Finding Nemo – The Musical

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Finding Nemo – The Musical takes place in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park in the one thousand five hundred-seat theatre “Theater in the Wild”. This theatre was originally built for Tarzan Rocks. Having seen both of these productions I can tell you that although I enjoyed Tarzan Rocks with its high-speed energy roller-skating, Finding Nemo is by far my favourite stage show now.

Larger than life puppets and eighteen actors and dancers perform during the thirty-minute show, which is staged several times each day. The head puppet designer co-designed the puppets that are used in the Lion King on Broadway so you can see that this is no two-bit production! This is the first time that Disney has taken an animated film that does not include music and developed it into an original musical live stage show.

The stage has been transformed, by the use of exceptional lighting, sounds and special effects, into a world beneath the sea. The main puppet characters in the show (Marlin, Nemo and Dory) are operated by the live actors who also supply their voices.

It is hard to imagine how Disney has managed to fit the entire original animated movie into this thirty-minute production, but they have! The story is very easy to follow even if you have never seen the film. The fun begins even before the stage show commences. You will hear a child’s voice somewhere in the audience say, “There’s Nemo! ” and sure enough if you look at the stage curtain he appears in a bubble and then just as quickly disappears. By then all the children in the audience are waiting for him to appear and disappear, which he does again and again.

I would highly recommend that you arrive at least thirty minutes before the start of the show. Although, all seats have a good view and you may be tempted to sit in the front section, I would actually recommend that you sit further back on the second tier. There is so much happening on stage and also off stage, that by sitting further back you are able to see everything without have to crane your neck around.

Just as in the film Dory, the forgetful fish, gives the audience lots of laughs whilst helping Marlin, Nemo’s dad, search for his missing son. During their voyage they meet up with Bruce the shark and his friends, and Crush the surfer dude turtle. One of my favourite scenes from the film is when Nemo is in the fish tank and Disney has re-created this on stage in a very innovative way. Watch out for the giant jellyfish and Nigel the pelican who stands twenty-two feet tall!

If you visit Animal Kingdom it would be a shame to miss this show out, it really is amazing entertainment!

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