First 101 Dalmatians inspired every kid to beg their parents for one of the spotted puppies, which often turn out to be not such good family pets. Now The Los Angeles Times reports that Finding Nemo is causing anxiety for the nation’s goldfish population.
In the Disney/Pixar blockbuster animated feature, the title fish character finds himself captive in a dentist’s aquarium. He is told by fellow inmates that all drains lead to the sea and flushing means freedom.
Taking that cue, kids are reportedly flushing their pet goldfish down the toilet in well-meaning attempts to set them free. According to The Times, The RotoRooter dispatch center in Valencia, Calif. has received about 70 calls asking if they can rescue flushed fish.
Nemo voice actor Ellen DeGeneres addressed the phenomenon on The Tonight Show Tuesday with a mock public service message reassuring kids that their fish were happy in their tanks.