Thursday, June 16, 2016

Finding Nemo

So it's like An American Tail underwater? That was my first response to Pixar's Finding Nemo which stars Albert Brooks as a clown fish named Marlin who is forced out of his comfort zone when his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) is abducted by scuba divers on his first day of school. While on his journey to save his son, Marlin will meet a host of odd characters most notably Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the Pacific regal blue tang suffering from short-term memory loss, sharks who have sworn off eating fish, and a sea turtle named Crush (director Andrew Stanton). Meanwhile Nemo meets an assortment of odd fish after being placed in the fish tank of an Australian dentist's office before ultimately being reunited with his father.

Finding Nemo isn't my favorite Pixar film. While I enjoy the underwater appeal, the story is pretty basic relying on several cheap gags and body function jokes. It's not a bad movie by any means, but it lacks the depth of the Toy Story series, and I wasn't awed by the design of the world the way I am with Cars.

The movie has been released on DVD and Blu-ray several times over the years. Extras include audio commentary, a production round table, deleted scenes, outtakes, a behind-the-scenes making of the movie featurette, and several additional featurettes on the movie's art, design, use of flahbacks, and a group of featurettes on the ocean and underwater life.

Even for those like me who see flaws in the film, Finding Nemo is still an enjoyable experience. It' may be, in my opinion, a below-average Pixar film. However, that still makes it an average to above-average animated film given the talent of the Pixar team. With its sequel hitting theaters this weekend I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to renew the debate of where Finding Nemo ranks among Pixar's best.

[Walt Disney Video, $29.95]

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