a critiQal film review Finding Nemo (2003)

Plot: When Nemo (Gould), a young clown fish, is captured by a human diver off Australia's Great Barrier Reef, he's sent to Sydney, to become a part of a dentist's aquarium. Now, it's up to his overprotective father Marlin (Brooks) - along with memory-impaired fish Dory (DeGeneres) - to save him.

482 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 24s)
  • ...Pixar strikes gold once again with this enjoyable tale.

Having already seen Pixar’s other releases (Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc. (2001)), I knew there was no chance I was going to miss the latest movie to come from them.

And believe me, Finding Nemo definitely lives up to it’s predecessors, easily outdistancing the least of them (A Bug’s Life), and keeping Pixar’s reputation for making outstanding movies intact.

Pixar seems to have a knack for choosing just the right voices to go with it’s outstanding computer animated characters. From Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear to Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski, they always choose perfectly. Even years later, it’s hard to imagine Buzz, Woody, Mike, or any of the rest of their memorable characters voiced by anyone else.

That great casting continues in this film, most notably by casting Ellen DeGeneres as forgetful Dory. Surprising as it may be at first glance, Ellen does such a great job with her character’s voice, she easily outdistances the other star voices in the film, including Albert Brooks as overprotective Marlin. A better casting choice for Dory couldn’t have been chosen, as Ellen lends her comedic roots to playing the foil to Brook’s melancholy Marlin.

It’s a perfect combination, and outdistances even the John Goodman/Billy Crystal pairing of Monsters, Inc. (2001). True, Tim Allen and Tom Hanks (Buzz and Woody from Toy Story (1995) and it’s sequel) are still the pair to beat, but Brooks and DeGeneres give them a good run for the money.

The plot, never forgotten in a Pixar film even amidst the wonders of their animation, is strong again for Nemo. Every scene aids in the telling of the plot, and no loose end is not tied up by the end of the film. From the first scene (showcasing why Marlin is so overprotective of Nemo and why he is afraid of the ocean) to the finale, not even one scene could be cut out without detracting from the overall film. It’s truly impressive, and more films should take their cue from the way Pixar does things – and not just the way they storyboard, either.

The computer animation seems to improve by leaps and bounds with each movie that Pixar makes, and the excellent quality of the animation puts any competitors to shame – even if animation is only a part of one of the competitors films. It’s a wonder why other companies who need computer animation don’t go straight to Pixar (how much better would have been if Pixar had done the animation for Hulk?). From the luxurious background settings to the individual character animation, Pixar cannot be beat.

From a surprisingly perfect pairing of main characters, to an engaging plot filmed told impressively well, to it’s human-like characters in truly beautiful settings, Pixar has struck gold once again with Finding Nemo.

If it hasn’t already, Finding Nemo should find it’s way onto your DVD must-have list.

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