Finding Nemo (DVD)

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Finding Nemo (DVD)

FINDING NEMO, directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, follows Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), an overprotective clown fish father, as he despera...

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Review of "Finding Nemo (DVD)"

published 10/10/2003 | Fruity_Tart
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 216
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Excellent
Pro Funny, general cuteness of all fish in the film, kids will love it, adults will love it, the dog will love it - oh, it's just the best!
Cons Nothing at all
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"No fish were injured in the making of this film..."

I was lucky enough to win two tickets to a preview screening of Finding Nemo on Wednesday night and I've seen a few clips of the film on tele and it looks great, so armed with my seven year old I decided to go and see if it was possible for it to be even better than my favourite animation - the hilarious 'A Bugs Life'.

Finding Nemo was created by those clever bods at Disney/Pixar who's previous offerings include 'Toy Story 1 & 2', Monsters Inc and A Bugs Life. To make their films they basically take a group of creatures, whether it's kids toys or ants, and use amazingly imaginative writing to build a whole story around these creatures that wouldn't normally have a film of their own. For Finding Nemo they've used fish.

Finding Nemo is set in the Great Barrier Reef and starts off showing a happy clown fish couple with their 400 fish eggs. But then disaster strikes. While all the other fish in the reef run for cover as a huge dark fish comes into view, Coral (Marlin's wife) races into the open ocean to try and protect her babies. Marlin is knocked out in the ensuing panic and when he comes around Coral and all the eggs are gone, eaten by one of the not so cute fish in this film. But not all the eggs, as Marlin swims around grief stricken he spots a lone egg that's been spared. Here comes Nemo! Nemo is the cutest thing in the film. You know in these animations there's always one character that gives the 'ahhhhhh' reaction - Dot the little princess ant who couldn't fly in A Bugs Life, the little girl Boo in Monsters Inc., Nemo has the 'ahhhhh' factor. Marlin is overprotective of Nemo (well, wouldn't you be if you'd lost 399 babies?) and when the time comes for Nemo to start school, his dad is beside himself with worry. All the baby fish in the school climb aboard a stingray and head out on a school trip but Marlin can't stand the thought of Nemo going so far into the ocean so he follows him out and tells him school is too dangerous and he must come home. The trouble is Nemo's made friends at school and feels accepted despite his disability. What? Didn't I tell you? In true 21st century style, Nemo is disabled. One of his fins is tiny and under-developed and this is a major cause for concern for Marlin, he (wrongly) thinks that because of his small fin he can't look after himself or swim as well as his friends. Nemo is so embarrassed that he decides to prove himself and swims up to the top of the water to reach a boat, you're so happy for him when he makes it and starts swimming back down to his dad. This is when the second disaster happens. On his way back, Nemo is caught by a diver who happens to be a dentist with a big aquarium in his surgery. And this is where Nemo ends up. The rest of the film is taken up with Marlins frantic search for his son, the cowardly clown fish survives adventure after adventure on his mission to be true to his word and never let anything bad happen to Nemo.

And it's definitely up there with A Bugs Life. The sheer cleverness of the film is overwhelming, I mean what sort of mind creates a scene showing a shoal of mackerel who's party piece is swimming in the formation of an arrow? The characters are so lovable, Marlin makes friends with a charming blue fish called Dory (voiced by the hysterical Ellen DeGeneres) who suffers with short memory loss and she is THE comic element of the film. One of the best scenes in the film is when Dory claims she can speak whale and gets the two of them swallowed and then squirted out by a huge whale. With her memory being what it is, you can't see whether she's going to be a help or a hindrance to Marlin but she provides plenty of comedy. Another character I have to mention is the 150 year old Green Sea Turtle called Crush. He speaks like an aging hippy (hey, dude & heeeeavy and words that litter his vocabulary) and loves the buzz of swimming in the whirling and fierce current of Eastern Australia.

What I love about Pixar is they pick up on the smallest of details and magnify them, with Finding Nemo you can tell the research people at Pixar have been working overtime. From sneaky references to classic films, including a funny scene where a lapsed vegetarian shark is chasing Marlin and Dory and as he's breaking through to their hiding place he calls 'heeeeeeere's Brucey' in Jack Nicholson style, to a baby octopus 'inking herself' when one of the other children scares her. The facial features on the fish are amazing, they can change expression in the same way a human would and again a huge pat on the back is given to Pixar for their editing capability. The film is so bright and cheerful, all the main characters are fantastic bright colours and you can imagine what it must be like to dive into the Great Barrier Reef and look for yourself. The dark bits are few and far between but even then the animators and writers have stayed as true to life as possible while injecting a bit of humour into it. At the beginning of the adventure Marlin and Dory find themselves swimming in the dark depths of the ocean where there's no light and everything's murky and they get chased by an evil looking piranha with rows of long pointed teeth. I've heard on documentaries about the terrible creatures that live in the very depths of the ocean and obviously Pixar have been watching the same sort of programmes.

My favourite bits in the film though are the short bursts you get of Nemo in his aquarium. He's desperate to get back to the ocean to his dad and begins plotting escape attempts with the only other sea fish in the aquarium (all the rest have been brought from pet shops). This is one cute fish, every time he was on screen Charlotte prodded me with the expected 'ahhhhh' and I couldn't help doing it myself. Even though Nemo is at the very heart of the film, you don't see too much of him for quite a long time during the film but when he is shown it seemed to me like he brought all the different parts of the film together. There's a few parts in the film which don't make a lot of sense as you're watching, enjoyable as they are, but then the film will cut to Nemo and what he's talking about in the aquarium makes you go 'oh I seeeeeee'! lol

The film has got to be one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time. I was literally rolling around in my seat at the cinema chuckling at a crazy one-liner from Marlin at one point. The cast doesn't include the major stars which Toy Story boasted, in fact the only one's I've heard of are Ellen Degeneres, Barry Humphries (who, despite the fact that I hate this man with a passion, had me laughing my head off as the vegetarian shark) and Willem Dafoe who voices a tropical fish called Gill who befriends Nemo in the aquarium. Nemo himself is voiced by a nine year old boy called Alexander Gould and it's just right to have a child doing the voice for this fish as it sounds so much better than hearing an adult trying to speak in a childs voice. There isn't really a soundtrack to speak of as most of the sound effects come as bubbly water mimicking the sounds beneath the ocean, but 'Under the Sea' is used to roll out the end credits - very apt.

I could rave about this film for hours but I think this ops already long enough. In short, I loved Finding Nemo and so did Charlotte. It's a perfect film for children on any age as even the 'scary' bits in the film are done with such humour that they wouldn't frighten anyone. Alice (my 4 year old) is off to see it tomorrow and she scares really easily so I wouldn't let her go if I thought it was going to frighten her. All round family fun... I just can't wait till the DVD comes out.

See a real clown fish here http://www.petstation.com/clownfish.html and imagine it fatter with a cute face and there's Marlin and Nemo! And here's Dory http://www.aquahobby.com/marine/hepatus.html
If you see the film, take a look at those two pictures of real fish and judge for yourself how accurate and downright fantastic the animated characters are.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments on this review

  • cybersplat published 17/06/2004
    Fantastic review, on a great film in my opinion :)
  • mystikchick17 published 13/06/2004
    excellent, but i agree with lstevie - break it up into more manageable chunks. I LOVED this movie...great on all counts! cheers, ~maya
  • red13 published 09/06/2004
    Thanks, I have not seen it yet.
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Product Information : Finding Nemo (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

FINDING NEMO, directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, follows Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), an overprotective clown fish father, as he desperately searches the sea for his missing son, Nemo (Alexander Gould). Marlin's journey leads him beyond the Great Barrier Reef into deeper and darker waters, where he meets Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a forgetful yet optimistic blue tang, and a number of not-so-friendly--and often very hungry--aquatic creatures. Meanwhile, little Nemo finds himself in a dentist's fish tank in Sydney, Australia, along with other underwater captives, including Gill (Willem Dafoe), the group's scarred Moorish idol leader. As Nemo works with his new friends on a plan to escape their tank, Marlin and Dory swim closer, but they'll need more than just fins to get into the dentist's office.<BR>This fifth computer-animated outing by Pixar continues the company's remarkable winning streak that began with TOY STORY. Like other Pixar films, FINDING NEMO features a story with heart--this time, a father-and-son tale--and thoroughly charming leads--in this case, Marlin, Nemo, and Dory. And, of course, there's an army of fascinating supporting characters, including Bruce (Barry Humphries), a great white shark on a no-fish diet; Crush (director/screenwriter Stanton), a surfer-dude sea turtle; Peach (Allison Janney), a stuck-to-the-aquarium starfish; and Nigel (Geoffrey Rush), a bold pelican. However, what truly distinguishes NEMO from even its CGI cousins is its stunning depiction of aquatic life, from the colourful creatures on a coral reef to a blue whale on the vast expanse of the open ocean. By combining the aesthetic of a National Geographic marine life documentary with clever jokes and Hitchcock references, NEMO succeeds in its bid to up the ante for animated films yet again. And be sure to watch the credits or you just might miss something!

Release Details

DVD Region: DVD

Studio(s): WALT DISNEY HOME VIDEO; WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINM

Release date: 27/02/2004

No of Discs: 1, 2

Catalogue No: D 881232, BED 888895

Barcode: 5017188812320, 5017188888950

Languages

Main Language: English

Technical Information

Animated: Animated

Dubbing Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English French Spanish

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0

Special Features: Audio Commentary, Behind The Scenes, Unseen Footage, Interviews

Professional Reviews

Review: A sparkling treasure trove of snappy comedy, lush visuals and breakneck action. (Entertainment Weekly, 2011-04-11)<br><br>A thing of beauty, hugely entertaining and way cool (Rolling Stone, 2011-04-11)<br><br>NEMO creates an awe-inducing sense of the infinite in its watery visuals (Sight and Sound, 2011-04-11)<br><br>A buoyant adventure [...] Notable first for its spectacularly colorful underwater setting, which gives the picture one of the most striking visual backdrops ever seen in an animated film (Variety, 2011-04-11)<br><br>

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