Let's start with our hero: Marlin. He experiences an extremely traumatic moment when he realizes the barracuda killed his wife and most of his children. Because of this, he is emotionally scarred. He will not allow Nemo to do anything he thinks is even remotely dangerous. Trying to prevent him from starting school, encouraging him to play with the younger kids, and interfering with the lesson at the drop-off are all examples of his overly controlling urges. His adventures in the ocean with Dory make him deal with his emotional scarring and move past protecting his child every minute.
Nemo has a very obvious scar: his "lucky" fin. Although he does not remember the intense, life-threatening scenario he faced as an egg, he has to live with his disability for the rest of his life. He overcomes his scar by being adventurous. He can swim all the way out to a boat in open water without anyone's help. Yes, this act also got him caught, but the point is he had the courage to face difficulties without hesitation. Even later in the fish tank, he gets scared, but a little encouragement from Gill gives him the self-esteem he needs to accomplish anything, including saving a whole net of fish and his family at the end.
Dory has many scars to consider. She has "short term memory loss" and cannot remember where her family is. They could have abandoned her and to deal with that she consequently forgets things. Or perhaps something terrible happened to them and her forgetfulness lessens that deep traumatic toll. Also, we as the audience see her get her physical scar in the jellyfish forest. It is an amazing scene which highlights her strength and Marlin’s bravery and devotion. Although Dory faces many challenges, she is always positive and remembers to "just keep swimming".
The fish tank at the dentist’s office is a whole can of worms I can’t properly dive into at this time. There are many, many mental scars as well as a few physical. Everything from schizophrenia to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to germaphobia can be observed in these fish.
One of the only fish with a physical scar in the fish tank is Gill. I would argue that he is slightly claustrophobic because he is obsessed with getting out of the small tank and into the big ocean. An interesting thing I found when researching Finding Nemo on the Internet is most people refer to Gill as “Scar”. Although his name is repeated throughout the movie, people primarily associate him with his scar. Although I would argue he is not the most scarred character, his scar does seem to be the most memorable.
Scars are thrown into the audiences faces so many times throughout this movies that it is hard not to think about them. I hope this post has made your think a little more about what is happening in Finding Nemo. Please leave a comment and look for my new blog next Thursday.