to Jaws, my all time favourite film. (Too find out why, and the impact it had on my life, read this http://www.kenpreston.co.uk/smile-you-son-of-a/ (Sorry, shameless self plug in your comments section!) Wall-E is another great one. And, of course, Toy Story.
    BTW, my wife does a similar thing to you with the business card. With her, recently, it was when she had her hair highlighted. She looked great, but there was one tiny bit the hairdresser had made a mess of. You really couldn’t see it, she had to hold some of her hair back to expose it. Guess what? Every time somebody complimented her on her hair, she brushed it back and showed them the bit that went wrong.
    Women. I’ll never understand you!


    • My cat is called Dory. I didn’t name her that, but I’m pretty sure it was the name that swung it for me when my friend said “My son is allergic to our cat Dory, do you want a cat?”.

      I don’t mind shameless plugs in my comments section when they are from people who are actively commenting as well and not just plugging, so no problem πŸ˜‰ I had read that post of yours actually, and I had intended to go back and comment on it – I don’t know about you, but I find with blog posts, unless I comment straight away, I never get around to going back to comment, however much I intend to!

      I agree about Toy Story, and the style of it was groundbreaking when it came out wasn’t it. I liked Wall-E, but I didn’t love it as much as a lot of people did. One of my other more recent favourites was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – have you seen that? It’s entertaining and also has deeper messages about society (not that I think films have to have deeper messages, but I appreciated the ones there).

      That’s funny about your wife’s hair, that’s just the sort of thing I would do too!


      • No, never seen Cloudy… Must get round to it. It’s funny, but after reading your blog and now browsing through your comments I have a sudden desire to go and watch Finding Nemo again, although I have seen it many times. But I will resist for the moment. Maybe when the boys come home from school…


  3. Fish are friends, not food. Great quote.


  4. That is a near perfect movie. Well, perfect, right? And the keep swimming message is one we can all use from time to time.

    I wish I could figure out how to fake brimming with confidence. Most the time I’m too neurotic and insecure.

    My favorite parts of the movie might be with the whale. Hmmm. Maybe. Lots of great parts.


    • Yes, the whale is one of my favourite parts too!

      You have to learn little tricks to fake brimming with confidence – one is boldly splashing your pictures around (as mentioned!), another is developing certain facial expressions. My boss told me that if you’re in a group situation where you’re feeling a bit awkward or uncomfortable (she was particularly referring at the time to a meeting I was going to where I was worried that I would be out of my depth), that you should think to yourself “I know something that none of you here know, I may decide to tell you or I may not”, and the expression you will have on your face as a result will be one of superiority and confidence! I’ve used it a few times and it really did make me feel more confident!


  5. Who hasn’t used the “just keep swimming” as an inspiration. It’s the “I think I can” of our time. Brilliant movie and Bruce is my favourite. OK the turtles are cool too. Oh I just love it all.


  6. I only saw this movie recently and Emilia and I loved it so much that we bought it, too. I have seen it dozens of times now. Love it. Great post!


    • Yes, I could probably count on one hand the number of films that I can watch over and over without getting tired of them, and this is definitely one of them (if you hadn’t guessed that bit) – and every time I watch it, I still feel the anxiousness of hoping it will all work out!


  7. This is such a great post. I can relate to all of it. I’m a huge Disney fan to start (he’s my hero, actually), and there really is such an amazing range of topics covered in the film.

    “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” is actually a quote I have on a wall in my study — this is so weird, because I recently commented on Subtlekate’s blog a couple of days ago on her quotes post, and I mentioned this same quote! Now it’s coming back full circle.

    I understand about your doubt regarding your blog header, biz cards, what have you. I think your blog header is lovely, and I never thought you’re full of yourself. Take heart–they say the best way to promote your blog or Twitter site or FB site is to have a photo of you–not your kids, your dog, or your squishy πŸ™‚ So, I simply thought this was part of your platform, and I like it!


    • Disney is great, and combined with Pixar is absolute genius!

      Thank you, and I’m glad you recognised that the photos were part of my platform – yes, you are your own brand aren’t you, and that’s why I splash the photos around, but I do still worry what people think at times (But then don’t we all anyway, whatever we do!).


  8. I watched this movie with my first granddaughter and fell in LOVE with the ‘movie’ I can still watch it five years later and nothing has changed—I still LOVE it, as do both my granddaughters (now)..


    • My partner recently revealed that he had never watched the film all the way through, he had seen various bits of it with his kids when they were younger, but never all in one go. So we watched it through together last week, and I was so excited to share his first experience of watching it all the way through! He agreed that it was a film to be loved (although I don’t think he would have dared to say otherwise if he hadn’t!).


  9. All of that; and you smell of fish! x


  10. Oh Vanessa this made me cry….but worry not I shall keep swimming xx


  11. I adore Finding Nemo, although for me it’s edged out by The Incredibles. I’ve seen both at least a dozen times, having now successfully introduced the boys to both films. Pixar have an incredible knack of making their films work on both a child’s level and an adult one, and the underlying message of Nemo around “just keep swimming” and overcoming one’s fears and perceived shortcomings is beautifully played throughout.

    FIsh are friends, not food. πŸ™‚


    • I liked The Incredibles a lot, but it doesn’t touch Finding Nemo for me. I mentioned in another comment on here that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is another firm favourite; may even take the coveted number two spot for me. I agree, that ability to work on both a child level and an adult one is fantastic; we’re not just talking about a few one liners thrown in here and there to please the adults, the appeal for both is woven throughout.


  12. This is one of my favorites. There is somethng for everyone. We were thinking of setting up a movie outside in the backyard. My husband was going crazy looking for something on Netflix. I’m going to suggest Finding Nemo. It’s been a while, and yes, such great entertainment.


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