"Finding Nemo" premiered in May 2003 and quickly became a blockbuster. It has also found tremendous success with a two-disc collector's edition DVD (released November 2003 from Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Pixar Animation Studios); a soundtrack album featuring Robbie Williams' recording of the Bobby Darin hit "Beyond The Sea" (released by Walt Disney Records, May 2003); and three video games, the best-selling "Finding Nemo" (May 2003) for Sony PlayStation2, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo Game Cube, "Finding Nemo: The Continuing Adventures" for Nintendo GameBoy Advance (September 2004), and "Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue" for Nintendo DS (February 2006).
The latest Nemo project is the stage production "Finding Nemo: The Musical," opening in November 2006 at Walt Disney World.
In 2003, Nemo was in the top 10 on Forbes' annual list of the top-earning fictional characters at $2.4 billion, finishing just behind other Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. Disney would never think of allowing a film hit this big to go without a sequel, so it has gone to great lengths to assure a second "Nemo" film is possible: It bought the company that made it. In January of 2006, Disney struck a deal to purchase Pixar for an astonishing $7.4 billion.
"At Disney, we strive to develop characters that engage a child's imagination, tell stories that connect with families, and find ways for our characters to live on in the hearts and minds of children everywhere," said Matt Ryan, senior vice president of brand management at The Walt Disney Company. "The consistent top ranking of Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh on Forbes.com's list tells us that these characters live on with new generations. And we will continue to introduce classic characters, like Nemo, which children can enjoy for years to come."
Sounds like Nemo fans will find him swimming across the ocean for a long, long time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vicki Arkoff is entertainment editor for Sweet 16 magazine, and is one of MAD Kids' and MAD Magazine's "usual bunch of idiots." She also writes for Nickelodeon Magazine, Disney Adventures, Tiger Beat, Bop, Sugar (UK), Girlfriend (Australia), and TV Hits (UK, Australia & Germany), and is an authorized biographer and co-writer for such youth-market superstars as Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney, The Cheetah Girls, Raven-Symone, Emma Roberts, Drake Bell, JoJo, Carrie Underwood, and Kelly Clarkson.