As part of a collaborative process between Walt Disney and Pixar Studios and the Navajo Nation Museum, Finding Nemo will be showing at select theaters starting today completely translated and dubbed into the Navajo language by Navajo voice actors. Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler says the Navajo version of Finding Nemo will be shown for free.
According to the museum’s press release, the film is literally translated as Nemo Ha?de?íst’i??i??.’ The Navajo translation has been in the works for more than a year and is part of a larger cultural initiative led by the Navajo Nation Museum to preserve and teach the native language through film. All voice roles were performed by members of the Navajo nation, who worked alongside Navajo linguists, and Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump recorded the end credit song in Navajo. This marks the second major motion picture to be dubbed into Navajo, after the successful translation in 2013 of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
“When we first had the premiere on March 7th in Albuquerque, Disney execs came out and I was nervous and on edge wondering how the audience would receive the film. But it was great because the film just grabbed everyone from start to finish,” said Wheeler.
“This is such a great project, we had Native actors as the characters who dubbed their voiceovers by the Native-owned Knifewing Studios, except for the three main roles including Nemo’s Dad, Nemo and Dory. They went to Burbank.”
“It was funny because during the premiere, one of the Pixar execs said ‘Now we need to do Finding Dory in Navajo,” Wheeler told ICTMN. “After the exec said that, I gently elbowed one of the Disney execs.”
Theaters will be screening Nemo Ha?de?íst’i??i??’(Some showtimes may vary):
Goen Cinema, Tuba City, AZ -- March 18-20, 2 pm
Goen Cinema, Window Rock, AZ -- March 19, 11:30 am, 2 pm March 20 at 2 pm
Black Mesa Twin, Kayenta, AZ -- March 19-20, 2 pm
Harkins 11, Flagstaff, AZ -- March 18-24, 1 pm, 3:40PM pm
Harkins Arizona Mills 25 with IMAX, Tempe, AZ -- March 18-20, 2 pm
Animas 10, Farmington, NM -- March 18-24, 11 am, 3:10 pm
Red Rock 10, Gallup, NM -- March 18-24, 11 am, 3:10 pm
Century Rio 24 Plex and XD, Albuquerque, NM -- March 18-24, 11:30 am, , 5:30 pm
The Gateway Multiplex, Salt Lake City, UT -- March 18-24, 11:30 am, 5 pm
Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling