Archived: Review: Finding Nemo (2003) - archived

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Ten years ago, Pixar released Finding Nemo. Ten years later, it’s still as magical as it was back then. Pixar, always on top form when it comes to animation didn’t just dip their toe in the ocean, they scuba-dived their way right to the depths!

After he loses his family in an attack from an ocean predator, all that remains is a sense of distrust and a fear of the unknown. In the aftermath, a now widowed clown-fish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) spies one remaining egg, his only family, Nemo. As he grows up, living with a non-grown fin, Nemo must also deal with his over protective father until one day, Nemo snaps. Swimming out into the ocean to touch the underside of a boat, Nemo tries to return only to be pinched by a diver – a dentist from Sydney – who is going to give Nemo to his fish-killing niece for her birthday.

Whilst Nemo befriends other captive tropical fish plotting their escape, Marlin scours the ocean to try to find him with some help from a memory-like-a-fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), some vegetarian sharks, surfer dude turtles and a pelican named Nigel.

It’s nearly impossible not to love this movie, perhaps if you have ichthyophobia or thalassophobia, then you might be an exception to the rule but otherwise, Finding Nemo has everything you could want. There is laughter, you’d expect it from a film featuring a clown-fish, although Marlin isn’t really that funny. Most of the chuckles will come from Dory and her forgetfulness and whilst Ellen DeGeneres does bring out the intonation, the animators have to get the props for some of the wacky facial expressions – and considering that there isn’t a lot of face to work with on these fish, it really is quite a treat.

With the laughter comes the heart, a family torn apart, the lengths one father will go to in order to rescue his only son and keep the unit together. There are the life lessons here we can all learn from when it comes to letting go and also, behaving yourself. Friendships are made in unlikely circumstances and we learn that there is always a threat or predator out there for all of us, so just darn well be careful.

When Pixar created Monsters Inc., the hair covered Sully was the most advanced technology. When they made Brave it was the locks of Merida’s hair, and when creating Finding Nemo it was the water and the way light was reflected through it. Early tests were in fact so spectacular that Pixar had to make the water look more animated as they feared people would mistake it for an actual ocean.

Nemo has found its way into nearly every home and become a firm family favourite. It’s visually stunning, family friendly (bar some mild peril early on), heart-warming and funny. It’s everything you’d expect it to be and more. It’s no wonder then that ten years after its release a sequel is finally being made, but with the search switching to ‘Finding Dory’. Whether this will end up being of the same calibre of Toy Story 2/3 or Cars 2 remains to be seen.

Archived: Review: Finding Nemo (2003) - archived
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