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 17/06/2004 | Pumpkin
Member since : 28/04/2001
Reviews : 252
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Super
Pro Lovely characters, good story, a fun film
Cons Not quite so much adult appeal as previous Disney/Pixar offerings
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"FISHY BUSINESS"

“Finding Nemo” is the latest animated blockbuster from Disney and Pixar, the team who brought us “Toy Story”, “A Bug’s Life” and “Monsters Inc”. I’ve been a big fan of this type of film ever since I saw the first “Toy Story” movie, so I was keen to see “Finding Nemo” and I recently borrowed it from a colleague.

This undersea adventure tells the story of Marlin, a clownfish, and his quest to find his only son, Nemo, who has gone missing. Nemo is particularly precious to Marlin, after a shark attack some years before resulted in the death of his wife, Coral, and all bar one of the clutch of eggs they were nursing. The one remaining egg produced Nemo, a baby clownfish, perfect but for one slightly weak fin. Nemo has had a sheltered childhood, as Marlin is fiercely protective of his only son – but the time has come for Nemo to start school (school – geddit?) and despite Marlin’s offers to let him stay at home for another year, Nemo is very keen to leave the confines of the anemone on the Reef, where he lives with his father and get out into the big wide ocean.

Unfortunately, Nemo’s explorations with his newfound friends end in disaster when – to prove to his father that he is perfectly capable of swimming just as far as any other fish – he ventures too far away and is captured by a diver collecting tropical fish in jars.

And so begins Marlin’s quest. With the aid of Dory, a very forgetful fish whom he meets along the way, he sets off on a perilous journey to Sydney, where he believes Nemo is to be found. Along the way, they encounter some sharks, who (fortunately!) are trying to give up eating fish, some sea turtles, a shoal of ferocious jelly fish and a killer whale.

As for Nemo, he is indeed in Sydney, living in a fish tank at the surgery of the diving dentist who captured him. He quickly makes friends with the other inhabitants of the tank – including a battered but kind hearted old fish called Gill and a pink starfish called Peach – but he lives under the threat of a visit from the dentist’s niece. She wants a new fish – and the last fish she took from the tank lasted only a few minutes in her care. Nemo appears to be lined up as her next pet – and his only hope of escaping and being reunited with his father is a seagull called Nigel…

As usual with the Disney/Pixar films, the animation is flawless, and the coral of the Great Barrier Reef and the imposing skyline of Sydney Harbour make a wonderfully rich and colourful backdrop for the action. As usual, we have in the mix a range of different characters, each with their own personality and style.

The story is good and provides almost “edge of the seat” action, particularly for younger viewers, but is also gripping enough to absorb most adults. It is, however, very similar in its basic premise (several characters racing against time to rescue a friend/family member before it is too late and a terrible fate befalls them) to several of the other films already mentioned – particularly “Toy Story 2” so offers nothing particularly new or clever in terms of plot. Also, and call me cynical if you will, as it is a children’s film, we were never in any doubt that we would be treated to a happy ending, with Nemo and Marlin being reunited. Can you imagine Disney actually allowing one of their movies to end with its hero being flushed down the toilet to an almost certain death? Or another hero being digested by a killer whale? I thought not!

That said, the opening scene, where Marlin’s wife and almost entire prospective family are wiped out by a shark, did actually bring a tear to my eye, although it’s early enough on in the film that we have not become too attached to any of the characters, and young viewers will be no more than momentarily upset, as the action quickly moves forward a few years to the point where Nemo is starting school.

Although I enjoyed this film and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with children or anyone who enjoys animated adventures, it did not have quite as much adult appeal as some of its peers. “A Bugs Life” in particular featured a multitude of bug-related jokes (such as the poop platter and the bloody mary being served up in a bug bar, and the fat, German caterpillar who never quite manages to get off the ground) which were comparable with any adult comedy. Similarly, although not a Disney film, “Shrek" also featured a number of jokes that would be lost on some younger viewers but would be found highly entertaining by adults watching the movie. I didn’t feel that “Finding Nemo” quite hit the mark in the same way – perhaps there are just not quite as many fish-related jokes to be had. Dory’s absent mindedness did provide a few laughs, but actually became a little tiresome towards the end of the film.

Throughout the film I was convinced that the voice of Marlin was provided by Tom Hanks – but I discovered as the credits rolled that it was in fact Albert Brooks. Other famous names that appear are Ellen De Generes as Marlin’s forgetful sidekick Dory and Willem Defoe as Nemo’s new friend Gill.

Finding Nemo is a fun way to pass an hour and a half – its charming story, beautiful animation and cute, plucky characters will keep adults and children alike absorbed throughout. For me, however, it just manages to fall short of being a real classic.

As it’s a Disney film, it will never be found on special offer, so perhaps it’s one to add to the Christmas list, as it seems to retail around the £15.99 mark for the DVD. It does, of course, have a U certificate, and is therefore suitable for all.

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Comments on this review

  • eve6kicksass published 16/08/2004
    This was a great movie and a great review to accompany it here...Can't wait to get through the rest of your alerts Hannah...Chris xxx
  • kenny_khaw published 02/08/2004
    I love Dory, the part she went to speak whale...Oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaa. Ken.
  • nearlyfivefoot published 04/07/2004
    Nice review - have been desperate to watch this film! Am definately going to now - childish entertainment? Just up my street!!hehe!!!
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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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