‘Finding Nemo’ (Film)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Somewhere Beyond The Sea

This is a Disney/Pixar movie to warm your heart!

‘Finding Nemo’ was released at the cinemas in 2003. I remember seeing the previews for the movie on the ‘Monsters Inc.’ DVD as well as at the cinema before its release. I was looking forward to seeing ‘Finding Nemo’ since I was impressed and excited by the Disney/Pixar films from ‘Toy Story’.

When the movie was released at the cinema in the UK, I remember seeing it in October. It was released earlier at the cinemas in the USA in May, but I was pleased to see it on the big screen back then. My best mate Stephen and I saw the film at the cinema on a Saturday and it was raining then!

The movie was eventually released on DVD in a 2-disc collector’s edition. My parents and I purchased ‘Finding Nemo’ on DVD and we loved watching it as a family. I consider ‘Finding Nemo’ to be one of the best films ever made from Disney/Pixar and it is a very highly rated movie worldwide.

‘Finding Nemo’ is a movie about a clownfish called Marlin who lives in the ocean with his son Nemo. Marlin is an overprotective father and soon loses Nemo when he gets abducted by sea-divers from Sydney, Australia. Marlin becomes determined to find his son and travel across the ocean to get him.

Marlin soon meets a blue tang fish called Dory, who suffers from short-term memory loss. Together they go on the search to find Nemo and reach Sydney in Australia. They face many obstacles including three terrifying sharks; some deadly jellyfish and a giant whale engulfing Marlin and Dory.

I’m very impressed by the animation and CGI worlds of ‘Finding Nemo’ in the ocean. Disney/Pixar took a lot of time and effort to create the underwater worlds of sea life in computer animation. The best thing about it is that it matches superbly well with the epic scale of the story in ‘Finding Nemo’.

I’m not claiming to be an expert on marine life, but it was fun to see the various types of fish and sea-life living in the ocean. On the 2-disc DVD itself, there are special features that explore more on the underwater sea-life and habits that I enjoyed exploring after watching the ‘Finding Nemo’ movie.

The movie also features some of the superb fish characters in the best story ever written for a Disney/Pixar animated film. I was engaged with the emotion and drama featured throughout this film, especially as Marlin becomes determined to find his son again and to let nothing ever stop him.

Marlin the clownfish (voiced by Albert Brooks) lost his wife Coral (voiced by Elizabeth Perkins) and most of his children when a fierce barracuda attacked their home. Only one of his kids, who he named Nemo, survived. Marlin brought Nemo up and promised ‘to let not anything happen to him’.

But Marlin’s overprotective fatherly behaviour got the better of him and he soon lost Nemo after a bitter argument. Despite this, it didn’t stop Marlin from going after Nemo and trying to rescue him from his captivity. It’s the sign of a good father who won’t give up and to never stop rescuing his son.

Dory the blue tang fish (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is a lovely, friendly fish who tries to help Marlin on his journey to find his son Nemo. But Dory can’t help forgetting what she remembered due to her short-term memory loss. This gets on Marlin’s nerves, especially when he tries to find his son Nemo.

But Dory still sticks with Marlin as she’s willing to help despite being forgetful. She even remembers reading from one of the sea-divers’ masks dropped in the ocean that helps them get to Sydney. I loved some of the comedic scenes with Marlin and Dory, even when they go deep down in the dark.

The main star of this movie of course is Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould). Nemo is Marlin’s only son and he’s pretty excitable about life including going to school. But on his first day at school and after falling out with his dad, Nemo gets abducted and he soon gets put inside a dentist’s aquarium.

Nemo wants to get back home to his dad and soon has some help from the other fish in the dentist’s aquarium. This means getting the aquarium tank dirty and filthy and Nemo has a vital helping hand in that. But can Nemo get back to his father in time, before he’s the pet of the little fish-killer Darla?

There are voices in this movie that I recognised from seeing in other films. There’s Gill, a Moorish idol fish (voiced by Willem Dafoe, who played the Green Goblin in the ‘Spider-Man’ films with Tobey Maquire). Gill is the leader of the tank gang in the aquarium and helps Nemo to get back to his dad.

The other members of the tank gang are as follows. There’s Bloat, the aquarium’s pufferfish (voiced by Brad Garrett). It was funny when Bloat actually bloats up and becomes like a huge rubber ball inside the aquarium. This happens when he gets either exasperated or argues with Gurgle at times.

There’s Peach, the aquarium’s starfish (voiced by Allison Janney). Peach is mostly on the glass of the aquarium tank, looking out to see what goes on in the dentist’s room and telling the others about it. I found it funny when Peach spoke on the glass and nobody can hear her when she sounds muffled.

There’s Bubbles, the aquarium’s yellow tang fish (voiced by Stephen Root). I don’t think Bubbles is an outstanding character in the tank gang. It is funny that he likes bubbles (hence his name) and he goes over to have them for himself. I found it so funny when he asked Nemo what the ocean is like.

There’s Gurgle, the aquarium’s royal gamma fish (voiced by Austin Pendleton). Gurgle is pretty hygiene sensitive and insists that Nemo gets cleaned up when he arrives in their tank gang. He doesn’t like when the tank gets filthy as part of their escape and is sceptical about Gill’s escape plan.

There’s Deb, the aquarium’s striped damselfish (voiced by Vicki Lewis). Deb is a friendly fish when Nemo meets her, but she is a little crazy since she has this imaginary sister of hers in the tank’s glass called Flo. Flo is actually Deb’s reflection, but Gill says that fish inside a tank ‘does something to you’.

And there’s Jacques, the aquarium’s cleaner shrimp (voiced by Joe Ranft). Jacques isn’t really an inspiring character in the tank gang, as he mostly cleans fish as well a clean the aquarium tank. He’s instructed not to clean the tank when the tank gang make it filthy, but it’s not easy for him at times.

I enjoyed that ceremony scene where Nemo is initiated into Gill’s tank gang and is soon later given the name ‘Shark-Bait’. I found it funny when Bloat tells Nemo to swim through ‘the ring of fire’ on the top of Mount Wannahockaloogie, but Jacques fails to turn the ‘ring of fire’ on as he is instructed.

On the journey for Marlin and Dory, they encounter three terrifying sharks led by Bruce (voiced y Barry Humphries). But Bruce isn’t the man-eating great white shark he seems to be. He’s actually a vegetarian. His group have to swear this oath saying “Fish are friends, not food!”, which I find funny.

As well as Bruce, there’s Anchor the hammerhead shark (voiced by Eric Bana who played the ‘Hulk’ in 2003) and Chum the mako shark (voiced by Bruce Spence). It was funny and tense when Bruce becomes hungry for fish after sniffing Dory’s blood and a chase ensues by Bruce on Marlin and Dory.

Marlin and Dory continue their journey when they try to find the diver’s mask in dark waters and are chased by a…scary-looking Frankenstein fish monster with a light-bulb on its head. They soon try to get directions from a school of fish (voiced by John Ratzenberger, who voiced Hamm in the ‘Toy Story’ films).

It was scary and tense when Marlin and Dory journey over a trench and not swim through it to come up against a lot of jellyfish in their way. It was funny when Marlin tries to make a race out of it for Dory to bounce on the tops of the jellyfish and not the bottoms. But it’s not easy to escape jellyfish.

After escaping the jellyfish, Marlin and Dory travel the EAC (the East Australian Current) and meet up with Crush, a green sea turtle (voiced by director Andrew Stanton). I like Crush, as he’s a groovy, easy-talking dude that’s lived for a 150 years. He also has a son named Squirt, who talks like his dad.

In the film, there’s a friendly brown pelican called Nigel (voiced by Geoffrey Rush, who stars in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies). Nigel visits the dentist’s clinic and is friends with the fish in the aquarium. He even helps Marlin and Dory when they arrive in Sydney and gets them to find Nemo.

My favourite scene in ‘Finding Nemo’ is when Nigel, with Marlin and Dory in his mouth, fly away from a pack of seagulls chasing them, saying “MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE!” Even when the seagulls pierce their beaks into the sails of a boat, still saying “MINE! MINE! MINE” was so funny.

Another character in ‘Finding Nemo’ that I like is Mr. Ray, Nemo’s schoolteacher (voiced by screenwriter Bob Peterson). Mr. Ray is a spotted eagle ray who is a joyful and loves to sing a song when he’s teaching a class. Sometimes I found his sing-song attitude taking up most of his teaching.

The film’s music score by Thomas Newman is very good in this movie. It’s not the same as Randy Newman’s music for the ‘Toy Story’ films, but it matched well with the emotional drama in the film. I enjoyed the song ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sea’ performed by Robbie Williams at the end of the film.

The DVD special features on the 2-disc collector’s edition of ‘Finding Nemo’ are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s an introduction by director Andrew Stanton and co-director Lee Unkrich on the 2-disc DVD edition of the film with executive producer John Lasseter brought in and popping in the background. There’s a visual audio commentary to enjoy with director Andrew Stanton, co-director Lee Unkrick and co-writer Bob Peterson. This commentary also includes mini behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making-of the film and some deleted scenes that were never shown in the final version of the film. There are also virtual aquariums for you to enjoy throughout the DVD menus on this disc. This can be done by going to the ‘virtual aquariums’ option on the bonus features menu or pressing the fish icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the menus. There’s also a sneak preview of the Disney/Pixar film ‘The Incredibles’ on this disc. There are also some Easter Eggs to look out for on this DVD disc.

On Disc 2, there’s an introduction by director Andrew Stanton and co-director Lee Unkrick. The bonus material includes ‘Exploring the Reef’ with Jean Michel Cousteau and the ‘Finding Nemo’ characters, Marlin, Dory and Nemo. There’s also the 1989 short Pixar film ‘Knick Knack’ that was shown before ‘Finding Nemo’ at the cinema. There’s a commentary option on this short film by writer/director/animator John Lassetter and technical director Eben Ostby. There’s also ‘Mr. Ray’s Encyclopaedia’ looking into the fish of ‘Finding Nemo’. There’s also the ‘Fisharades’ interactive game and ‘Storytime’ fun for the young. There’s also a behind-the-scenes section including the ‘Making Nemo’ documentary; design galleries; a studio tour with Nemo actor Alexander Gould; character interviews and publicity including trailers and TV spots. There are also virtual aquariums for you to enjoy throughout the DVD menus on this disc. This can be done by going to the ‘virtual aquariums’ option on the bonus features menu or pressing the fish icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the menus. There are also some Easter Eggs to look out for on this DVD disc.

For the Blu-ray edition of ‘Finding Nemo’, the additional features are as follows. There’s ‘CineExplore’; ‘Finding Nemo – A Filmmaker’s Roundtable’; ‘Reinventing the Submarine Voyage’; ‘Deleted Scene: Alternate Opening’ and ‘A Lesson in Flashbacks’.

‘Finding Nemo’ is a wonderful Disney/Pixar animated film that I enjoyed seeing at the cinema and still enjoy seeing on DVD. It’s regarded as a classic film and the story is amazing both in terms of the CGI worlds underwater with plenty of fish characters and with emotion and character development.

The story of a dad rescuing his son is timeless and I loved watching the characters of Marlin, Dory and Nemo in this movie as well as many others. I didn’t think that this film would get a sequel, since it seemed to be a standalone one-off movie that didn’t need a sequel. How wrong I was about this later.

‘Finding Nemo’ rating – 10/10

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