Some top-notch animated films centered on fish are Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, Shark Tale, Finding Dory, The Sea Beast, and Shark Bait.
The vast and mysterious expanse of the ocean has always captivated human imagination.
This allure of the underwater realm, teeming with life and secrets, has found its way into various artistic mediums, including literature and cinema. Particularly in animation, many mesmerizing narratives have emerged that spotlight our aquatic comrades – fish.
Animated Movies About Fish
These animations, portraying tales of heroism, camaraderie, self-realization, and environmental awareness, have effortlessly flowed into our affections, leaving a lasting impression.
So, if you’re set for a marine cinematic adventure, dive in with us as we traverse through the most impactful animated films about fish, which have delighted audiences and set benchmarks in the cinematic world.
Back to the Sea
Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo sets an incredibly high bar in fish-themed films, often casting a shadow over other genres like ‘Back to the Sea.’ While it might not be entirely fair to compare the two constantly, the difference in quality is quite evident. Having seen ‘Back to the Sea’ online, it unfortunately doesn’t stand strong alone either.
While there are certainly lower-quality animated fish films, with ‘The Reef’, ‘Izzy’s Way Home’, and ‘SeeFood’ being prime examples, it’s hard to label any as the absolute worst.
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
I vividly recall watching this as a kid and being utterly captivated by Don Knotts, best known for his role as Barney Fife, transforming into a fish! It’s a delightful film for young audiences as well.
The whimsical tale revolves around a timid man who yearns either to become a fish or to join the Navy. As fate would have it, his wishes materialize, and the USA triumphs in WWII! There are also a few amusing inconsistencies, particularly in wardrobe and hairstyles, that were entertaining to spot.
Izzie’s Way Home
Izzie, a fish, shares her aquarium home with her father, Harold. Often, she becomes the target of bullying from the other fish around her. Harold does his best to shield Izzie from being released back into the ocean by the aquarium’s caretaker, especially since a similar incident led to their separation from Izzie’s mother.
However, destiny intervenes, and both Izzie and Harold are released into the vast ocean. A subsequent underwater volcanic eruption leads to their separation.
Complicating matters, the boat holding the aquarium overturns, releasing all the other fish into the sea. On her quest to reunite with her father, Izzie forges friendships with these fish.
A Fish Tale
The animation is outstanding. The 2D visuals are striking and move with seamless fluidity. As for the 3D animation, it appears somewhat uneven and lacks polish. Thankfully, its usage is limited throughout.
Out of sheer curiosity, three young children stumble upon a potion crafted by an unconventional and reclusive scientist. Without fully grasping the consequences, they ingest the mysterious liquid and find themselves transformed into fish.
Now submerged in the vast expanse of the ocean, they embark on a race against time. They have a mere 48 hours to locate and consume the antidote. If they fail, they risk being trapped in their aquatic forms forever, swimming amongst the waves and currents as fish.
The Sea Beast
A gripping tale set against the backdrop of the vast ocean is always a treat! This film promised a visual spectacle, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Everything was on point, from the intricate physics to the exquisite art direction and flawless visual portrayal. The narrative was compelling, carrying profound messages and symbolisms, complemented by vibrant characters and concise dialogue.
The film leans heavily into visual storytelling, allowing audiences to empathize with just a glance or a single scene. While its themes might echo familiar sentiments, the movie crafts a rich and enthralling world that is undeniably worth the watch!
The series centers on the Nektons, a daring family of deep-sea adventurers residing in their cutting-edge submarine, the Aronnax.
They journey through uncharted territories of the Earth’s oceans, seeking to decipher its deepest enigmas. The quest for the elusive city of Lemuria is personal for them, as Will Nekton’s parents vanished while pursuing its secrets.
The Nektons, driven by determination and a newfound revelation from their family friend, Nereus, learn of their unique heritage: they are descendants of the Lemurians, explaining their innate pull towards the ocean’s mysteries.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, alternatively titled The Little Mermaid III: Ariel’s Beginning or even The Little Mermaid 3: Ariel’s Beginning, is a 2008 American animated film released directly to video.
Produced by Disneytoon Studios, the animation was crafted by Toon City and DisneyToon Studios Australia. Serving as a prequel to Disney’s iconic 1989 feature, The Little Mermaid, this film concludes The Little Mermaid trilogy.
A benchmark in Pixar’s repertoire, renowned for its breathtaking graphics and enchanting deep-sea backdrop. “Finding Dory” takes inspiration from this legacy, introduces a few tweaks, and delivers another thrilling, though marginally less groundbreaking, oceanic adventure.
At its core, “Finding Dory” narrates the tale of Dory (brought to life by Ellen DeGeneres), the lovable blue tang fish grappling with memory issues.
Ponyo, an anime movie about a fish who wanted to become a girl, stands out as one of the most enchanting films I’ve ever seen. Crafted by the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, this film ensures that anyone with a heart will find themselves smiling at its captivating narrative and animation. It bears a subtle resemblance to the Little Mermaid story.
At the heart of the tale is Sosuke, a 5-year-old boy who discovers a unique goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach, whom he names Ponyo. As events unfold, Ponyo desires to transform into a human, leading them both on an endearing adventure.
While the narrative doesn’t follow conventional structures – lacking a central conflict, a primary antagonist, or notable character development – the mesmerizing visuals, animation, and the sheer joy radiating from the film eclipse any potential critiques.
This CG-animated film may not offer a stellar storyline, but it thrives on the exceptional talents of its star-studded cast. Will Smith lends his voice to Oscar, an ambitious tongue cleaner at a “whale wash” in a vibrant undersea world. Despite his modest position, Oscar has lofty dreams and aspires for more than his current status.
When an opportunity arises with the death of one of the sons of the formidable shark mob boss Don Lino, voiced by Robert De Niro, Oscar seizes the moment and claims to have defeated the shark.
This newfound fame makes him the talk of the ocean. Along the way, he befriends Lenny, a timid, vegetarian shark voiced by Jack Black, who is Don Lino’s other son.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
I entered the theater with anticipation and uncertainty, ready to watch a movie adaptation of one of my cherished cartoons from the 90s. Nickelodeon sometimes tends to overspend and modify the essence of their shows when translating them to the big screen. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case with SpongeBob, easing one of my concerns.
My next apprehension revolved around the storyline. Would Steve Hillenburg be able to maintain the charm and essence of the series? The answer was a resounding yes.
It felt like an extended 90-minute episode of SpongeBob, filled with visual humor and the classic SpongeBob antics we all love. I walked away, thoroughly impressed.
The Little Mermaid
“The Little Mermaid” is one of the premier animated movies about fish and other sea animals from the 80s Disney era. Its enchanting storyline, memorable songs, fluid animation, and captivating voices have made it timeless. It’s a heartwarming tale that can bring a tear to your eye.
Recently, I introduced it to my 6-year-old cousin, and unsurprisingly, he fell in love with it just as I did when I was younger. I’ve always cherished the idea of having a companion like Sebastian.
Despite his occasional tendency to dampen the mood, he knows how to liven up a scene. The entire film is a delightful and visually stunning experience that transcends generations.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
While this cartoon movie with fish might not achieve the original’s brilliance, it remains an engaging watch. The animation quality is commendable, and the humor kept the entire audience in stitches.
There were peculiar moments, even a nod to “The Shining,” which had me wondering, “What on earth am I watching?” Yet, the film never veers into the mundane. I was completely captivated, unable to look away from the screen throughout its duration.
Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack
In this 3D anime movie about zombie fish, the narrative centers on Tadashi and Kaori, a couple who are plunged into a battle for survival against an enigmatic swarm of undead fish, equipped with metallic legs and driven by an ominous aroma termed the “death stench”.
The movie also features two additional intriguing tales: The Sad Tale of the Principal Post and The Enigma of Amigara Fault. This ranks among the more peculiar animes I’ve watched recently – and I’ve witnessed some truly odd ones.
Pixar Animation Studios excels crafting thoughtful, intelligent, and humorous family animation movies. While I hold “Toy Story” 1 & 2 and “Monsters, Inc.” close to my heart as some of the best family films, “Finding Nemo,” a family animation movie about fish, stands out as well.
Although it might not be on my favorites list, it surpasses “A Bug’s Life” and delivers the same wit, depth, and entertainment as the other renowned Pixar titles.