Nemo has, since he was very young, worn a diving suit. Not a fancy, James Bond-esq diving suit, but rather one of the old fashioned ones; massive helmet, needs someone pumping air into it to keep him alive.
In the small town that he lives, a fishing town, Nemo is the only person to wear a diving suit and, despite providing a great service, keeping the lighthouse running, he is consistently laughed at by two fishermen in the town.
We learn, through flashback, that these two have always been picking on Nemo, pulling pranks on him when he was at school, laughing at him even then.
Then one day an astronaut crash lands in Nemo’s garden. Suddenly, Nemo doesn’t look so out of place and it transpires that our astronaut has had a similar experience to Nemo back where he’s from.
Nemo attempts to help the astronaut and repair his spaceship and whilst he’s in town buying supplies one of the two fishermen drops his key into the ocean. Nemo doesn’t care, why should he help these bullies? But the astronaut implores him to and Nemo dives for the keys.
Unfortunately the fisherman in charge of holding the rope, the one that will be used to pull Nemo back up when he’s completed his underwater mission, has no idea what he’s doing and accidentally lets go. When he then accidentally knocks the astronaut into the water, it looks like Nemo’s time has come.
Writer Jan Gadermann (“Pieter the Pirate (Short)”) co-directs with Sebastian Gadow on this absolutely beautiful stop motion animation short movie. The characters and scenery are simply stunning to behold and come to life in the hands of the duo.
Laika and Nemo is a 2022 Student Academy Award-winning film and was their graduation project from the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in Germany, where they both received a master’s degree in Directing Animation.
The movie took nearly seven years to come to fruition!
Laika and Nemo is also a silent movie, with the exception of a few sound effects and the occasional grunt here and there, everything is told through actions and facial expressions which are pulled off with aplomb.
At its heart Laika and Nemo address the very real issue of difference, of being different and just wanting to be accepted and it does so in such a way that it’s hard not to be moved by the whole affair.
If you have the opportunity, Laika and Nemo is a short movie well worth checking out.