Alternative Family Styles

Throughout Finding Nemo, families were seen. These family are alternative family styles since they differ from the traditional mother, father, and child family style, which is considered the nuclear family style. The alternative family styles seen in Finding Nemo are single parent family, living groups, and triad families. Pixar wanted to bring awareness to the fact that not every family is the nuclear family style. In modern day, alternative family styles are seen everywhere and Pixar wanted people to realize that.

Marlin and Nemo are the single-parent family style. Marlin being the single-parent and having to raise Nemo all by himself. The single-parent family style is “not a new phenomenon in our society,” (Eiduson and Alexander 153). Using Marlin and Nemo, Pixar brings awareness upon the topic of the single-parent style. Crush and Squirt are also a part of the single-parent family style since it can be seen by Crush saying Squirt is his son in the film. This family dynamic is very well alive today, but no one really talked about it before Finding Nemo came out in theaters. Finding Nemo was used to bring awareness of the topic to families and have America discuss this topic.  Image result for Marlin and Coral Finding Nemo

The topic affects a lot of families in the world today. This dynamic can be seen in a lot of American family households, but everyone refused to notice it before Finding Nemo brought attention to it. Pixar doing this allowed for more benefits for single-parents made other than welfare and Medicaid: “There has been a significant change reflecting this alternative way[single-parent family style] of bearing and raising children in society today,” (Eiduson and Alexander 153). Advocating for a family style is one thing, but starting a movement for change is a whole other.

Another thing is that Pixar is bringing awareness to a father-son single-parent family style. The idea of the father being the single-parent is not well known. There is the stereotype of the mother being the single-parent who lost her husband through divorce, death, or him just leaving with a leave of absence. Pixar spreading awareness shows that this problem effects everyone, because of the stereotype that society has set in place through media like movies, television shows, books, and news reports. While the mother being the single-parent is important to bring awareness to, the situation of the father being the single-parent is overlooked and is just as important.

Yet, Marlin and Nemo’s family dynamic does not stay the single-parent style for long. When Dory comes in, she joins their family creating a triad family dynamic. A triad family dynamic is a group of three people connected in some way. Marlin and Nemo are blood related, but Dory is connected to them through the bond that was created with Marlin and eventually Nemo. Yes, people help parents find their children and have a friendly relationship afterwards, but with everyone ignoring Marlin when he needed the help most and having Dory come to his rescue will create a bond that is like no other.

The triad family style is not well-known in society, but it does exist. To show an example of a triad family, one would be a single-parent living on their own raising a child and they have a really close family friend who helps raise the kid. A media example other than Dory, Marlin, and Nemo is Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter. Their bond is a family bond, especially after what they went through together, which can be seen in Dory’s and Marlin’s bond together. Basically, the triad family style exists from bonds with a person who is not related to a person through blood.

Another family style seen in Finding Nemo is the living groups dynamic. This can be seen from the sharks, the EAC sea turtles, and the tank fish. The tank fish all come from different backgrounds, but are joined together by living in the same tank. They have been basically through everything together bonding them into the living group dynamic. They even adopt Nemo into their family. The sharks on the other hand are a living group, but they joined by living in the same place and with the same lifestyle choice of “fish are friends, not food,”. It can also be seen that they care about each other especially when Bruce goes crazy. The EAC sea turtles are a living group, because they travel the EAC together. Either way, Finding Nemo encompasses all sorts of family dynamics.