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The Sharks' Lair is a location featured in the 2003 Disney/Pixar animated feature film, Finding Nemo.


The sharks' lair, as its name suggests, is a territory inhabited by sharks. As its name implies, it is a territory where sharks lurk around this place where their lair is a sunken submarine. Around the sub is a minefield full of dangerous mines which explode upon contact. When Marlin and Dory first arrive in this area, it is revealed that the sharks, Bruce, Anchor, and Chum were not territorial and hostile to other fish but rather sharks trying to become vegetarians in not eating fish. Dory and Marlin are volunteered to participate in the meeting to which as they introduce themselves to the sharks, Marlin sees the mask which reminds him of the diver who took Nemo away from him to which Dory and Marlin curiously retrieve the mask. Later as the two fish get into a fight over the mask, Dory is suddenly struck in which Bruce suddenly smells Dory's blood, causing him to be in predatory mode as Bruce chases Dory across the submarine much to Anchor and Chum's worries. Throughout the chase, Marlin and Dory try to escape but are unable to due to a torpedo in blocking their way in which as the torpedo is launched, Bruce grabs it and dislodges it as Marlin and Dory back away while the other sharks retreat, fearing that the torpedo will hit a mine which will cause numerous explosions. The sharks suddenly retreat from the explosions just as Marlin and Dory hide in the sub for shelter.

The next day, Marlin and Dory find themselves on the sub about to fall into the abyssopelagic zone due to the explosions in the minefield caused by the torpedo last night to which Marlin tells Dory to read what the mask says to which upon regaining conscience and noticing the sub about to fall into the deepest part of the ocean to which it collides in the wall, the mask falls into the abyssopelagic zone, leading Marlin and Dory to find the mask and retrieve it.


The idea of creating the sharks' lair where their territory is located in a sunken submarine in a minefield was originally going to feature the sharks playing volleyball after the meeting with active mines and the sharks didn't mind the explosions in the minefield. Throughout the scene, it featured the sharks using a mine as a volleyball where they must keep it in the air without dropping it or the mine will explode. During the game, it is shown that if the mine is dropped during the sequence, it will explode upon landing on the ground. This scene was deleted in the final version of the film with the script being reworked.

Originally while the film itself is set in the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian accents from the animated fish would be omitted as the aquatic species seen throughout the film would have American accents to help the production crew not to be stuck with an ensemble cast of Australian actors which would be very difficult to do in the United States instead of Australia itself. However, for the voices of the sharks, it was decided to give them an Australian accent in which the sharks whom Marlin and Dory encounter are inserted with Australian accents so actors Barry Humphries, Eric Bana, and Bruce Spence were hired to do the voices of the sharks, Bruce, Anchor, and Chum respectively to give them Australian accents.

According to technical director Oren Jacob while developing the scene where Bruce is chasing Marlin and Dory, the idea used for doing the silt animation in this sequence proved a challenge due to the animation shots of Bruce interacting with the silt which suddenly slows down after being ejected due to the scene being set underwater where the silt eases out into the water but gently slows down due to the gravity effect in the film. The scene where the animators kept track of Bruce doing these interactions proved difficult as the animators spent a lot of time paying attention to making the effect believable with the scene being set underwater.

The climax of the chase scene proved very difficult to finish and develop because of the challenges of making the explosions underwater as realistic as possible so the production crew had to look up reference footage of finding a way to create the underwater explosion part, which proved very difficult for the animators, which took about weeks and months to make the scene to look right. Additionally, the crew used lighting for the explosion effects to get the scene to look right in order to make the scene look believable and realistic as possible. [1]

Points of interest

  • Minefield: An area full of mines as its name implies. Any fish that swims around the mines must be careful when swimming across the minefield.
  • Sunken Sub: An area inhabited by sharks. The lair itself is a sunken submarine from the World War II era and a place where sharks lurk around this area. The texts seen on parts of the sub are written in English. On the other side of the sub is a torpedo which was not launched after the submarine was sunk.

Role in the film

When Marlin is discussing with Dory about something wrong with her thinking she is delaying his plans to find Nemo, the two fish stumble upon Bruce who introduces himself to the two. As the two approach Bruce, he offers the two for an invitation in his lair to which he takes the two across a minefield whom Dory confuses the mines for balloons just as they slowly arrive at a sunken sub where Anchor and Chum happily see Bruce arriving there. Instead of eating Marlin and Dory, Bruce begins his meeting with the sharks where the sharks all do a pledge of not eating fish. Bruce then offers Anchor and Chum to bring him a fish friend to which a green fish, Blenny, swims away during the meeting, as Blenny fears that the meeting is too dangerous for him to attend. As Bruce introduces himself during the meeting, he explains that it has been three weeks that he has eaten fish to which Dory volunteers to participate in the meeting. As Dory introduces herself to the sharks explaining that she has never eaten a fish, the sharks find her thought incredible. After Dory shares her thoughts during the meeting, Marlin introduces himself to the sharks and explains that he is a clownfish, as the sharks offer him to tell them a joke. While telling a joke he was originally going to finish earlier during school about a mollusk and a sea cucumber, Marlin sees a diver mask which reminds him of Nemo who was captured by divers earlier during class to which the sharks react to Marlin worrying about his son while Marlin is curious to know what the markings on the mask mean while Dory tells Marlin to tell the sharks to read it for them.

As Dory swims down to bring the mask for the sharks to read the markings, Dory and Marlin get into a fight over the mask to which while fighting over the mask, Dory gets struck during by it, hurting herself to which as Marlin tries to take care of Dory, Bruce suddenly smells Dory's blood, changing his mind into an uncontrollable predator mode as Anchor and Chum try to prevent him from eating the fish, much to Anchor and Chum's worries. Marlin and Dory swim across the sub while being chased by Bruce finding a way to escape the lair to which Marlin and Dory suddenly escape the sub. Escaping, Bruce suddenly pops out of the sub while Dory and Marlin try to find another way to escape to which they only notice a torpedo blocking their path. As Bruce tries to eat Marlin and Dory, the torpedo is launched as Bruce grabs it and dislodges it, Marlin and Dory back away with the mask as the sharks notice the torpedo hitting a mine as they swim away in retreat. As Marlin and Dory look at the minefield before the torpedo hits it, Dory says, "Hey, is the party over?" just before the torpedo hits a mine, causing a chain reaction of mines exploding in the territory just as Marlin and Dory also hide for shelter. Above the surface at nighttime, two pelicans quietly sit on water while noticing a bubble pop next to them causing by the explosion of the mines just as one of them flies away.

The next day, Marlin and Dory find themselves on the sub which is about to fall into the deepest part of the ocean just as Marlin tells Dory to wake up as the sub is about to fall into the deepest part of the ocean to which the sub suddenly hits a wall, causing Dory and Marlin to lose the mask which is required to help Marlin find the place Nemo is at, just as the mask falls into the abyssal zone, causing the two fish to find it and retrieve it.

The location was later mentioned in a dialogue during a montage of a number of sea creatures talking about Marlin's adventure in trying to find Nemo and reunite his son with him to which a sardine tells a big fish that Marlin found three ferocious sharks and scared them away by blowing them up to which the big fish finds this story interesting just and later during the part where Nigel is telling Nemo, who is at Philip Sherman's fish tank at his office, about his father's adventures in trying to find his son across the ocean.


  • A minor gag throughout the film is whenever Anchor and Chum clap together, Marlin notices that he is under Chum while his clapping fins make him uncomfortable during the meeting.
  • While not directly featured in Finding Dory, the sharks' lair does appear in the deleted scene, "Starting Over", which is a showcase of different prologues compared to the one seen in the final version of the film. In the first prologue in the film, it features a scene from Finding Nemo where Bruce asks the two for an invitation only for Marlin to grab him, spin him, and throw him into the mines only for the sequence to not be reality which fades to Marlin looking at Mr. Ray and his students, prior to this prologue being reworked in the final version of the film.


  1. Visual Commentary Bonus Feature (Finding Nemo Widescreen DVD, 2003).

External links

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Films: Finding Nemo (video) • Finding Dory (video) • Exploring the ReefMarine Life InterviewsDory's Reef CamPixar Popcorn (Dory Finding)

Video Games: Finding NemoFinding Nemo: The Continuing AdventuresFinding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Disney UniverseNemo's ReefFinding Dory: Just Keep SwimmingDisney Crossy RoadKinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar AdventureDisney Infinity: 3.0 EditionLEGO The IncrediblesDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Music:: Finding NemoFinding DoryFinding Nemo: The MusicalFinding Nemo: Ocean Favorites
Books: Little Golden BookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingBig Golden BookThe Art of Finding NemoThe Art of Finding Dory
Cancelled projects: Finding Nemo 2

Disney Parks
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Entertainment: Disney KiteTailsFantasmic!Finding Nemo: The MusicalPixar Playtime PalsRivers of Light: We Are One
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Finding Dory: JennyCharlieBaileyDestinyHankFluke and RudderGeraldBeckyOttersGiant SquidStanBillStingrays
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Finding Dory: Main TitleO, We're Going HomeWhat a Wonderful WorldUnforgettableSolsbury Hill
Musical/Theme Parks: In The Big Blue WorldDory's DittyFish Are Friends, Not FoodWhere's My Dad?We Swim TogetherGo With the Flow

See Also
The Science Behind PixarPixar in a BoxFinding Nemo (franchise)Finding Nemo 2