Monday, December 10, 2012

Finding Nemo (2003) - A Fish Tale You Won't Forget

Finding Nemo front and back DVD covers
Finding Nemo (2003).

One of the most popular animated films on home video is "Finding Nemo" (2003). It was re-released in 3-D on September 14, 2012 and on Blu-ray on December 4, 2012. It won the "Best Animated Feature" award at the Academy Awards, and has made almost a Billion Dollars worldwide. It remains the third-highest grossing animated film worldwide ever (behind Toy Story 3 and The Lion King, and just ahead of Shrek 2).

Dory and Marlin talk to a scary fish in Finding Nemo

It is the best-selling DVD ever, with over 40 million sold within the first couple of years of release. Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich for Pixar, it is beloved by a generation of children and their parents, a worthy spin-off from "Monsters, Inc." A sequel has been announced for 2016. You and your child will likely be enthralled by the colorful action underwater.

Grinning shark from DVD cover of Finding Nemo
My, what big teeth you have!

Whew. That is a lot of accomplishments for any film. But what is it about? It all begins with a clown fish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) who lives in the colorful Great Barrier Reef off Australia. He is happily married, but a barracuda attack leaves him a widower.

Three different kinds of sharks in Finding Nemo
You don't want to see this while swimming.

Fortunately, one of his wife's eggs remains, and it gives birth to their son, Nemo ( Alexander Gould). One day, indirectly as a result of Marlin making fun of him, Nemo sneaks off and is captured by scuba divers.

Dentist's aquarium in Finding Nemo
Nemo winds up here.

Marlin decides he has to do whatever it takes to find his son. He meets Dory (Ellen Degeneres), a blue tang who can't keep a thought in her head for more than a moment due to a memory problem. She is a very kind and funny fish, though, so Marlin brings her along on his hunt. Investigating the scene of the accident, Marlin finds a diver's mask that one of the people who took Nemo left behind. It has the address to which Nemo was taken in it. After some issues, they figure out that Nemo is now in Sydney, Australia.

sea turtle in Finding Nemo
Come along for the ride!

The two set out for Sydney. Word of his search gets out, and soon the entire undersea world learns about it. Word even reaches Nemo, who is trapped in an aquarium in a dentist's office.The fish in the aquarium form the "Tank Gang," They find out that the dentist intends to give Nemo to his niece, Darla, which would mean almost certain death because she is careless with fish. The Tank Gang thus plans an ingenious escape for Nemo which involves jamming the filter, but the plan does not work.

two frightened fish in Finding Nemo
Where are we?

Marlin and Dory are closing in, however. A whale carries them to Sydney Harbor, a friendly bird named Nigel ( Geoffrey Rush) takes them to the dentist's office. At that same moment, Darla arrives to take possession of Nemo. Nemo manages to escape down a drain, but Marlin thinks he has died. With all three out in the open sea again, a series of disaster ensues which puts in doubt any chance of an eventual reunion.

View of Sydney Harbor, opera house and bridge in Finding Nemo
Beautiful view of the Sydney Harbor in "Finding Nemo."

Both Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres are at their comic best in this colorful tale. There also is a superior supporting cast that includes the likes of Willem Dafoe and Eric Bana. While far out there in places, in actual fact the entire plot is technically feasible - well, perhaps except for the part about fish that can read. This film was so popular that tourism skyrocketed in Australia during the summer following this film's release.

Nigel the bird carrying Marlon to the dentist in Finding Nemo
Nigel to the rescue!
Underseas views are perfect for 3-D animation, so "Finding Nemo" is one case where you definitely should go for the 3-D version over regular DVDs. They used to say about Elvis Presley that 50,000,000 fans can't be wrong. Well, it's tough to see how you will go wrong with this film, either.


1 comment:

  1. nemo is epic and will always be