A Hero’s Journey in Finding Nemo – Discussion Question 1

1. When I think of the Hero’s Journey, the movie that comes to my mind is  Finding Nemo (2003).  The movie is a fun family orientated show that follows a a clown fish family on their journey of a lifetime.  The main character “Nemo” has his struggles defined in the beginning of the movie as he was slightly paralyzed with a birth defect of a small fin.  His struggles also include a sense of not belonging because of the birth defect and an overbearing father “Marlin”, whole ultimately just wants the best for his son, but comes off too strong.

Marlin allows Nemo to start attending school, against his opinion, and within the first day of class Nemo gets into trouble by accepting a dare from his new friends. The infamous dare is to swim out past the safety of the reef and touch the “butt” which is actually a boat. Nemo completes the challenge but is then taken by divers and is brought back to the divers office.

There are sort of two calls to action in this movie. The main one is when Marlin accepts the call to action to swim throughout the open ocean in an attempt to find his son with only the clue of a pair of goggles with an address on them.  The movie then follows his journey as he travels along and befriends a distorted fish named Dory. The two make it their mission to find Nemo or die trying.

Nemo’s call to action comes when he is put into captivity in a fish tank at the office and befriends the other fish inside the tank.  They devise a plan to dirty the fish tank which will result in the dentist to remove them in order to clean the tank.  Nemo is given the job of plugging the fan to the cleaner as he is the only fish small enough to fit, failing at first but succeeding his second try.

Both Marlin and Nemo think that they fail their calls to action right when it is about to work, but as the events happen, everything ends up panning out in the end.  I think that both of these journeys were good example of the typical hero’s journey.

2.  In recent times and movies made, I feel like cinema is moving further away from the four functions of mythology and more towards the idea of just pure entertainment.  However, with this being said I think there are certain movies that can grasp at least one of these methods very well.  For example, the recent movies  Divergent (2014)  and  The Giver (2014) are good examples of a picture of our universe where each person belongs. Both movies are stories of “perfect” communities in which everything is set equal but in return the loss of basic humanity and feelings of life have left the people.  Both of these movies also contain the need for mystery as both shows’ journeys include finding out the truth about their lives.  There are many examples of a movie showing one example of the mythology’s but as a whole I believe the cinema industry has not been capturing the functions lately.


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