Finding Nemo: The Musical is our favorite show in Animal Kingdom. The show tells Nemo’s story on stage through music, and it’s simply magical! It’s the most elaborate of any Disney stage shows we’ve seen – the costumes, puppetry, sets and special effects are stunning. Here are 8 totally cool things about Finding Nemo: The Musical.
1. Beloved Characters
You and your little ones will find all of your favorite Finding Nemo characters here. All the basic plot points in the movie are captured here, but made even more entertaining with the addition of original songs. The show follows Marlin and the ever-forgetful Dory as they search for Nemo, meeting memorable friends like Crush, Mr. Ray, Bruce, and even the “Tank Gang”. You’ve never seen Nemo and his friends like this!
2. Impressive Puppetry
Nemo and his friends are brought to live by puppets operated by performers. But the term “puppet” hardly does these imaginative creations justice! Crush, for example, is easily as big as a car. And then there’s Nigel; the friendly pelican emerges from the wings, with his head almost touching the roof. Jellyfish, sharks, and a variety of colorful fish and coral are all brought to life through these gorgeous, and intricate, puppets – it’s mesmerizing for the entire family!
3. Cool Off
We all know how hot summer days in Orlando can get. And it can be a challenge to find places to cool off in Walt Disney World, especially in Animal Kingdom, where shade is scarce. Thankfully, Finding Nemo’s theatre is completely – and blissfully – air conditioned! It’s the perfect place to stop for an afternoon break on a hot day.
4. Multi-Talented Performers
Not surprisingly, the talent in Finding Nemo: The Musical is second to none. We’ve come to expect excellent performances from Disney cast members, but this show takes talent to the next level. Finding Nemo’s performers not only sing, dance and act – they’re also impressive puppeteers, and often acrobats to boot (keep an eye out for Marlin, Dory, and Squirt’s antics as they “swim” through the water on harnesses that suspend them far above the stage!).
5. Spectacular Stats
Finding Nemo: The Musical opened in 2007. It’s 40 minutes long, and it marked the first time that Disney had turned a non-musical animated film into an original musical. The show boasts some high-calibre credentials: the songs were written by Tony Award-winning Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and it was directed by another Tony Award-winner, Peter Brosius. The lead puppet and production designer was Michael Curry, who also created puppets for the stage production of The Lion King. Finding Nemo: The Musical won a Thea Award for Best Live Show in 2009.
6. Tremendous Technology
Disney is a pro at incorporating technology into live shows to stunning effect, and Finding Nemo: The Musical is no exception. There are shimmering underwater effects, different sizes of “bubbles” on either side of the stage (watch as an animated Nemo swims from one bubble to the next before the show), and a variety of projections, digital backdrops, and creative lighting. It all combines to create an utterly believable – and magical! – underwater world.
7. No Reservations or FastPasses+ Needed
Another delightful fact about Finding Nemo: The Musical is that there’s very little planning needed to enjoy a show. There are several shows a day, but unlike many experiences in Walt Disney World, you won’t need reservations or FastPasses+ here. Just check online for show times the day you visit, and ideally arrive 15-30 minutes before show time to grab a seat. Simple!
8. Exposure to Theater
With so many devices vying for our attention these days, it can be tough to make time to enjoy live performances. Finding Nemo: The Musical is a wonderful way to introduce kids to live theatre. They already know the characters, and the music is fun and heart-felt; combined with larger-than-life puppets and fantastic effects, this makes for an excellent foray into musical theatre for little ones and not-so-little ones alike.