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Finding Nemo

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 05-05-2010


  • 2003 – Disney / Pixar – Finding Nemo
  • Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres / Animation
  • Widescreen / Standard Versions – 100 Minutes
  • THX/Dolby – Rated G – Bonus Features
  • Very Collectible

From the Academy Award(R)-winning creators of TOY STORY and MONSTERS, INC. (2001, Best Animated Short Film, FOR THE BIRDS), it’s FINDING NEMO, a hilarious adventure where you’ll meet colorful characters that take you into the breathtaking underwater world of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Nemo, an adventurous young clownfish, is unexpectedly taken to a dentist’s office aquarium. It’s up to Marlin (Albert Brooks), his worrisome father, and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly… More >>

Finding Nemo

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Comments (5)

Recently, I saw Albert Brooks on Late Night with David Letterman, talking about Finding Nemo. Brooks, who stars as the voice of Marlon, the daddy fish, had taken his son (who, I believe was about five years old, the equivalent human age of Nemo), to the premiere. After about five minutes, Brooks said his son leaned over to him, and quietly said, the way a grownup might, “I cannot watch this movie,” and walked out. Late in the movie, the son returned, having obviously been crying. Leaning over, Brooks assured his son, “You are not Nemo.”

Such is the power of this fish story about father and son clownfish who become separated, and must struggle to find their way back to each other. Marlon is a loving but neurotic and overprotective father; Nemo is a frustrated young fish who wants to be independent and see the world, and resents his father for preventing him from doing so. We see an ocean (read: the world) that is a terrible, heartless, and yet joyous place that we frail fish must confront, as best we can, because there’s no alternative.

The animation was done by the wonderful folks from Pixar, who are the closest thing to the reincarnation of Walt Disney. There is simply no comparison between the animation of the typical, visually flat, politically correct, contemporary animated movie (many of which are produced by Walt Disney Pictures!) and Nemo. In Nemo, the ocean floor looks like the ocean. And the characters are all … characters. They are all physically distinctive, wonderfully written, and performed by gifted actors who – if you’ll pardon the cliché – will alternately make you laugh and cry. Of particular note are Barry Humphries as Bruce the Shark, Geoffrey Rush as Nigel the Pelican, Willem Dafoe as Gill, Allison Janney as Peach, and of course, young Alexander Gould as Nemo. Ellen Degeneres, in particular, steals every scene she’s in, as Dory, a gregarious fish whose memory leaks like a sieve. But this is Albert Brooks’ movie. The Academy should give this man a special Oscar for the most moving voice work my wife and I have ever heard.

Thomas Newman, of the musical Newman clan (Alfred, Lionel, Randy) has produced a score that is subtle and unobtrusive much of the time, but at dramatic moments takes over, and is more impressive, with repeated viewings. He deserves his fifth Oscar nomination for Nemo.

Andrew Stanton’s (Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.) screenplay, written with Bob Peterson and David Reynolds, brims with intelligence and wit (e.g., in an AA-style group of recovering – and frequently lapsing – sharks, the members intone, “I am a nice shark, not an eating machine…. Fish are friends, not food”), and Stanton’s direction does not waste a scene. Every moment in Nemo will either charm you or move you. In fact, as my wife remarked, for all of its many comic scenes, this is one of the most moving movies you’ll ever see. We’ve already seen it several times with our three-and-a-half-year-old son, who loves it, and yet with each new viewing, we notice things we’d previously missed.

Though I wish Nemo would win all of the big Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Screenplay), I doubt Academy voters will choose it over its live-action competition. And yet, I will be very surprised, if a better picture — live action or animated — is released this year. Finding Nemo is truly a find.

Originally published in The Critical Critic, October 17, 2003.
Rating: 5 / 5

Finding Nemo is the fifth installment for Pixar Studios, the most reliable studio in Hollywood today, and it is my personal favorite. The first obviously outstanding aspect of the movie is the animation. From the breathtaking wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, to the cold, sterile fish tank, the animation is top notch and truly state of the art. The water, which has always been the bane of animation, is picture perfect, and the animators have captured the rolling but constant ocean and the light refractions perfectly. But animation itself doesn’t make a film. Finding Nemo’s strongest aspect is it’s warm, witty, heartfelt, and funny story of a father’s quest to reclaim his son. The kids will love the vibrant characters and funny situations, and so will the parents. However, the parents will be able to enjoy the film on a level far more than the kids will. The story is about losing a child, and the desperate quest to be reunited, which will hit the parent right in the gut. This is the story’s dark side, which has, thankfully, not been sugar coated by the creators. Overall, lets just say Halleluja, Pixar, you’ve done it again!
Rating: 5 / 5


There. Now that I’ve said that, I should tell you that this is NOT solely a childrens’ movie, but will be enjoyed as much (if not more) by adults. The cleverness of Pixar will never cease to amaze me. Only they could take a concept like a full-length movie about fish and make it totally believable. This film succeeds n being very, very funny. Heck, I’m 16 and saw it in the theater with only my mother. The two of us were laughing hysterically throughout the entire thing!

There’s alot of sadness and emotion in this movie and some absolutely terrific voice acting–the voice cast is top-notch. There are some touching moments and subtle messages to be heard by all, not just kids. I look forward with anticipation to the DVD release of this wonderful movie. The suspense never lets up; encounters with jellyfish, a whale, and a deep-sea lanturn fish make every moment exciting.

As we know, every Disney/Pixar film is associated with its own special “short.” Well, this one is the best yet, and the short film sets you up for the great feelings you’ll have while seeing “Finding Nemo.” I won’t give away the storyline, but it involves a cute snowman, a water globe, and some tropical souvenirs that completely ready one for the overwhelming tropical-ness of the feature film.

One thing I can’t get over is how true-to-life these characters are. The attention to finding a unique species for each fish is incredible and adds a whole new, educational, dimension to the movie. There are some memorable characters in “Finding Nemo.” First and foremost is Marlin, the lovable clownfish who is an overprotective father to his adventurous son, Nemo. Then there’s Dory, the regal blue tang with the memory problem. She provides much of the comic relief but is also an immensely “real” character. Bruce is a mako shark who wants to get rid of the typical image of sharks as mindless eating machines. Crush is a 150-year-old sea turtle with a cool-surfer-dude attitude. Nigel is a helpful pelican. The whole thing takes place in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

And then there are the aquarium fish, who invite Nemo into their ‘club’ when he gets scooped from the sea. He goes through the initiation ceremony at Mt. Wannahockaloogee, complete with tiki statues and all. The animation is awesome. Their group includes Peach, the lookout starfish; Deb, a delusional fish who thinks her reflection is her sister; a French shrimp, a puffer fish, a yellow tang, and a royal gramma. They are led by Gill, a moorish idol who longs to return to the ocean.

This film is excellent; it deserves a sequel…

Overall this is one film that nobody should miss–parents, kids, or otherwise. I hope this review has convinced you to go get yourself a ticket to “Finding Nemo.”
Rating: 5 / 5

ASIDE from the spectacular animation, the laughs, and the endearing characters – this film has great educational value. For whatever reason, I grew up with an…uneasiness…around people with handicaps. By the end of the film I was completely oblivious to the fact two of the main characters were physically or mentally challenged. Dora, in fact, was one of the most charming characters I’ve seen in film recently – animated or not.

I also (as a divorced father) greatly appreciated a single FATHER being portrayed as loving and capable. Too much of media shows men, if not actually villains, as bumbling or careless – if they’re present at all.

BRAVO! The film is so entertaining you hardly notice positive lessons are being reinforced.
Rating: 5 / 5

“I’ll call you squishy, you shall be mine, you shall be my squishy” says Dory the blue, short term memory loss fish to a small jellyfish near by! This movie is wonderful. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s silly, it’s sweet and it has a great meaning to it. It’s great for all ages. You will want to watch it over and over again. If you are anything like my nieces and I you will find yourself quoting little things that Dory says throughout the movie because they are so funny and memorable!! It’s classic!
Rating: 5 / 5

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