7 things you didn't know about Finding Nemo.

Everyone loves Dory, Nemo, Squirt and co. – but there are some Finding Nemo facts than will take you by surprise. 

If there’s a Finding Nemo fan in your house, you’ve probably seen the movie thousands of times, know every scene line-for-line, and are able to speak fluent ‘Whale’. But we guarantee there will be some things in this list that you didn’t know about the hit Pixar film.

Do have any idea why Ellen Degeneres was chosen for the role of Dory, or which high-profile TV star was fired from the film over a voice dispute? No? Well, you know what to do: Just keep swimming – ah, reading, that is.

1. Dory’s nosebleed was controversial.

It seems insignificant, but the scene in which Dory's nose bleeds in front of Bruce the shark was the first time blood was animated into a Pixar film. So, basically, Finding Nemo is the company's goriest effort yet.

2. Why Ellen made the perfect Dory.

The two are synonymous in our minds now, but if the producers' original vision for Dory had transpired, Ellen Degeneres wouldn't have voiced the kooky fish.

Dory was intended as a male character, but when the film's director and writer Andrew Stanton observed his wife watching The Ellen Show one night that all changed. He noticed Ellen would "change the subject five times before finishing one sentence", which he decided would be the perfect way to depict Dory's short-term memory. And we're so glad he did.

3. There's a reason those seagulls look familiar.

Those irritating seagulls and their tenpin-shaped heads were inspired by the feathery stars of another popular animated film. If you've ever seen Wallace & Grommit in The Wrong Trousers, you'll remember the evil penguins bearing the same distinctive body shape - minus the shrill "Mine! Mine! Mine!" war cry.


4. Will & Grace's Megan Mullally was fired from the film.

Megan Mullally, the woman we know and love as Karen Walker, had originally been cast as one of the fish in Finding Nemo. However, she was eventually fired because she refused to replicate her Will and Grace character's distinctive high-pitched voice - which producers thought was her natural speaking voice. Awkward.

"I said, 'Now, wait a minute, so you're telling me you want this fish who lives in a fish tank in a dentist's office to be a fictitious character from an NBC sitcom?' I mean, it just doesn't make any sense to me", the actress is quoted as saying.

5. This is what Dr P. Sherman's diplomas really say

One very devoted fan has zoomed in on the wall of diplomas in Dr Philip Sherman's dentist office - and in typical Disney/Pixar style, the hilarity is in the details. It's reassuring to know he graduated from Pixar University School though.

6. The Nemo-Weeds link.

In happy news, Nemo's family was briefly united in the TV show Weeds. The actors who voiced Nemo and his mother - Alexander Gould and Elizabeth Perkins - were lead characters in Weeds, while Albert Brooks, who voiced Nemo's father, appeared briefly in the show. He played Lenny Botwin, the grandfather of Shane Botwin - who Alexander Gould played. Crazy!

7. Nemo had a fleeting guest role in Monster's Inc.

In the great tradition of Disney and Pixar characters appearing in one another's movies, Nemo can be spotted in Monster's Inc - two years before Finding Nemo was released. Meanwhile, Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Luigi from Cars both make cameos in Finding Nemo.

CLICK THROUGH this gallery to see these scenes, and other Disney movies in which popular characters make blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearances.