We have seen “Finding Nemo” more times than we care to admit. We can tell you that the scuba mask belonged to one “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney,” turtles can live to be over 100 years old, and we’re pretty sure that we speak whale at a conversational level (fluency is not terribly far off). However, we recently learned that everyone’s beloved little clown fish from the Great Barrier Reef is actually a lot closer than we thought – just a hop, skip, and jump away in Cape Ann.
Let us jump back a bit and explain. Pixar filmmaker, and “Nemo” director and co-writer, Andrew Stanton is a Rockport native. There must be something in the air in the North of Boston region as another famous film figure, Louis B. Mayer, also has roots in the area (having started in the film business by operating a chain of theaters in Haverhill). If you take another, closer, look at “Nemo” you realize that Stanton hid quite a few nods to his Cape Ann hometown in the film. Pixarpost.com does a fantastic job of pointing out all of these little tidbits – check out their website for even more awesome “Finding Nemo” factoids.
Take the dentist’s office, for example. The fish tank in the office was inspired by a similar fish tank Andrew Stanton saw at his own dentist’s office in Rockport as a child. In one scene, from within the tank, you can even see that there is a photo of famous Rockport landmark Motif #1 on the wall.
Also visible in the waiting room is a lamp that looks suspiciously like one of the Thacher Island twin lighthouses.
One final nod is in the scene where all of the fish are recounting Marlin’s journey to find Nemo. In that scene, there is a group of lobsters recalling how at one point in the journey, everything was “wicked dahk.” You’d be hard-pressed to find lobsters with Massachusetts accents in Sydney Harbor (or talking lobsters in general, but that’s beside the point).
Next time you’re watching “Finding Nemo,” see if you can spot any of these Rockport shoutouts
A very special thank you to Discover Gloucester for their help in getting us started on this blog!