Mikyla Hongeva, 11, holds a copy of "Finding Nemo" outside the Peunte de Hozho elementary school in Flagstaff, Ariz. Mikyla recorded the voice of one of the turtles in the Navajo language version of the movie, only the second major motion picture to be translated. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)
Now watch Nemo in Navajo
March 24, 2016
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A few children in Flagstaff, Arizona, have become a part of a movie. They are among the movie's cast of voices. The children are bringing "Finding Nemo" to a Navajo-speaking audience.
For only the second time, a major motion picture has been dubbed in the Navajo language.
The movie is "Finding Nemo." It's playing in select theaters on the Navajo Nation.
Disney and Pixar officials chose the animated fish tale to be dubbed into Navajo. That is because there are only animal characters and few songs.
The movie follows the journey of Marlin. He is a clown fish. Marlin is on a search for his son. His son is Nemo.
The children's parents spoke with the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper. They believe the translation will help keep the Navajo language alive.
Catherine Esquivel's 6-year-old son Mariano Esquivel is in the movie. He voiced a baby turtle.
"I don't know that he understands now how huge this is for the Navajo people, to have Disney play a part in retaining our language," she said. "When he's older he will think, 'Wow, this was a great time in my life.'"
"Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" became the first Hollywood feature translated in Navajo. That was in 2013.
That movie is also owned by Disney.
"I love the fact that Navajo has such a place in our history, with the Code Talkers in World War II," said Rick Dempsey. He is senior vice president of Disney character voices. "If we want to work to preserve a language, this is a great one."
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How will this movie help preserve the Navajo language?
Write your answers in the comments section below