Pixar announced last week it will in fact be bringing Finding Nemo 2 to the big screen in 2016. This is pretty exciting news for fans of the original, especially with Finding Nemo 3D hitting the market this fall, and gives us aquarium hobby prognosticators the opportunity to see if Finding Nemo 2 will have the ability to impact the hobby in ways the original picture did.
Last week, the Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Andrew Stanton would return to direct the sequel to one of Pixars’ crown jewels. While Stanton is coming off a huge flop with Disney’s John Carter, we’re hoping Finding Nemo 2 comes to the table with a fresh, compelling story beyond just another marketing device like Cars 2 that was created just to cash in on the merchandising appeal of the first movie.
We have to say, Finding Nemo did have a huge part in growing the interest in the aquarium hobby — from Tetra’s Nemo-branded aquarium cubes, to people buying saltwater systems because “Nemo” clownfish were the new Dalmatian puppies, to allowing established hobbyists to get more for the aquarium at home. So now we begin the huge speculation on how the next chapter of the Nemo adventure will unfold.
So will Nemo fit the course of the true clownfish realm and change genders? Probably not but maybe this will be Nemo being the father with a new clutch of youngsters getting into trouble. We loved antagonists like Bruce, the shark in the 12-step program to stop eating fish, but wonder what the next evil character will be?
Besides some human impact (fish collectors, oil spills, global warming) we’re hoping to see some cool characters — maybe an eel or a dastardly crown of thorn starfish as an antagonist. Besides laid back turtles, maybe this version will feature some cool seahorses with some country twang behind them. Maybe we’ll see something cool and unique, maybe some colorful wrasses, some parrotfish with dreadlocks and a Scooby-Doo appetite, or maybe a boxfish.
As far as impact on the hobby, I am sure plenty of fish store owners wish they had a nickel for every time a customer pointed to a tank of clownfish and said, “Look! Nemo!” or “Wow! Dory…” because they would be rich. Sure many of us lament on people for not knowing anything about these fish besides their Pixar name but the interest in the first film has done a lot for the hobby.
First of all, there are plenty of us that get the green light to get an aquarium from our significant others because of just how cute those “Nemo” fish are. Maybe the clown wasn’t in our original wishlist but they are cute, have bright color, add character and let us sneak in that orange hammer coral or that mystery wrasse without a blink of an eye.
Next, the interest from the first move infused the industry with interest and cashflow coupled with advances in technology and husbandry allowed the hobby to experience a Renaissance of sorts. Without all those newbies running to message boards looking for advice, maybe there wouldn’t be such a robust nano side of the hobby or even so many bleeding edge LED companies out there, you never know.
You can probably imagine 13 years after the first one, there are plenty of Nemo-generation hobbyists that started out as kids ooh-ing and ahh-ing over clownfish in a store that will be leaving the nest and venturing out into more robust reefing systems. Maybe they haven’t had aquariums but go to see the movie and get bitten by the bug. Either way, we expect the hobby to get some sort of bump.
Besides just being a fun move, Finding Nemo has had some positive effects on the hobby and has lead to broad, mainstream appeal that includes reality TV shows like “Tanked” and “Fish Tank Kings.” With recessions and austerity measures taking their effect on budgets, hobbies and interest the last few years, the hobby definitely needs a push that Finding Nemo 2 might just be able to provide.