Goldfish is a film about Maryam, an 8- or 9-year-old girl whose dream is to pursue her artistic talent of painting. She encounters a problem due to the strict influence of her mother, who prevents her from fully pursuing her dreams. Each time Maryam is able to engage in painting, her world is filled with color, and her joy is clear. Maryam is however unable or unwilling to stand up for herself and make the autonomous decision to paint, until she observes the goldfish, who feels trapped and constrained in the bowl in which it is kept. Maryam falls asleep, after her colors are taken away, and has a dream in which the fish leaves the bowl and makes her dull paintings colorful. She learns of the importance of pursuing the dreams that fill her with life, and chooses to release the goldfish in the pond, within their courtyard.

Maryam has to face her mother, before releasing the fish in the pond, and for the first time, she becomes brave and proceeds to act on her intention. Her mother is supportive of her decision, and the film ends with Maryam happily painting beside the pond, while the goldfish swims freely and happily in it. The film, which is based on the poem, Ali koochike (Little Ali), shows the happiness and self-fulfillment experienced when one follows their dreams. The essay analyzes the process of creating the film and delves into all the steps in production, the techniques, style and software used to effectively relay the message in the film. The paper shows the challenges faced by children who attempt to pursue their dreams within the Persian culture and the necessity of independence and courage in the decision-making process.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer animation--Themes, motives; Computer animation--Technique; Animated films--Themes, motives; Animation (Cinematography); Girls--Drama; Painters--Drama; Mother and child--Iran--Drama; Goldfish--Drama

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Film and Animation (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CAD)


Thomas Gasek

Advisor/Committee Member

Brian Larson

Advisor/Committee Member

Peter Murphey


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes