Retro Review: Finding Nemo

Ever find yourself staring into a fish tank unable to look away?

Have you ever yearned to sprout fins and live among the fishes of the Great Barrier Reef?

Have you ever wanted to speak to the fish during a snorkel or dive?

In the Disney film “Finding Nemo”, you can almost answer some of those questions.

From Pixar, the same crew who brought you “Monsters Inc.” and the “Toy Story” films, “Finding Nemo” follows the adventures of a reluctant and over-protective father “clown fish” named Marlin (Albert Brooks) who frantically scowls the seven seas in search of his son, Nemo after he is snatched by divers.

Marlin’s adventures bring him face to face with some of his greatest fears. Marlin meets a forgetful fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a surfer dude sea turtle named Crush (Andrew Stanton, who also wrote and directed the film) and an addict shark named Bruce (Barry Humphries).

“Finding Nemo” is Pixar’s most beautiful film to date. You believe you are in fact in the ocean or fish tank. The water and the environment around the characters are amazing.

The whole film is utter eye-candy. The kids will love the fish adventure but the older kids will marvel at the technology shown in this film.

There are also so many laugh-out-loud situations that are sure to make you squeal with glee. The laughs do overshadow the simplicity of the story.

I found that I was enjoying all the voices and quirky characters along the quest but I was forgetting more and more about our heroes, Marlin and Dory. It got harder and harder to learn more about the main characters as the film went on. I really did enjoy the brilliant voicing from stars Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres but found even they got upstaged by some of the characters in the film.

What was great about other Pixar films were the chemistry between the films two leads. Nemo has that but it just doesn’t capitalize as much as it should. Even in great quest films with human actors, the film always falls to the purpose of the quest before fleshing out the characters embarking on it. It is debatable to why this does occur.

Some of my favorite moments in the film are probably the times that involve the seagulls. I loved how the filmmakers were able to give them such character and humor. They accomplished all this with only muttering one word, “Mine!” Absolute brilliance.

When you compare “Finding Nemo” to other Pixar greats like “Monsters Inc” or “Toy Story” you can definitely see some flaws. Pixar was able to deliver deep 3-dimensional characters in both look and personality in both “Monsters Inc.” and “Toy Story”. It was the depth of character and heart-felt joy that made those films unforgettable. “Nemo” probably rests between “Toy Story 2” and “A Bug’s Life”. “Bug’s Life” seems to be the most forgettable in the Pixar family.

(4 out of 5)

So Says The Soothsayer.

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