Finding nemo sos

Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA


R. Craig Albertson

Professor, Department of Biology at UMass Amherst; Editor in Chief, Evolution & Development

Finding Nemo— Fish school: Exploring and illustrating how fish move and other fun facts about life under the sea

Fishes come in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes, and different species are often exquisitely adapted to their particular way of life: from large ocean-wondering tuna, built for speed and long-distance travel, to the bashful but deadly goosefish, which bury themselves up to their eyes in the sand, and wait to ambush anything that swims overhead.

For the most part, the animators of Finding Nemo got it “right” when it comes to fish movement, which is because Disney/Pixar has a long tradition of hiring scientists as consultants for their animated movies. Let's talk a little bit about this intersection between science and art, as well as explore some of the more bizarre examples of fish form and function, and the many ways in which they continue to inspire human creativity and innovation.

Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA

Film Synopsis

After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

    Nemo, an adventurous young clownfish, is unexpectedly taken from his Great Barrier Reef home to a dentist's office aquarium. It's up to his worrisome father Marlin and his friendly but forgetful regal blue tang fish Dory to bring Nemo home—meeting vegetarian sharks, surfer dude turtles, hypnotic jellyfish, hungry seagulls, and more along the way.

    Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

      About the Speaker

      Dr. Albertson suffers from a lifelong obsession with all things strange and bizarre in the natural world. He also has a keen desire to understand how biodiversity on this planet came to be. These dual interests led him to be training in evolutionary biology with a focus on fishes. More specifically, his work seeks to understand the “rules” by which genetics, developmental biology, and the environment conspire to shape fish diversity.