Study Guide

Finding Nemo The Tank Gang ()

The Tank Gang ()

Imagine you've been kidnapped and taken to another planet where you're plunked down in a huge glass box with other humans. Not an ideal situation, to say the least.

But things might be a little bit more bearable in this nightmare scenario if you find out that your new human friends are as cool as the fish in the Tank Gang.

Let's Meet the Gang

This is basically what happens to Nemo. He's fish-napped away from the reef and taken to live with other tropical fish in a fish tank inside a dentist's office. Things are bad, but they could be worse. He could have wound up swimming around with some real jerks.

But everyone in the dentist's office is pretty solid:

Gill (Willem Dafoe): A Moorish Idol with lots of scars and crazy dreams about escaping the tank and returning to the ocean from whence he came. He's also sort of the de facto leader of the Tank Gang.

Bloat (Brad Garrett): A Porcupine Pufferfish who blows up when he gets stressed out and then has trouble getting back into shape.

Peach (Allison Janney): A Sea Star who can read human (like Dory) and likes to keep a lookout at exactly what's going on in the dentist's office.

Gurgle (Austin Pendleton): A Royal Gramma fish who's a bit of a pessimist and a germaphobe. We love him anyway.

Bubbles (Stephen Root): A Yellow Tang who likes—what else—bubbles.

Deb/Flo (Vicki Lewis): A Three-Stripe Damselfish who always fights with her sister Flo. Seriously, Flo is crazy.

Jacques (Joe Ranft): A Cleaner Shrimp who keeps the tank looking fresh and clean (except when escaping) and activates the Ring of Fire.

Chuckles: A Goldfish who was Darla's present for her seventh birthday. Alas, poor Chuckles. We hardly knew ye.

All in all, this is a quality group of fish. There's not a bad one in the bunch (even if Gill is pushing this escape plan a little hard). This is really important because Nemo doesn't have to deal with any personality clashes in his new home. Hey, you've gotta be grateful for the small things.

Welcome, Sharkbait!

Not only are these guys kind and caring when Nemo first enters the water, they also accept Nemo into their little club and offer to help save him from Darla's clutches almost immediately:

GILL: From this moment on, you will now be known as Sharkbait.

BLOAT/BUBBLES/GURGLE: Sharkbait! Ooh ha ha!

GILL: Welcome, brother Sharkbait!

BLOAT/BUBBLES/GURGLE: Sharkbait! Ooh ha ha!

[…]

GILL: Okay, Sharkbait's one of us now, agreed? […]We can't send him off to his death. Darla's coming in five days, so what are we gonna do? I'll tell you what we're gonna do: we're gonna get him outta here. We're gonna help him escape.

At a moment when Nemo is without family for the first time, the fish in the Tank Gang become like a surrogate family to him. They support him, they care about him, and they're there for him. Even Gill, who wants to escape so, so badly, cares enough that he won't put little Sharkbait in the path of danger again after the first failed filter-clogging mission.

When you compare this to another Pixar movie about vulnerable characters away from home and in a strange land for the first time, Nemo has things easy. Remember what happened with Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear at Sunnyside Daycare? We rest our case.

Don't Try This at Home

A note for aspiring fish owners: you probably cannot handle a Tank Gang like this. These guys would need at least a 200-gallon tank and probably wouldn't play very nicely with each other. Gill would be super hard to take care of since he needs specific food and water conditions. Peach would harass the smaller fish and die pretty quickly. Bloat might eat Jacques. Nemo and Deb wouldn't get along either.

No wonder these guys wanted to make it to the ocean.