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 19/10/2003 | franproc
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 54
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About me :
Pro Great characters, heart-warming family fun, great animation
Cons A little twee and predictable, some of the jokes too childish
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"And he shall be my Squishy...."

"Then we were like whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

Following Kiera13's brilliant advice of 'Find a kid! Find a kid right now!' I duly grabbed my daughter (I KNEW there was a reason I had her) and my nephew, who had come to stay, and hot-tailed it into town.
Twenty-five stressed minutes, two bags of skittles, three large cokes and a promotional Finding Nemo card later, we were seated in the front row of the large cinema - so we could 'see clearly'. Yes, darling, but mummy really needs a NECK to see.

I soon forgot about my neck issues, and the smells of sickly-sweet popcorn, the excited squeals of kids riding sugar-highs, and the U-rated adverts in the delight of this gorgeously animated flick.

The main character is worry-wart Clownfish Marlin (que the obligatory joke - 'he's not very funny for a clownfish') whose beloved wife and 399 of his 400 babies were eaten by a nasty shark. Marlin and one baby survived - major cutie Nemo of the title.
Marlin promises to never let anything happen to Nemo, and turns into a loving but stiffling protective father. Marlin is especially protective of Nemo because he has a "lucky fin" - ie an underdeveloped one that is rendered almost useless. How politically-correct and disabled-friendly is Disney? Perhaps Pixar's influence, methinks?

Nemo's first day of school roles around - a chance for him to see the big wide sea, but for Marlin more like a chance to lose his only son. The kids meet at the drop-in point and we cringe at Marlin's embarassing attempts to tell a joke ("A sea-cucumber walks up to an anemone - well, not actually walks, because its the sea - well, the sea cucumber is in one place and the anemone is in another...").
The "school bus" stingray arrives, and Nemo leaves. Unfortunately, Marlin decides he's made a huge mistake, and chases after it, embarasses Nemo and makes him come home. In defiance, trying to prove to his dad that he can do things alone, and at the same time trying to impress his daredevil classmates (including an Octopus who embarrassingly 'inks' at important moments) Nemo swims up to a boat and 'touches' it. He tries to swim back down, but, (nooooooo!) is captured by a diver.

Marlin is distraught, understandably, and despite his fear of the Ocean, sets to find Nemo - who is trapped in a Dentist's fishtank waiting for 'fishkiller' niece Darla to be given him as a birthday present - with only the address on a dropped mask to help. Oh, and an adorable fish with short-term memory loss called Dory ("A game? Oooh, pick me! Pick me!)

Along the way they meet a host of characters, including a reformed fisheating sharks ("Fish are friends, not food"), a brilliantly funny hippie sea-turtle ("Later, JellyMan dude...sweeeeeeeeeet!") and an evil piranha.

As with all Disney films, there is the 'moral' element. In this, it is that Marlin doesn't believe that Nemo can survive for himself, and Nemo believes that Marlin is too scared to go out into the Ocean. Obviously, they overcome all obstacles and find out new things about themselves and each other. Awwww!
But this is not just a Disney film. This is a Disney PIXAR film...and that means humour; hilarious, grown-up adult and children-based humour.
Dory, voiced by the hilarious Ellen DeGeneres is probably the funniest character. She sets up the humour as soon as she enters the screen, telling Marlin to follow then five minutes later turning round and shrieking "stop following me!" Another hilarious scene is when she tells Marlin that she can speak whale.

Dory: Oooh! Whale! I can speak whale! Mmmmoooooowaaaaah!
Marlin: Dory, you can't speak whale. That's upset stomach.


Marlin: Goooooodbbyyyyyyeeeeeeeee.
Dory: Wow. I wish I could speak whale!

Other funny things that I picked up on and the kids didn't were Bruce the shark's entrance of 'Heeeeeere's Brucey!' In the style of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. And Darla's Psycho-esque entrance that had me giggling my head off, much to the disgust of Helen ('Mummy, this bit's not really funny, really'.)

And Crush the 150-year-old turtle has to be another favourite character. The interplay between him and his oh-so-cute son Squirt is great.

Crush: Oh! Intro- Jellyman, offspring. Offspring, Jellyman.

Crush: NOGGIN!
(He bumps heads with Squirt)
Squirt and Crush: DUDE!

The acting in Finding Nemo is superb, and along with the brilliant animation, probably makes the film. My personal favourite was Ellen DeGeneres as Dory. Her always optimistic ("no! it's half-empty!" "I'd say its half-full, actually") voice kept the film going and she has excellent comic timing.
Albert Brooks as Marlin was fairly good, and I guess he didn't have the most to work with, being a paranoid, boring worrier. He just didn't stand out among the brilliance of the rest of the cast.
Alexander Gould as Nemo is very cute, and I suppose he'll have a long career ahead of him, either in animation or normal flicks, because he's a biggish star in America already.
Other favourites were Willem Dafoe as Gill (not a baddie! Seriously! Not a baddie!) the father-figure of Nemo's while in the tank, director Andrew Stanton as Crush, and Geoffrey Rush (not sure about this whole old-guys revival in every film, but stillllllll) as Pelican Nigel.

The animation, which I already mentioned, is out-of-this world. Everything is clearly and gorgeously shot in vibrant blues and greens. The facial features of the fish are exquisite, beautifully portrayed and you can always tell what they're thinking. At times I actually jumped, especially when the sharks came out, and I forgot that it was an animation flick. It's just a film...its an everybody film.

It sounds like it has it all...the acting, the story (will you all laugh at me if I tell you that I was nearly crying towards the end?), the why only four stars?
Essensially, this is a kid's film. The humour, while much more subtle than the average Disney flick, has to appeal to its U audience, and so obviously sometimes I was groaning and berating it for being so obvious and a little slapstick. However, this was purely because I kept forgetting that it WAS a kid's film, and so I felt letdown when it conformed to that convention.

Over all, though, I'd reccommend this to anyone. If you like humour, animation boardering on real art (c'mon, Johnny Depp reckons that Sergio Leone's Westerns are as close as the cinema comes to art! Why can't I think that animation is art?!) and a way to keep the kids quiet for a few hours, then go watch. Right now, duuuuuude.


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Comments on this review

  • jedi_kickass published 19/02/2004
    Nice op pal. jedi_kickass ( ' _ ' )
  • stuleg published 10/11/2003
    Indeed a great film
  • Lancashire_Angel published 01/11/2003
    Sounds fab, I really want to see this.
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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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