I usually like to watch something more than once before I go as far as assigning scores to Nitpicks and such, so here is a no-score review of the new Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo. In brief – I don’t care how young or old you are, go see it.
As with all of the Pixar movies, the marketing for Finding Nemo was aimed at kids. And like all of the Pixar movies, adults should see it just as much as kids. There is plenty of humor for both – in fact, I laughed more for Nemo that I did watching Bruce Almighty (which was good in itself).
The movie is about Marlin and Nemo, father and son clownfish, and the adventure of Marlin as he tries to find Nemo after Nemo is caught by scuba divers and placed in an aquarium. Along the way he meets Dory, a fish with a short-term memory loss, several sharks in a 12-step program kind of like “Fisheaters Anonymous” (seeing two sharks scream “Intervention!” and grabbing another is good for a chuckle), a surfer-dude turtle named Crush (“Whoa!”), and a pelican named Nigel. In the meantime Nemo finds friends in a fish tank, trying to escape before their captor dentist’s niece arrives to take Nemo away – and to certain death.
Note that the movie starts on a real sad note (ala Bambi) – kids of a certain age may not understand this and may not like the movie because of it. There are also a few scary moments in the movie. We did take my 3 year old daughter for only her second movie – and first in a stadium-seating theater – and we weren’t sure how she’d behave. Well, she sat through the whole movie smiling and laughing – she even laughed at one of the scary scenes while she pretended to hide her eyes.
The best comedy moments are courtesy of Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. Listen closely to what Dory says when she’s asleep – some of the best lines can barely be heard.
The CGI animation was top-notch. A few of the Sydney skyline shots I couldn’t tell if they were real shots composited in or full constructs, as the definite CGI elements integrated seamlessly.
Missing from the end were the “outtakes” – but I’m sure those are saved for the DVD. They did show a classic short before the movie –
“Knick Knack” (I think it was 1986) where a snowman in a snowglobe tries to join the party of sunny souvenirs.