By D23 Team
Today we are celebrating 10 years of going somewhere beyond the sea with Finding Nemo—The Musical, a spectacular of puppetry, music, and Disney•Pixar magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! To celebrate this milestone anniversary, we have an ocean full of facts about the show!
- The musical swam into Disney’s Animal Kingdom in January 2007, but we were singing with the fishes even earlier, in previews for the musical that started on November 5, 2006.
- The 14 swimmingly original songs were composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who would again team up to make magical music for the hit Disney animated feature Frozen.
- Live actors sing, dance, act, and puppeteer to bring the story of Nemo and friends to life, but on the soundtrack recording, our favorite sparkling songwriters perform the tracks, with Bobby Lopez as Marlin and Kristen Anderson-Lopez as Dory.
- You’ll probably leave the show humming the main theme, “Big Blue World,” but you might have the song stuck in your head for another reason! Before Nemo and friends sang the tune on the stage, “Big Blue World” was originally first heard inside The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction at Epcot.
- The Disney magic runs deep in the production of this musical. The puppets of our favorite fishies were created by Michael Curry, who designed the richly-detailed character puppets seen in the Broadway version of Disney’s The Lion King.
- Finding Nemo—The Musical made waves as the first non-musical Disney or Disney•Pixar animated feature to be transformed into an original musical production. The magic was repeated for Toy Story: The Musical on Disney Cruise Line, adding more musical elements to movies we already love.
- While many of our favorite characters, including Marlin, Nemo and Dory, are represented by live performers operating larger-than-life puppets, other creatures in the sea are realized by a diverse array of puppetry styles, including rod, bunraku, and shadow.
- Performed on a stage flanked by big bubbles, the musical numbers shimmer with wondrous underwater effects created with innovative lighting, dynamic props, and animated projections.
- Finding Nemo—The Musical was the first major musical spectacular produced for the Walt Disney World Resort by Disney Creative Entertainment. Previously, the team wowed us with Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure and The Golden Mickeys on Disney Cruise Line and at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- The show is performed inside the 1,500-seat Theater in the Wild at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This venue was originally an amphitheater, host to classics like Journey into the Jungle Book (1998) and Tarzan Rocks! (1999). Now enclosed, the theater allows us to enter the underwater world of Finding Nemo—The Musical (2007).