Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[1]] Finding Nemo (2003) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Ally on 2010-05-03 14:24:45.



Eric disagreed with the rating and said:
It's weird that an animated movie about fish is in the list, but since it is, Peach and Flo are definitely female and they discuss escaping from the fish tank. I'm assuming that in this context "man" and "woman" in the rules would include anthropomorphic animals.

Also, given the biology of clown fish, Nemo's Dad Marlin would have transitioned to female shortly after Nemo's Mom's demise. So, arguably all conversations between Dory and Marlin are between female characters.
Message posted on 2010-05-28 01:26:19
Mireille said:
Marlin is clearly meant to be a father in the movie, but that biology info is fascinating, thanks for sharing.
Message posted on 2010-06-01 18:46:56
futile disagreed with the rating and said:
Perl and Flo are both female, and converse about escaping. It passes.
Message posted on 2011-01-07 02:41:42
Nimravid disagreed with the rating and said:
Yes, Pearl and Flo talk about escaping so I think it passes.

Marlin was definitely portrayed as male in the movie. As Eric points out, if they had followed actual clownfish biology, they would have shown him transition to female and then choose a mate to become male out of the neuter clownfish in his group. Marlin isn't "arguably female", he's an example of making a main character male even when he shouldn't be. Enforcement of gender norms is taken for granted so much that a cartoon about fish has to censor their actual biology, I guess because truthfully presenting fish biology would be upsetting to people with rigid ideas about gender. A cartoon where the dad becomes a mom and takes a male mate would probably be accused of having an agenda, no matter that it would be accurate.
Message posted on 2011-01-31 00:01:46
Kin disagreed with the rating and said:
I agree that that conversation should count as a pass, but I think you mean Peach and Flo? Pearl is one of Nemo's classmates at the beginning of the movie.

Interestingly, this is one of the few mainstream films I can think of that'd pass the disability equivalent of the Bechdel Test. Most don't even make it as far as Deggan's Rule equivalent.
Message posted on 2011-12-06 18:48:42
Angie said:
So I watched the film, then scrutinized the script, and could not find the scene where Deb/Flo and Peach talk to each other (other than talking in and towards the whole group in the aquarium). Could you point out the specific scene where you think they have a conversation?
Message posted on 2012-02-29 20:40:53
Sam said:
"he's an example of making a main character male even when he shouldn't be"

I think that's a bit of a stretch. Have the main character's parent be transgendered, while educational, would have made the story less relate-able to a lot of audiences. I suppose it could be argued that the fact that this would have made the story less relate-able is indicative of a structural problem that the movie failed to address..
Message posted on 2012-03-17 16:36:44
BvBPL said:
The test is for women, not for anthropomorphic talking fish. Two women do not have a conversation in the movie.
Message posted on 2012-10-31 05:56:33
Ian Cooper disagreed with the rating and said:
Fish cannot be women. Women must be human.

I think this is another example of the Bechdel test being poorly written. It should refer to entities that are considered to be female.
Message posted on 2015-09-14 13:50:54
Ilkin disagreed with the rating and said:
Aside from not disagreeing with the rating, I disagree with some of these comments as well. Not all male clownfish will go through protandry, so no, it's not a case of the movie making the main character male even though he shouldn't be. Don't dumb facts down because you want to complain. There is a lot more to anemonefish protandry, such as school dynamics, which there is none of since they don't live in a school in Finding Nemo.
Message posted on 2016-03-13 06:23:42
Alexandre said:
Of course movie animals count as "men" or "women" in the context of stories like "Finding Nemo". They speak like humans, and have their voices dubbed by actual men and women. They are actors and actresses, even though they don't show their faces. Female fishes can be victim of sexism in a movie about fishes!

About Marlin being a clownfish and therefore transgender, he is presented in the movie as a father, and has the voice of a man. His interactions with Dory do not pass the test.
Message posted on 2016-06-18 16:37:12
larisa5656 disagreed with the rating and said:
Peach and Deb have the following exchange:

What do we got?

Root canal, and by the looks of those x-rays it's not gonna be pretty.

Its short, but still counts as (1) talking to each other (2) about something other than a male.
Message posted on 2017-12-07 20:14:18
johanna said:
I'm pretty sure I4ve read somewhere in this website that it does not take in count super short conversations. It may have been easier to agree if there had been a review to explain it.
Message posted on 2019-02-24 17:08:46
Careswen said:
It is most useful to apply the test to the characters as male/female characters, even though they are fish and not human, and therefore grading the film as having the chance to pass though it is mostly about fish. As a woman, I'm okay with being represented by a female fish in film. I was once a girl, and I think that representation would have mattered to me in a kid's movie.

That said, this film does not pass the 2nd or 3rd criteria. The closest it comes is the conversations in the dental fish tank mentioned by other commenters, and all of those conversations between Peach and Flo are either:
(1) among the entire group, as Angie mentioned above, and/or
(2) about male characters. Even the root canal conversation referenced by larisa5656 doesn't count: The character getting the root canal is a man, as is the dentist providing it.
Message posted on 2019-12-15 22:23:11

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