Finding Nemo

"Extraordinary"

Finding Nemo Review


The Pixar logo - which is the company's name with a desk lamp in place of the "I" - has become the cinematic equivalent of a "Prime" stamp on a side of beef. Once we see it, we know we're in for breathtaking animation, clever scripts, and wholesome family entertainment. The cynic in me waits for the geniuses responsible for the Toy Story features, A Bug's Life, and Monsters, Inc. to slip up and release a flop. Looks like I'll be waiting a few more years.

The latest Pixar pearl, Finding Nemo, ventures under the sea, where single dad Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) overprotects his only son, Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould). One day, Nemo wades into uncharted waters on a dare, only to be snatched up by a scuba diver and placed in the tank of an Australian dentist. For the remainder of the film, Marlin and a forgetful fish named Dory (voice of Ellen Degeneres) scour the ocean floor in an effort to bring Nemo home, a task that's easier said than done.

You won't need a map to unearth the treasures buried in Nemo. Pixar continues its streak of casting eclectic atypical stars and marrying them to the right visuals to create memorable characters. Brooks is pitch-perfect when conveying Marlin's neurotic insecurities and DeGeneres hooks the humor in Dory's sporadic mental flights. The fact that her fish suffers short-term memory loss reeks of "tired comedic device," but DeGeneres bucks the odds and gets enormous and consistent laughs here.

The vast ocean setting only broadens the array of creatures available for animation, and the Pixar team responds in kind with wildly vivid designs. Their most spectacular achievement has to be the way they capture a fish's swaying motions. Nemo convinces us we're underwater. You may have to remind yourself that it's safe to breathe. That is, if you can catch your breath between fits of laughter generated by writer/director Andrew Stanton's sharp script.

With concurrent plotlines being played in both the ocean and the fish tank, Nemo is able to introduce and develop more characters than you'd expect. My current favorite is Jacques, a French shrimp with a cleaning fetish, but that could change after my next viewing. Miraculously, they're not just characters on screen; they stay with us long after the theater has gone dark.

Despite its "G" rating, it's worth mentioning that Nemo occasionally backstrokes through the deep end of the adult content pool. A tragic death of Bambi proportions starts the film, and Marlin and Dory face an ocean of dangers - from toothy sharks to sting-happy jellyfish. Kids may be spooked by the urgency of certain chase scenes, but it's only temporary, and the fear factors are immediately followed up with safe, giggle-inducing head clunks.

The number of obstacles placed between father and son will eventually exhaust even the most attentive child, and the inevitable reunion could've arrived a tad bit earlier. But these quibbles are miniscule in the face of the big picture. Nemo swims with the finest fish. This catch is certainly a keeper.

Finding Nemo is now the top grossing animated film ever, and it's certainly on its way to being the top grossing animated DVD. In typical Disney/Pixar fashion, a two-disc set is in order. A half hour of "visual commentary" can be set to interrupt the film, including outtakes and deleted scenes. There's also some less compelling stuff, like a video aquarium, a Jean-Michel Cousteau documentary, and a zillion kid-friendly features.

Move along, nothing to see here.



Finding Nemo

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th May 2003

Box Office USA: $41.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $864.6M

Budget: $94M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Fresh: 236 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Marlin (voice), as Dory (voice), as Nemo (voice), as Gill (voice), as Bloat (voice), as Peach (voice), as Gurgle (voice), as Bubbles (voice), as Deb / Flo (voice), as Jacques (voice), as Nigel (voice), as Crush (voice), as Coral (voice), as Squirt (voice), as Mr. Ray (voice), as Bruce (voice), as Anchor (voice), as Phillip Sherman (voice), as Chum (voice), LuLu Ebeling as Darla (voice), Jordan Ranft as Tad (voice), as Pearl (voice), as Sheldon (voice), as Fish School (voice)

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.