Imagine, one day your child is snatched from your grasps and taken away by a stranger, looking like he would never be seen again. For this imaginary situation, it was very much a reality for one Marlin the Clownfish. We all know him from his outstanding and courageous crusade to find his lone remaining son Nemo. We all know how that particular part of Marlin's life turned out, but one thing we don't know is, who is the fish behind the stripes? I recently sat down with Marlin, I was given permission to ask any question I chose as it pertained to his life before his adventure. Throughout the interview I was given a side of Marlin that very few sea life across the ocean are aware of. Marlin provided me with a complete rundown of his life.
Marlin was one of 382 eggs that were laid by his mother, Margie and his father Clem. Unfortunately only 73 of the eggs survived due to a massive whirlpool that occurred just mere meter's from the family's anemone. Marlin was the 57th fish to hatch out of his 37 brothers and 36 sisters just south of the Great Barrier Reef. Marlin's mother Margie has stated that Marlin was always a bit shy and timid, never really associated with his brothers of sisters. Marlin had a very humble upbringing, he described his father as a hard working Fish who did anything to provide for his kids. With this being said, Marlin's parents immediately showed favoritism towards his more eccentric brothers and sisters. This led to constant feelings of self doubt and loneliness. Marlin lived the first 2 months of his life barely speaking and was left out of activities by his brother and sister. Soon it became time to begin school. Marlin admitted to me that his first day of school was "The most exciting, horrible, and tense" moment of his life. Marlin made the decision that school was going to be the time he came out of his shell and became more social. Marlin began trying to become friends with multiple different groups of kids at school but was subject to much ridicule. Marlin was the only Clownfish at school that was not funny. Other fish often resented him for this, resulting in severe loneliness and depression. It was not until Marlin made his first friend, Alvin, a Mimic Saddle Puffer, that his life began on an upward path. Marlin, eating his leftover algae he packed the night before, began being taunted by a other fish, including his own brothers and sisters. Alvin, who was also an outcast due to him having brown spots on his body which affected the beautiful pattern on his body, was the only fish in the school to defend Marlin. Marlin and Alvin instantly became the best of friends, they each assisted each other in finishing school. Without Alvin at his side, Marlin may not have survived his early life, constant thoughts of self loathing and sometimes suicide kept him awake at night and Alvin changed that. Alvin was described by Marlin as "The savior who saved me from myself".
Life after School
After completing school, Alvin and Marvin set off to do bigger and better things. Alvin had dreams of helping fish that have been born with deformities or blemishes that make them subject to criticism and harassment. Marlin has a dream of going to college and becoming an aquatic archaeologist. Marlin had big dreams to travel the world and live his life to the very fullest. Marlin and Alvin migrate to the Great Barrier Reef and begin working as whale washers. With the little money they had, they were able to afford a small anemone to share and Marlin begins attending classes to follow his dream of becoming an Aquatic Archaeologist. While attending these classes, Marlin meets his future wife, Coral. Coral instantly become Marlin's main focus and he begins to slack in his classes. Marlin's relationship with Alvin also became strained due to the constant decision to spend time with Coral and not Alvin, which eventually led to Alvin moving out. With the advice from Coral, Marlin reaches out and attempts to rekindle his relationship with his best friend. Alvin explains to Marlin that he has found a way to create prosthetic scales by using a specific type of seaweed only found and a much lower depth of the ocean. Alvin also expresses that he believes Marlin's girlfriend Coral as a reason to why their relationship has been going through a rough patch. Marlin takes offense to this and begins to criticize Alvin's idea of helping the blemished fish of the world. Weeks later Alvin arrives at Marlins home to apologize and invites Marlin on a scavenge in an attempt to collect the specific type of seaweed needed to fulfill his life's dream. Marlin shuts Alvin out and asks him to leave. Coral instantly begins to criticize his decision and Marlin begins to go after his friend. He eventually finds Alvin at a very deep depth of the ocean. Marlin calls Alvin's name and as he began to turn towards his friend, an Angler Fish sweeps by, devouring his friend. Marlin regrets his decision on the way he treated his friend to this day, he stated that "While Alvin did such a fine job at saving my life, I was the reason for him losing his". Upon returning home devastated, Coral proceeds to tell him that she is pregnant. Upon learning that he will start a family, Marlin leaves school to help raise his family. Marlin was never able to get over the death of his friend, it is a major factor in the reason why Marlin never followed his dreams and attempted to live a safe life.
How this Shaped him as a Fish
Marlin was never able to get over watching his best friend's demise. The agony did not stop there, we all know the story of Marlin witnessing his Wife and children being demolished by a Barracuda. Marlin however showed great determination and fortitude in attempting to retrieve his son. When Nemo was taken, the only thing in Marlin's mind was 42 Wallaby Way Sydney. The legend of Marlin will never be forgotten, but it is also important to understand Marlin's beginnings and not just his legendary actions. Marlin has had a tough life, tougher than most fish tend to realize. It was because of these unfortunate events that shaped Marlin into what he is today, a great father, a hero, and a great friend.
Thank you to Marlin for participating in this interview, getting an insight into your life before Finding Nemo was exhilarating. Just keep swimming my friends.