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Nemo Há’déést’įį’ is Amazing!

April 23, 2016

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I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Nemo Hádéést’įį’ last month and I loved it. I was very happy the seating chart was filled to half capacity at the ticket counter on arrival and there were more Navajo patrons waiting to reserve their seats.

I was excited but also unsure of what to expect of the event. The SLC Star Wars screening had technical difficulties. I patiently waited for more than an hour for the problem to resolve. No Star Wars, I left disappointed. This time around Finding Nemo had two showings daily for almost a week at the Megaplex Theater in Salt Lake City. In fact, there were screenings available in about nine theaters across three states with other viewing in the works.

What was fun about Nemo Hádéést’įį’ was the opportunity to look up potential vocabulary.  This was a limited preparatory practice for Star Wars. Did you know Garth Wilson’s Conversational Navajo Dictionary has an entry for Turtle? I didn’t until I looked it up. It was interesting to learn turtle ahead of time and  then hear it in the theater. I actually heard it multiple times throughout the movie, even when the turtle was off screen.

The fact that this was an animated film was helpful for me to watch. When I watch dubbed movies in spanish it confuses me a bit. Another example is watching kung fu movies with english dubbing. It kind of kills the experience with the sound and lips not syncing. Dubbing the completed Nemo animation I’m sure had challenges for the script writers, but they did a really good job of syncing navajo dialogue to the animation. There were moments when I forgot I was watching Finding Nemo in another language.  This is hard to explain when I don’t speak or understand navajo fluently. But what I guess I’m saying is that the movie flowed very naturally for not originating in navajo.

Did I learn anything new from the movie? I was surprised by what I could comprehend in navajo. I could not pick out many specific verb conjugations but I really enjoyed hearing some familiar vocabulary. I really wish I had sat in the very back corner seat with paper and pen to take notes, I would have remembered more phrases.

I really want to watch it again, and soon I’ll have that opportunity. The Navajo Nation Museum has started pre-orders for the DVD. Go to NavajoNemo.com(deadlink) to order. I want everyone who is interested in purchasing a DVD to order today. I want the Navajo Nation Museum and Disney/Pixar to know that there continues to be an interest in full-length navajo dubbed films. This can only lead to more entertainment in the navajo language. 

Lastly, I was surprised to hear the end credit song “Beyond the Sea” in navajo, and it is great. I wish it was for purchase somewhere.  It is sung by Fallout Boy vocalist Patrick Stump. You can hear part of it in the Nemo Hádéést’įį’ trailer below.

If you have not seen Nemo Hádéést’įį’ yet, buy the DVD, make some popcorn and invite your elders to watch with you. You will all love it!!!

 

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