Tiny fish eggs showing slight hints of fortunate life. Giant, horrifying sharks showcasing their treacherous teeth as they begin to sink them into their prey. A beautiful vision of life under the sea through gorgeous imagery of jellyfish, sea turtles, and enveloping wetness. These are all just a portion of what you will receive in watching Pixar’s fifth film, Finding Nemo. Nemo tells the story of Marlin, a clownfish in the ocean who has a son named Nemo. Nemo, through an act of “bravery,” ends up being lost, causing Marlin to leave everything behind and pursue his one son, his only son, and his only reason for existence.
If you’re familiar with the modern entertainment industry, you’ll know that Disney Pixar is without a doubt one of the greatest production companies out there. With a total of thirteen films, almost half being masterpieces, while the rest range from merely great to mildly disappointing, it is safe to say that Pixar has yet to release a bad film. That being said, no Pixar film has come close to reaching the public recognition as Finding Nemo. While this isn’t Pixar’s best, that being their first ever film, Toy Story, Nemo is arguably second to it, bringing together storylines like magic and really sinking deep to touch your heart.
Behind the moving storyline and the breathtaking animation, there has to be a voice to inspire a character. That is why I feel Finding Nemo has some of the best voice talents to ever record for a motion picture. First off, the magnificent Albert Brooks who, last year, shined and thrilled with his superb villainous performance in Drive. He just has the type of voice that can fit into any role, as he does excellent work here as Marlin. This is one of the films I hold close to my heart, and because of that I can never hear anyone else voicing Marlin besides Albert Brooks. Next up is Ellen DeGeneres who, once again, does a hilariously spectacular job as Dory, Marlin’s friend who assists him on his journey. Being the comic relief, Dory’s character is well written and is ultimately the funniest character in the film. Alexander Gould, voicing Nemo, does a very good job as well, shaping his voice perfectly to fit the character of Nemo and the struggles he faces. Other voice talents in the film include William Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, and Vicki Lewis.
The animation, as was stated below, is absolutely superb, offering a dizzying display of life under the sea and the journeys of life creatures must take. This is one of Pixar’s finest in terms of animation, and so much so I cannot wait for the Blu-Ray. Speaking of visuals, let’s discuss the 3D. I, personally, am not a fan of 3D unless it is done right. What I mean by that is I only like 3D movies if they are filmed in 3D, not filmed in 2D and then post converted to 3D. Case in point: I don’t like movies like Men in Black III or Marvel’s The Avengers in 3D, but I really liked Avatar and Prometheus in 3D. In this case, I thought the 3D was fine and the conversion was very well done, but ultimately, nothing really changed. It was still Nemo like I always remembered it, but it was a rather exciting experience seeing it again in theatres.
So, in the end, Finding Nemo features some great voice talents, effective animation, and one of the most simple, yet heartwarming, parent-child relationships I’ve ever seen on screen. This is one of Pixar’s greatest.
Run Time: 100 mins
Starring: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, William Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, and Vicki Lewis
Writer(s): Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds
Director(s): Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich