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 12/10/2003 | dobieg
Member since : 31/01/2003
Reviews : 256
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About me :
I'm a miserable old git. I'm ashamed to say it's been a **** very **** long time since I reviewed my "trusts", have sought to rectify this by going through every review I've written in the past couple of years, if you feel hard-done-by, drop me a note.
Pro Pure entertainment, safe
Cons Bland, Predictable
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"Toy Story - underwater"

I'm a grumpy old man.

I wasn't expecting much - anything which gets as much hype as 'Finding Nemo' is bound to be rubbish - right? - WRONG!

I must admit my credentials at this stage, as an adult having been forced to watch every Disney, Don Bluth and MGM animated film released in the past twelve years,

I reckon I've seen most of it all before - the relentless build up on TV and radio, the twenty minutes of unbearable adverts in the cinema before the feature, followed by the film itself, *then* there's the merchandising, the release of the video, the somewhat lame sequel, and low-budget spin-off TV series - that's just the way the industry works.

And I'm sorry to say, there's every sign of this being the case once more.

To be fair, however, the film was rather good, if just a bit predictable.

Imagine Don Bluth's 1988 film 'An American Tail' - in which Fievel, a small Russian mouse becomes separated from it's parents, and the adventures of both the hero, and his parents become reunited in the 'promised land' of the good-ol' U-S of A, except this time, the story is transported twelve thousand miles to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and of course, most of the action takes place underwater.

Pixar used a similar story line in the technically groundbreaking 1995 feature 'Toy Story' - and the somewhat better 1999 sequel (if rather unimaginatively named) 'Toy Story 2'.

It was, therefore, with a certain degree of resignation that I took the wife and kids to 'Finding Nemo', with the full expectation of being distracted for an hour and a half, rather than entertained.

Nobody could have been more surprised than I to find it wasn't as dreadful little film as I had feared, and has been directed with a lightness of touch which hitherto has been absent from most recent offerings.

The story starts off when Marlin, a clown fish, is setting up home with his partner on the Great Barrier Reef, when their dreams of a quiet life raising a brood of eggs into full fishy adulthood are dashed by the actions of a predator - Marlin finds himself as a single parent with a disabled child (Nemo) who gets himself separated from the reef community and taken by an underwater diver to a dentist's surgery in Sidney.

Marlin decides to track down and free his captured son, and along the way, makes friends with a blue tang fish called Dory, who, in spite of short term memory problems, displays some remarkable talents.

Nemo, meanwhile, makes new friends in his new home, undergoes a rite of passage, but his new domesticity is set to be shattered when it is discovered that he is to be given to the Dentist's niece, who has already killed previous piscine presents.

Numerous dangers and obstacles are encountered by both father and son, and - predictably, just as things can't seem to get any worse, they invariably do.

As this is a kid's film, it probably doesn't come as any particular surprise to find out that everything turns out right in the end, although of course, it's the journey that counts, not simply arriving there.

The computer animation, characterisation, effects and sound are everything we have come to expect from Pixar, and whilst there are occasions where the plot verges on excessive sentimentality, the directors manage to just pull back from the brink of morkishness, unfortunately not a charge which can be levelled at Don Bluth!

I was especially pleased by one scene in which Barry Humphries (of Dame Edna and Les Patterson fame) plays a cameo role as a vegetarian shark in.

There is plenty of action to keep the story moving at a swift pace, unlike recent films such as 'Ice Age' there is sufficient variety in the situations to stop you sighing 'here we go again' -

My five year old only got fidgety in the last ten minutes of the film, where even she had guessed it would all end happily ever after.

Adult jokes are somewhat few and far between, the one that made me chuckle the most was a parody of Kubrick's 'Shining' where a shark smashes it's way through the bulkhead of an abandoned submarine and pokes his face through - all that's missing is the line 'Heeeeeere's Johnny!'

The only thing that really got me was the suspicion that many of the scenes were designed specifically to be levels within the inevitable video game - dodge the jellyfish, ride the current, chase the bubbles, but don't get nipped by the crabs - you get the idea.

If I were to suggest one thing which the film lacked, it would be the absence of a nemesis (all powerful baddy) - most of the incidents are portrayed as haphazard and unforeseen challenges, rather than the doings of some altogether darker force - saying that, it's probably what saved the film.

Will it do well? - was Mickey ever a mouse! Will there be a sequel? - not unless the sun rises tomorrow! - will we get sick of the relentless marketing? - what do you think?

OK so I ought to lighten up, I wish for once, just once, that we could be offered the experience at just face value, and not have it rammed down our throats.

But then again, I'm a grumpy old man.

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Comments on this review

  • star333 published 27/12/2004
    Great review, This film is always on our t.v, my little girl loves it x
  • MHam published 09/12/2003
    They did have the line here's brucey - thought that was quite good M xx
  • herby30 published 13/10/2003
    I'll wait on the DVD!
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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


Release date: 27/02/2004

No of Discs: 1, 2

Catalogue No: D 881232, BED 888895

Barcode: 5017188812320, 5017188888950


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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