Finding Nemo was the perfect mix of action, comedy and drama. A scientist recently wrote an article describing how to make the 'perfect' movie and through all the formulas and whatnot, the movie chosen as being as close to perfect as possible was Toy Story. Finding Nemo was even better than that.
Marlin and his son Nemo are clown fishes living in the oceans of Australia. After father and son have a fight, Nemo is captured by divers and taken to a fish tank in Sydney. Marlin, frightened of the deep ocean after a harrowing incident years earlier, does everything he can to track down his son. He is joined by Dory, a fish with serious short-term memory problems, but who willingly goes along for the adventure. They in turn are joined by various other fish and underwater creatures, including a group of sharks determined never to eat another fish (because fish are friends), and a crew of sea turtles lead by the awesome Crush. Meanwhile, Nemo meets some new friends in the fish tank, and they're determined to get him out and back to his father before the owner's niece comes to take Nemo as her birthday present. Aided by friends along the way, Nemo and Marlin fight through all obstacles and in the end, learn a lot about themselves and their relationship.
I think Finding Nemo has jumped into my top 2 or 3 all-time favorite animated films. It's easily the best Disney/Pixar collaboration to date and probably only comes in below the classics The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast among all animated films. Heck, among films in general this one had everything. The opening sequence, for those of you taking children, was rather scary and sad, so be prepared to answer some questions. From there the movie was just non-stop action and laughter, with most of the laughs coming from Ellen DeGeneres' forgetful Dory. Her voice was perfect for the character. And when she starts talking in whale-speak, it had me rolling. Albert Brooks, not necessarily a name you'd think of for a fish, was great as the paranoid Marlin. When I think paranoid actors, I think of Woody Allen and Albert Brooks, and Woody Allen already stunk up one animated film so Brooks was the natural second choice. And the rest of the supporting voices worked wonderfully. There were some surprises, like hearing John Ratzenberger as the leader of a school of fish, or the director of the film, Andrew Stanton, doing his hippie best as the sea turtle Crush.
The one thing that really made this film though, was the incredible undersea animation. Everything looked so perfect at times it felt like you were really underwater. And there were two or three shots of Sydney Harbour that looked like a picture postcard. Some of the animation was truly breathtaking. Before the movie, there was a Pixar short film called knick-knack that was a cute story about a snowman trying to get out of a snow globe. It was created before Toy Story and going from that to Finding Nemo, you can see how far Pixar has come with their animation abilities.
While the opening of the movie was kind of a disturbing way to start an animated film, the rest of the movie moved along at a pretty good pace. The running time of 105 minutes (including knick-knack and the closing credits which you should stay for, since you can catch a surprise appearance from one of your favorite characters from Monsters, Inc. in a brief cameo) was a bit longer than most animated films, but it was the kind of movie you were almost hoping would never end. Every new fish, every new location (and yes, you can have different locations underwater) was like entering a new world. It's obviously geared towards children, but it had enough broad-based humor that parents will love it as well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I would highly recommend seeing Finding Nemo. No matter what kind of movie fan you are, this film has something for everyone. Easily the best movie I've seen this year.
Got something to say? Say it on the Message Boards. No password needed!
Toy Story & Toy Story 2
A Bug's Life - Collector's Edition
$39.99 Playstation 2
© 2003 Wolfpack Productions