Emotions and Their Relation to Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Marlin and Dory’s Adventure with the Jellyfish

Welcome to our “Friday Flick” series, where we dive into animated movies and explore their deeper meanings. Today, we spotlight Finding Nemo, a beloved Pixar film filled with heart, humor, and valuable lessons on Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

Synopsis of the Scene: Marlin, a clownfish ๐ŸŸ, and Dory, a forgetful blue tang ๐Ÿ , embark on a quest to find Marlin’s son, Nemo. In one memorable scene, they encounter a vast field of jellyfish. Marlin, ever the cautious father, instructs Dory to follow him closely to avoid being stung. However, Dory’s playful nature turns the situation into a game as she bounces on top of the jellyfish. Despite Marlin’s warnings, Dory’s carefree attitude puts her in danger. Together, they navigate the jellyfish field, facing close calls and minor injuries, but ultimately emerging stronger.

Emotions in the Scene and Their Relation to Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

1. Self-Awareness:

  • Marlin’s Perspective: Marlin is acutely aware of his fear and anxiety throughout the journey. His overprotectiveness stems from the tragic loss of his wife and other children, making him extremely cautious ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ.
  • Dory’s Perspective: Dory lacks self-awareness due to her short-term memory loss. Her carefree attitude arises from her inability to remember dangers, leading to a relaxed and playful approach ๐Ÿ˜Š.

EQ Insight: Self-awareness involves understanding one’s emotions and their impact. Marlin’s awareness of his fear drives his cautious behavior, while Dory’s lack of self-awareness leads to a carefree, sometimes reckless approach.

2. Self-Regulation:

  • Marlin’s Actions: Despite his fears, Marlin navigates the jellyfish field carefully, trying to control his panic for the sake of survival ๐Ÿ˜ฌ.
  • Dory’s Actions: Dory’s lack of fear regulation allows her to turn the dangerous situation into a fun game, which, while risky, also helps alleviate some of the tension ๐Ÿ˜„.

EQ Insight: Self-regulation involves managing emotions to respond appropriately to situations. Marlin’s self-regulation aids their survival, while Dory’s lack of regulation shows both the potential risks and the unexpected benefits of a carefree attitude.

3. Motivation:

  • Marlin’s Motivation: His primary motivation is to find Nemo and keep Dory safe, driven by his deep love and sense of responsibility โค๏ธ.
  • Dory’s Motivation: Dory is motivated by a desire to help Marlin and make the journey enjoyable, despite her forgetfulness ๐Ÿค—.

EQ Insight: Motivation in EQ refers to the drive behind actions. Marlinโ€™s strong motivation to rescue his son keeps him focused and determined, while Doryโ€™s positive motivation brings an element of joy and resilience to their journey.

4. Empathy:

  • Marlin’s Empathy: Marlin struggles with empathy due to his overwhelming fear. He often dismisses Dory’s feelings and ideas because of his need for control ๐Ÿ˜•.
  • Dory’s Empathy: Dory shows empathy by constantly trying to support Marlin and cheer him up, despite her own challenges ๐Ÿ’™.

EQ Insight: Empathy involves understanding and sharing others’ feelings. Doryโ€™s empathy helps balance Marlinโ€™s fear, highlighting the importance of empathy in emotional interactions.

5. Social Skills:

  • Marlin’s Social Skills: Marlin’s fear and anxiety often make him impatient and dismissive, which can strain his relationship with Dory ๐Ÿ˜ค.
  • Dory’s Social Skills: Doryโ€™s friendly and optimistic nature helps build rapport and collaboration, even in dangerous situations ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

EQ Insight: Social skills are about managing relationships to move forward. Doryโ€™s social skills often defuse tension and foster teamwork, while Marlin’s struggle with social skills shows how fear can impact relationships.


The jellyfish scene in Finding Nemo perfectly illustrates how different emotions and their regulation can impact a situation. Marlin’s caution and Dory’s carefree attitude, driven by their respective emotional states, demonstrate various aspects of Emotional Intelligence. By understanding these components, we can appreciate how different emotional responses contribute to overcoming challenges and fostering cooperation, even in the face of danger.