Pixar's Finding Nemo 3 Plan Has Me Worried, Despite $1 Billion Sequel Success (2024)


  • Pixar plans to focus more on existing IP with sequels and spinoffs, citing disappointing returns from movies like Turning Red and Luca.
  • Finding Nemo and The Incredibles already have successful sequels, and Pixar hinted that it could return to both franchises.
  • The possibility of Finding Nemo 3 is worrying, but a reboot would be even worse.

Pixar saw massive success with Finding Nemo and its $1 billion sequel, but the studio's plan for Finding Nemo 3 already has me worried. At the beginning of June 2024, Pixar revealed its intentions to focus more on existing IP in an interview with Bloomberg. Citing disappointing returns from movies like Turning Red and Luca, Pixar's new direction hopes to capitalize on proven successes by ensuring every other project is a sequel or spinoff. Movie franchises the studio hinted it could revive include Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

Both Finding Nemo and The Incredibles have already seen success with sequels, so it's surprising Pixar hasn't already attempted to expand these franchises. The Incrediblles 2 grossed a whopping $1.2 billion (via Box Office Mojo), and Finding Dory also passed the $1 billion mark (via Box Office Mojo). With those numbers in mind, Pixar should benefit from releasing more follow-ups. However, I can't shake the feeling that Finding Nemo 3 is a huge risk for the Disney-owned studio.


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Finding Dory Was Good, But A Step Down From Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo 3 Can't Afford To Continue A Downward Trajectory

Pixar's Finding Nemo 3 Plan Has Me Worried, Despite $1 Billion Sequel Success (2)

Finding Dory may have made slightly more than Finding Nemo's $941 million while it was in theaters (via Box Office Mojo), but I'm not the only one who felt it was a step down from the original 2003 film. The first movie was a phenomenon when it first debuted, and its 99% Rotten Tomatoes score is a testament to its popularity. Finding Nemo was masterfully crafted and unlike anything Pixar had put out before. Marlin's quest to find his son was equal parts emotional and fun, and viewers can still recall the best Finding Nemo quotes today.

Although Finding Dory also holds a high Rotten Tomatoes score — 94% to be exact — it made significantly less of a splash. Pixar waited too long to release its 2016 follow-up, and I think that hurt its overall impact. Of course, it doesn't help that Dory's journey feels repetitive at times. I loved following Dory's character, and the sequel had its strengths. Unfortunately, it just couldn't live up to the original. And its inability to do so doesn't bode well for Finding Nemo 3. Given Pixar's recent box office woes, Finding Nemo 3 can't afford to continue this downward trajectory.

Do We Really Need Another Finding Nemo Movie?

Pixar Doesn't Have A Ton Of Existing Storylines To Work With

Although Finding Nemo 3 can't afford to flop, the fact that another sequel isn't necessary makes this a possible outcome. When it comes to sequels and spinoffs, studios should always question whether another project is needed. In the case of Finding Nemo, it really doesn't feel like it. Nemo and Marlin's journey came to a satisfying conclusion, and Dory already got her moment in the spotlight. I can't think of any other character who'd make a truly compelling protagonist in Finding Nemo 3. Sure, there are a few great supporting players — but whether they'd attract a wide audience is questionable.

Although Finding Nemo 3 can't afford to flop, the fact that another sequel isn't necessary makes this a possible outcome.

Dory is one of the few supporting characters from Finding Nemo who could bring mass appeal to a sequel. And given that Dory's movie still didn't live up to the original, another follow-up feels like asking for trouble. There's also the question of how much more Pixar can get out of Finding Nemo's concept. There are only so many ways to tell and expand on the story. I suppose Pixar could always go the reboot route with the Finding Nemo franchise. Unfortunately, that would be even worse than creating repetitive or gratuitous sequels.

A Finding Nemo Reboot Sounds Even Worse Than A Sequel

It Wouldn't Recapture The Magic Of Pixar's Original

Pixar's Finding Nemo 3 Plan Has Me Worried, Despite $1 Billion Sequel Success (3)

Since Pixar doesn't clarify whether it's planning sequels or reboots for Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, it's possible Finding Nemo 3 could actually be the latter. This would probably get more flack though, especially given how beloved — and recent — the original movie was. Hollywood's insistence on rebooting properties that are only a couple of decades old is something moviegoers have criticized in recent years. There's little room to improve on Finding Nemo, so a reboot would probably earn a similar reaction.

It would also be incredibly difficult to replace Finding Nemo's voice cast or recapture the fortunate circ*mstances of the original's release. Finding Nemo was immensely popular because of how unique it was. I don't think Pixar will be able to impress people as easily by rebooting it. Some fans will just watch the original rather than go to theaters. Others will compare it to the 2003 film, and it won't come out on top. For Finding Nemo 3's sake, I hope it's a sequel or spinoff of some sort. Even then, Pixar faces an uphill battle selling it to an audience.

Source: Bloomberg, Box Office Mojo, Rotten Tomatoes

Pixar's Finding Nemo 3 Plan Has Me Worried, Despite $1 Billion Sequel Success (4)
Finding Nemo






Where to Watch

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Andrew Stanton , Lee Unkrich

Release Date
May 30, 2003

Andrew Stanton , Bob Peterson , David Reynolds
Albert Brooks , Ellen DeGeneres , Alexander Gould , Willem Dafoe , Brad Garrett , Allison Janney
Main Genre
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  • Finding Nemo

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Pixar's Finding Nemo 3 Plan Has Me Worried, Despite $1 Billion Sequel Success (2024)
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