BRUCE: I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.
Change is a beautiful thing, but can a shark really change his stripes… or his appetite?
NEMO: I'm sorry I couldn't stop the...
GILL: No, I'm the one who should be sorry. I was so ready to get out, so ready to taste that ocean, I was willing to put you in harm's way to get there. Nothing should be worth that.
And we thought that Gill only cared about escaping. Not true. This tropical fish changes his tune here when he tells Nemo that he should have never let things go so far with the dangerous filter plan.
NIGEL: Your dad's been fighting the entire ocean looking for you.
NEMO: My father? Really?
NIGEL: Oh yeah. He's travelled hundreds of miles. He's been battling sharks and jellyfish and all sorts of—
NEMO: Sharks? That can't be him.
Nemo is just sure his scaredy-fish dad isn't out looking for him. This guy is terrified of the ocean, right? But, Nigel's story convinces Nemo that there might be more to his worrywart dad than he thought.
DORY: He says it's time to let go! Everything's gonna be all right!
MARLIN: How do you know?! How do you know something bad isn't gonna happen?!
DORY: I don't!
MARLIN: Ha-ha-ha! We're alive!
Whoa. This is a big moment of transformation for Marlin. He realizes that he's treating Dory the same way he treated Nemo—as a helpless little fish. In this moment, Marlin finally realizes that he can't keep his son safe. He can't even keep himself safe. He doesn't know for sure what's going to happen, but he's willing to make the leap (down the whale's throat) and find out.
NIGEL: Okay, don't make any sudden moves. Hop inside my mouth... if you want to live.
MARLIN: Hop in your mouth, huh? And how does that make me live?
NIGEL: Because… I can take you to your son.
MARLIN: Yeah, right.
NIGEL: No, I know your son. He's orange and has a gimpy fin on one side.
MARLIN: That's Nemo!
Marlin isn't a trusting fish and we honestly can't blame him for not leaping right into a pelican's mouth. But, throughout his journey, Marlin's had to learn to put his faith in folks he wouldn't have before. Fingers crossed that he doesn't wind up in Nigel's belly.
MARLIN: Hey, guess what?
MARLIN: Sea turtles? I met one, and he was a hundred and fifty years old.
NEMO: Hundred and fifty?
NEMO: Oh, 'cause Sandy Plankton said that they only live to be a hundred.
MARLIN: Sandy Plankton? You think I would travel the whole ocean and not know as much as Sandy Plankton? He was a hundred and fifty, not a hundred.
Okay, Marlin is officially a cool dad. (He's not like a regular dad). He's been across the ocean. He knows about sea turtles. This is not the same panicky fish from the reef.
MARLIN So just then, the sea cucumber looks over to the mollusk and says: "With fronds like these, who needs anemones"?
BOB: But seriously, Marty, did you really do all the things you say you did?
Oh, and Marlin's funny now, too. Sure, he might have always been a clownfish, but he's finally learned to tell a joke… and earned the admiration of all the other undersea dads.
NEMO: Bye, dad! Oh! Oh, Mr. Ray! Wait. I forgot something… Love you, Dad.
MARLIN: I love you too, Son.
NEMO: Uh, Dad, you can let go now.
MARLIN: Sorry! Now go have an adventure!
Excuse us while we get a tissue. This is a really heartwarming moment that shows just how far Marlin and Nemo have come. This father is ready for his son to go off and have an adventure, while the son just loves his dear ol' dad a ton.