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Pixar's best feature to date
kylopod15 October 2005
I have enjoyed most of the computer-animated films made so far, ranging from Pixar films like "Toy Story" and "The Incredibles" to DreamWorks films like "Shrek." But "Finding Nemo" is the one that remains unparalleled, not because of its comedy or creativity, both of which are equaled in the "Toy Story" movies and in "Monsters Inc.," but because it truly, more than any of the previous computer-animated features, reinvents the genre of the children's animated film.

Humor in traditional animation is usually based on broad slapstick and physical exaggeration. There are occasional nods to this brand of humor in "Finding Nemo," as when a flock of seagulls ram into a boat and we see their beaks crowing on the other side of the sail. But such sequences only call attention to how far this movie generally departs from old cartoon conventions. Instead, the movie invests its world of sentient animals with a surprisingly scientific texture. All of the animals are based on real species. The fish tank is constructed out of real devices. There is a strong sense of locale, as Marlin (Albert Brooks) travels across the Pacific to Australia, where even the animals speak with an Australian accent. In a scene that I'm sure Gary Larson of "Far Side" fame loved, a pelican discusses with a group of fish the intricate details of dentistry. The fact that the animals talk and understand what's going on is treated as though it were a natural feature of the world. The realism is so striking that by the end of the film, you'll almost believe it possible for fish to plot an escape from a tank.

Far from making the film pedantic, this approach results in an intelligent but still entertaining picture. Most of the humor is based on parodies of human behavior: repentant sharks start a club that's like Alcoholics Anonymous, a school of fish act like obnoxious DJs while forming themselves into spectacular patterns, and a four-year-old girl behaves like most kids that age, oblivious and destructive. The manner in which Marlin finds his way to his son is so inventive that we can forgive the film for the number of coincidences involved.

The story employs the same basic formula used in "Toy Story," in which two characters, one uptight and the other clueless, are thrown together as they're forced to journey through a world populated by creatures that are a lot more knowing than the humans realize. This movie, however, creates a unique character in Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a fish with short-term memory loss. To give a cartoon character a real human disorder is risky, to say the least, and I'm glad the filmmakers didn't lose the nerve to include this ingenious device, which not only generates some of the film's biggest laughs, but reinforces the character interaction that is so central to the story. This is in fact the only Pixar film to feature true character development. In the course of his voyage, Marlin learns to be more adventurous, getting parenting tips from a surfer-dude turtle voiced by the film's director Andrew Stanton, while his son Nemo learns to be self-reliant.

Of course, none of the sharks, jellyfish, whales, gulls, pelicans, lobsters, and humans that Marlin encounters along the way really mean any harm. They're just doing what they do. As Nigel the Pelican tells Nemo at one point, "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat." That's perhaps the film's most interesting insight, that there are no true villains, just creatures that act according to their nature, and a few that transcend it.
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Yes, it's THAT good !!
Coventry10 December 2003
I'll be totally honest and confirm to you that everything what they say about this movie is true. It's a brilliantly animated masterpiece with lots of humor that actually works and a plot that really brings tears to your eyes from time to time. The modern artists of Pixar never cease to amaze the audience in expanding their horizons. Finding Nemo is visually stunning and you can have nothing but respect for the people who created it.

I was more or less skeptic about watching it, because it was so overhyped ! Two days before it got released in my country, the TV and press loudly announced that the DVD broke all records in the USA during its first release-day. That's usually a sign of being typically mainstream and fake...but Finding Nemo is not. I'm allergic to fake sentiment and pathetic feel-good movies but I was really touched by this one. The moral and valuable life lessons are always present, but they're not shoved down your throat or thrown in your face all the time. This movie really relativates itself and that's important for a good comedy. And it's hilarious !!! Every side character in Finding Nemo (and there are a LOT of them) is exceptional and worth a mention. And the voices are cast perfectly as the voice of Willem Dafoe for Gill, for example...a perfect choice. The character of Dory ( speaks through the voice of Ellen DeGeneres ) steals the show. She's an adorable blue fish who suffers from amnesia. She forgets what she's doing or going to every five minutes and that really leads to hilarious situations.

Movies like this aren't just being made for children exclusive... They're good for everyone to realize you have to entertain yourself from time to time and just to enjoy the little things in life. I recommend this to everyone in the world. No matter if you're 9 or 99 years old, Finding Nemo will bring a smile on your face and leave behind a warm feeling in your heart.
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quite a catch
nadger_0912 August 2003
Pixar Studios have done it again. I have to say that these guys are totally good in computer animation, as well as in storytelling. Rarely do those qualities come together but here they are, delivering unto the audience once again something that one can only be drowned with wonder. Such is the marvel of Finding Nemo.

The story is about Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould), a young clownfish who is fed up with his dad Marlin's (Albert Brooks) excessive paranoia over him. He swims to a place where his dad forbids him and ends up being captured by a scuba diver. He is then placed in a fish tank in a dental clinic somewhere along the harbors of Sydney. Thus the quest of Marlin, along with Dory (a hilarious forgetful blue tang voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) to find Nemo before it's too late.

The story is a simple one but where the film more than makes up is on the overwhelming sense of detail and rich, lavish colors and textures as if we aren't really watching an animated film at all. Scenes such as Marlin bringing Nemo to school while swimming through corals and anemones, to the aquarium where Nemo was taken to, are nothing short of breathtaking, and undoubtedbly one of the most outstanding animation ever to hit the screen.

The world of "Finding Nemo" is simply alive with lovable creatures swimming about their daily lives under the ocean, darting across the screen in playful manners. The viewer almost literally dives into another world for nearly two hours and one cannot help but be completely captivated.

The music and screenplay also blend very well with the visual feast that it produces such a high quality movie. From its basic storyline, to the father-and-son relationship theme, to the wonderful underwater world throughout, this is really an adventure through an ocean of stunning visuals and storytelling.

Grade: A
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Swimming with Sharks is a Whale of a Time
PizzicatoFishCrouch20 March 2006
Marlin, a nervous and neurotic clownfish is heavily overprotective of his son Nemo, who only wants to explore the sea in its entirety. When Nemo gets caught by a scuba diver and taken away, it is up to Marlin to swallow his own fears and find Nemo. The ensuing search and rescue organized by the him is a mass effort by swimming and flying creatures of all sizes and personalities, such as a threesome of vegetarian sharks, a fish with short term memory and an aged turtle, all helping him realise the error of his ways in restricting himself to just his home.

As charming as it is beautiful, Finding Nemo is a joy, both visually and cinematically. The characters are all so appealing and sweet that you want to hug each and every one of them, Nemo and Dory in particular. But the film transcends above just a generic animated film, for there are lessons to be learnt by it too. The film often tells a children's tale from an adult's point of view, with risky situations and emotional soul-searching putting stress on a disjointed family.

The sea is brought to us in such a memorable and unique way that there is brilliance and beauty in every frame. The animation is of all time high for Pixar, and the sound mixing and editing are also to be credited, as they capture the heart of the sea creditably. But perhaps the best thing about the film is the musical score by Thomas Newman. He creates the essence of the sea, as well as the emotions felt by the fish throughout. Note the masterwork that occurs as an upbeat, jovial number quickly escalates into something darker in a matter of minutes. In short, the music is superb.

The voice cast are capable and cannily chosen, from young Alexander Gould as the naïve Nemo, as well as Albert Brooks as the bumbling Marlin. But the star of the show is Ellen DeGeneres as Dory. As the forgetful but caring fish, she is sweet and soulful, and provides much of the comedy of the film. But the humour is also provided by the great script, which delivers a potentially dull story with wit and soul, and shies away from the sentimentality that could so easily arise of a Disney film. And the jokes, what jokes – from satire, spoof and slapstick, they'll be a one-liner for everybody here.

Gorgeous to look at and utterly adorable, Finding Nemo sets the standard for how animated movies should being terms of entertainment value as well as story and themes – ending with the touching, thought-provoking message of how too much protectiveness on the parent's side will repel, but, no matter how independent a child (or fish) believes themselves to be, they'll always need their parents.
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amazing visuals
Roland E. Zwick28 November 2003
Has there ever been a better-looking feature-length animated film than `Finding Nemo'? We doubt it. With its shimmering underwater landscapes - be they in the vast immensity of a limitless ocean or the cramped confines of a dentist office aquarium - the film sports a look unlike anything we have ever seen before. The fish tank setting, in particular, is a veritable wonderland of eye-popping, many-hued visual splendor.

Although the script by Andrew Stanton doesn't scale the comedic heights of, say, `Aladdin,' `Shrek' or `Toy Story 2,' it still sparkles with enough wit and inventiveness to entrance youngsters and beguile the grownups who will be joining them in their viewing. I hasten to point out that the screenplay is blessedly free of all the double entendres and off-color humor that have blighted so much alleged `kiddie' fare in recent years. This is a film on e can watch with one's children and grandchildren and not once have to blush or turn away in embarrassment while doing so. Creators of children's films please take note (and take note, too, of its phenomenal box office take).

Like many tales designed for the junior set (`Dumbo,' `Bambi' etc.), `Finding Nemo' taps into the fear all children have of being separated from their parents - and the concomitant fear all parents have of being separated from their children. It is upon this common ground that members of both generations will meet in their emotional response to this film. In this case, it is little Nemo, an adorable clownfish, who is plucked out of the ocean and plunked down into the saltwater aquarium of a dentist in Sydney, Australia. The subject of the film's title is Marlin, Nemo's overprotective, worrywart dad who swims his way towards the continent to find and rescue his little tyke. Along the way, this Nervous Nellie parent learns a little something about giving his son the freedom a boy needs to grow up and become a man, and Nemo, himself, learns a thing or two about just what kind of a fish his dad really is.

Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres are brilliant as Marlin and Dory, respectively, the latter a befuddled, daffy and utterly good-natured fish who helps Marlin in his epic quest not only for his lost son but his own definition of filial love. Those familiar with these two fine comedic talents in their live-action performances will actually be able to see many of their distinctive inflections and facial expressions reflected in the animated characters they are portraying.

As directed by Stanton and Lee Unkrich, and executed by an army of wonder-working animators and technicians, `Finding Nemo' takes PIXAR technology to its ultimate, final level of perfection - till the studio's next release, that is.
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Another Disney/Pixar Classic
mjw230522 January 2005
Those guys and girls at Disney/Pixar have done it again, they've created the perfect underwater world, full of fascinating Disney characters.

A truly enchanting story of a father (Marlon) who loses his son (Nemo), and with help of his new found friend (Dory) ventures out into the ocean to try to find him. On this epic voyage he gets to battle sharks, surf with some turtle dudes, dice with some jellyfish and survive an encounter in a whales stomach.

All the characters are vibrant with Disney charm, but my favourite is Dory, the comic relief, probably one of the funniest Disney characters ever written and superbly voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, pure genius.

All in all this is another success for Disney and Pixar, It brings out the child in all of us.

Solid family fun 8/10
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"Finding" A Flight odf Fancy
lhseaglerunner5 June 2003
Remember back when you were know, back when tall to you was about as high as a mailbox? In those days, Disney animated films (e.g. `Lion King' and `Beauty and the Beast') were some of the coolest things out there and were movies to watch over and over (much to your parents' chagrin). Now, animated movies aren't exactly the `coolest' things to see, but an exception can be made for the uber-hip Pixar movies, the most recent of which being `Finding Nemo'.

After losing all but one of his brood, Marlin (Albert Brooks) an over-protective clown fish that strangely lacks a sense of humor, has resolved to protect his one (slightly disabled) `child' remaining, Nemo (Alexander Gould). But disaster strikes as Nemo is taken by a Sydney dentist and plopped into a fish tank where he is comforted by a host of other captive fish (William Dafoe, Vicki Lewis, Allison Janney, et al). But back in the big ocean Down Under, Marlin has resolved to search out his one remaining progeny.

Along the way on his quest, Marlin acquires a tag-along `friend', Dory (Ellen DeGeneres)-a fish with, well, the memory capacity of a fish. The two must surmount hurdles like a group of sharks (Eric Bana, Barry Humphries and Bruce Spence) that have (mostly) sworn off eating other fish, a nasty swarm of jellyfish, a bird-brained flock of seagulls, and others.

This is the bridge! Well, in a way. Back when I was younger, one of my favorite films was `The Incredible Mr. Limpet', which, for the uninitiated, combined live-action with under-the-sea fish animation. What Pixar has done here was bring back that film to my mind and start me thinking, because they have created a wondrous undersea environment (with `normal-looking' fish instead of 1960s animated fish).

My favorite feature in this movie chock-full of sweet treats must be the sharks. I have always been partial to the shark family, but what has been done in creating three humorous sharks (what a movie concept), just sent paroxysms of laughter through me. Another thing that (mostly) works is Ellen DeGeneres' fish (character?) that provides a fairly constant source of laughter with her antics (although a couple gags do wear on the viewer with time). On the whole though, there is not a single bit of shoddy voice-acting or animation in it.

Compared to `Monsters Inc.', `Finding Nemo' is something of a revival for Pixar. I like how they have stepped up their efforts to make an altogether pleasing film without any big flaws. The thing that I did not like with `Monsters' was the inclusion of a single key (but EXTREMELY annoying) character. Director Andrew Stanton has done an excellent job at making the film work and be (basically) non-annoying to most of the general public (and this critic).

I suppose life has come full circle-now that I am (relatively) old as a high school graduate, animation is cool again, thanks to high-powered computers, at any rate. `Finding Nemo' is one heckuva movie and a good one to take anyone you know to, trust me on this-nine out of ten.
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Who said fish are boring?
Boba_Fett113811 January 2004
"Finding Nemo" is a wonderful animated adventure movie that simply is irresistible for young as well as older persons.

The most excellent thing about "Finding Nemo" is the perfect timing, just like in "Monsters, Inc" the jokes are extremely well placed in a quick pace and are good for more then just a few laughs.

There are some very fun and great characters which brings me to the only problem I have with this movie. There are too many minor characters, I would have really loved to see some of the characters getting a bigger role with some more importance to the story instead of meeting character after character that are only on screen for no more than 5 minutes (such as the sharks). Sure it's good for the sense of adventure but it leaves some missed opportunities to make the story even more fun.

I think it's pretty obvious that the story is inspired on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy since it uses lot's of elements from it and it has the some feeling of adventure and excitement so it's really not a big thing that the story isn't very original, the original and fun way the story is told in compensates for this.

The voice cast as in many animated movies is impressive but the one that stood out was Ellen DeGeneres as Dory that you love to hate.

Irresistible movie for the whole family with great jokes and lines and some memorable characters and situations.

Mine, mine, mine!

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Pixar Remains the Best Family Film Industry Out There Today...
MovieAddict201628 July 2003
Pixar Animation Studios has a very good knack for making thoughtful, intelligent and humorous family films (note that I didn't say kid films). "Toy Story" 1 & 2 and "Monsters, Inc." are some of my favorite family films; "Finding Nemo" isn't one of my favorites, but it isn't disappointing like "A Bug's Life," and it is thoughtful, intelligent, humorous and incredibly watchable, just like the other Pixar films.

As always, Pixar takes a world of something and completely builds their story around it. In "Toy Story" they gave life to toys and created the world through their eyes. In "Monsters, Inc.," they showed us the monster world. In my review on "A Bug's Life," I said that the reason the film didn't work very much is because it was about bugs, and not about something mystical like toys or monsters that bring back childhood memories. Well, I guess I was sorta wrong, because "Finding Nemo" is all about fish, nothing too mystical about fish, and I still loved it.

This tale takes place underwater with the fish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), whose spouse and baby fish eggs get eaten by a vicious shark in the beginning. All but one egg which Marlin names Nemo.

Years later Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould, Elliot's son?) is a bit older, and heading off to fish school for the first time. But haunted by the fact that his spouse and offspring were all killed years ago, Marlin is extremely over-protective of his one remaining family member. Nemo, sick of being treated like a baby, proves how brave he is by swimming near a fishing boat, only to be captured by a scuba-diving dentist. And so Marlin heads off to find Nemo, with the help of his newfound companion Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), who has short-term memory loss and forgets things sooner than she can carry whatever she is doing out. (Like when she is showing Marlin the way towards a fishing boat and suddenly forgets why Marlin is following her.)

Pixar doesn't let down the audience on this film. There are a few things that one can always expect from Pixar films: They can expect something (such as toys) to be given their own world. They can expect that world to be given careful attention to detail. And they can expect humor.

"Finding Nemo" gives fish their own world, and the underwater realm they live in is paid careful attention, painstakingly captured on film with computer graphics. And the humor is always there. All the characters are funny. I especially like the sequences from the inside of a fish tank in the dentist's office, with a bunch of fish including Gill (Willem Dafoe's vocal talents), who constantly tries to escape. By doing so, Gill has suffered major injuries, including landing on the dentist's tools and getting sliced up. This is, of course, a parody of escaping POWs. The fact that Willem Dafoe was in the great war movie "Platoon" might have something to do with that.

This is taken from my "Monsters, Inc." review: "Pixar once again not only expands our mind, but our very worlds. I respect their company and commitment values very much, as you can read in my 'Toy Story' review. They stick to the values that made Disney films so family-friendly back in the fifties and sixties: Respect for the audience, respect for quality, and respect for the audience's INTELLIGENCE, something Disney, who has recently coughed up a bunch of lousy, thoughtless sequels, has forgotten. Now, I know that LEGALLY Disney is co-creator of 'Toy Story' and 'Monsters, Inc.,' but they really are not. They just give Pixar the money and get their name branded on the front box of the film. And even then, I have heard multiple claims that Disney is very mean-spirited towards Pixar (read into sequel trouble for 'Toy Story 3') and gives them the bare minimum.

With "Finding Nemo," I still stick towards what I said. Pixar Animation Studios is probably the best family film company out there right now, I really hope they separate from Disney some day and form their own production company. They know what interests both kids and adults, and it's almost creepy how they can make their films so engaging and fun to watch. This is one to take the kids to, and afterwards, maybe even sneak back into again by yourself.
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Pixar goes to the fishes
soymilk26 February 2004
This is a good film but overrated. There, I said it.

This was just too reminiscent of when 'Shrek' first hit the screens, in 2001 – the 3D animation everyone was going gaga over, repeatedly hailing as the greatest animated movie ever, and yet didn't really impress me all that much. Seemingly, I was the only person on the planet to feel that way. I didn't really 'get' 'Shrek', don't especially 'get' it even now, and for some reason I didn't quite manage to 'get' 'Finding Nemo' either, the next 3D film to get the 'greatest animated movie' ever proclamation, in spite of the fact that I was really, really determined to kick off my socks and enjoy this one. Well, it's cute and it's colourful, and the idea of a father clownfish (named Marlin) trekking the ocean to be reunited with his missing son (named, oddly enough, Nemo) is a nice one for sure, but there was just something about it which left me feeling strangely unsatisfied. All in all it's a worthy venture for the Pixar cabinet, visually gorgeous and with a handful of effective moments, but seriously, they have done better.

The main problem comes in the story structure, which is too rambling and disjointed to do it for me. I actually agree with another viewer who commented that it felt more like that of a multi-levelled video game than a movie. All it really involves is Marlin swimming along and avoiding getting chomped by dangerous sea-dwelling predator after sea-dwelling predator. We meet plenty of interesting characters along the way, but the nature of the story means that they're removed from the action within minutes. For example, the trio of sinister but slow-witted sharks struggling to go veggie, who have a lot less screen time than the promotional posters and trailers might imply and are never given the chance to amount to much more than a few time-filling wisecracks. Nigel the pelican, in spite of Geoffrey Rush's spunky voicing, is a mostly bland character whose motives for befriending and assisting the fish are left conveniently unspoken (after all, naturally he's another sea-dwelling predator himself), and I found the surfer turtles just a tad annoying (particularly the young ones – call me heartless, but bleh!).

Another pretty nagging drawback is that neither protagonist, be it Marlin or Nemo, is nearly as sympathetic as past Pixar creations like Woody or Sulley. Marlin is too whiny to be truly likable, and Nemo doesn't really get the great deal of development you'd usually expect in a title character. The script is notably also less sharp than previous Pixar instalments. There was one scene in the dentist's waiting room which had me in stitches, but that was about it. It's mostly just movie in-jokes for most of the time. While in 'Toy Story' the various nods to other movies were little more than subtle extras for the sharp-eyed viewer to enjoy alongside a script brimming with plenty of witty gags of its own, they're pretty much integral to this screenplay. 'Finding Nemo' suffers from the same 'self-indulgent movie spoof' syndrome that you can find in most 3D animation from the Dreamworks stable, with a slew of constant parodies (that most of us have already seen at some point in 'the Simpsons') substituting for real humour. Usually, Pixar are always one step ahead of their rivals in this respect, but this time round even they were unable to resist succumbing to it.

There are certain aspects of 'Finding Nemo' that I liked. For example, Dory, the regal blue tang who trails Marlin insistently on his travels – technically she's as 2D as everyone else in this flick, her whole character consisting of little more than the one-joke comedy gimmick that she suffers from short term memory loss and can never remember quite what she's doing. There's so much potential here to be annoying, but somehow she manages to pull through and, against the odds, prove a surprisingly charming character throughout. Perhaps it comes down to Ellen DeGenere's brilliant voice work. Also, I like it that the standard comic relief sidekick can finally be female, and that Marlin and Dory manage to maintain an entirely platonic relationship throughout (no token love interests here).

But the most interesting character by far is William Dafoe's hard-bitten Moorish idol, Gill – he's given some hints of a personal history, yet it goes curiously understated throughout. Many of the 'Tank Gang' sequences seem pretty out of place (what does the welcome ritual have to add to the story, other than establishing the existence of that bubble volcano?), but nonetheless, some of the dialogue exchanged between Gill and Nemo is quite nice and add a sprinkling of depth to a film which I otherwise found to be just a little too…hollow?

Plus, the sight of an angler fish caught up in a pair of diving goggles is unexpectedly alluring - still, the poor, poor creature ;)

'Finding Nemo' isn't a bad film by any means. In fact, it's pretty darn good. But Pixar have made other movies which, ironically, could blow this clean out of the water. In short, it's sweet and pleasant but – there's that word again - overrated.

Grade: B
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Sorry Pixar... Sigh
AMIO-PatricioMunoz4 September 2003
3D Animation Quality: Beautiful 5/5 (truly spectacular)

Story: Meh! Lacks creativity 1/5 (Find a better script next time)

My 2-Cents:

Disney and Pixar are an amazing team. Pixar has put together some really nice films that will go down in history for their impact in the animation industry. There is no question that this film was an excellent a crowd drawer and everything Disney and the industry needed at this time.

I love Pixar and their contributions to contemporary cinema. The film however was a great disappointment to me. One of the things I have grown to enjoy when watching a Pixar Film is their shorts before the actual movie begins. They showed their classic short, "Knick Knack" which was produced in way back in 1989. I was hoping to see a new short. I loved "Geri's Game" and "For the Birds".

My biggest beef was not about that. It involved the story itself. Toy Story 1 & 2 was written to appeal to both young and older audiences. Finding Nemo seemed to have it's target directly on the kids. There's nothing terribly wrong w/ that, it's just the story was too simple. It seemed like the movie was jammed full of FILLER just to lengthen the movie. We could have done without the sharks, for example. Their role in the film was simply to extend it by a couple of minutes.

The novelty of 3D animation is gone. It's not the 1990's anymore. People are familiar with complex 3D animation. It's everywhere we look. Pixar cannot rely on drawing an audience simply because the film is a 3D animation. Remember how poorly Final Fantasy did? The film had great animation with incredibly realistic human characters. Square One did an amazing job on the animation that just blew me away. But the story was not appealing to the mass audience. So, where are they now? The movie BOMBED and the company literally went bankrupt.

Pixar should remember one thing. Parents have to sit through the film too. Just spend a little more time on the script for your next movie.

You haven't lost a loyal viewer in me, however. I have a lot of faith in John Lasseter's team. I expect great things from the Pixar and Disney in the near future!
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Thoroughly enjoyable, but the sum does not equal the parts.
saska-32 June 2003
Fresh off a viewing in a packed theater of kids and parents, my initial impression of "Finding Nemo" was that I had a great time throughout, but don't necessarily remember why. The film is similar to the "Toy Story" pacing, in that we follow two different protagonists in their attempt to return to one another. In brief summary, Marlin the overprotective father clownfish must overcome his own fear of open ocean to try and find his only son, Nemo, who has been captured by a diver and transplanted to an ocean-view dentist's office fish tank.

The visual impact of "Finding Nemo" is unparalleled in animated film. At its best, it compares to the experience of seeing the sweeping landscapes of "Fellowship of the Ring" for the first time - not until we own the DVD and my son has watched it a dozen times will I really have an opportunity to see the details crammed into the lush backgrounds of the coral reefs. It was noticeable, however, that frequent close-ups in open water were used to reduce the amount of time spent rendering those brilliant backgrounds. In comparison to Pixar films like "A Bug's Life", where every moment of the film includes rich textures and detailed background perspective, this seemed jarring at times. It should be noted that this is true to what the ocean looks like - if you're not diving in a coral reef, you are probably seeing a lot of floating detritus and gray water - but it's worth mentioning that the fish tank environment of Nemo and his fellow captives is, at times, more interesting than the open ocean.

Pixar took chances (or else saved money) with many of the voice actors used in the film. It was refreshing not to instantly "know" a voice was familiar in the case of many of the characters - all of them did a serviceable job, although the well-known actors also turned in some of the best performances. Ellen DeGeneres had no fear as the voice of Dory, gleefully pulling off vocal pratfalls that would have been hampered by someone else's sense of dignity. I can think of only one other actress - Julia Louis-Dreyfuss - who I think would have been able to do Dory well. Kudos to Ellen. Willem Dafoe is also noticeably brilliant as Gill, and it's a bonus that the animated character he plays is gorgeously realized. John Ratzenberger does a hysterical turn as the school of fish we all saw in the previews.

I am surprised at the number of characters whose voices are not credited in this film. I wanted to know, among others, who voiced Mr. Ray the schoolteacher and the trio of parents with whom Marlin banters.

I laughed out loud frequently and heartily throughout the film, but at the end, I looked back and wondered how those moments of amusement added to the story. Many people have commented that they loved the 12-step program for sharks ("Fish are our friends, not food!") but in the final analysis, it added very little to the arc and seemed out of character (I realize I'm stating the obvious). The frequently-dropped comedic digressions were the weak point in this picture, especially compared to "A Bug's Life", where the funniest moments of the film are all critical to the progress of the protagonist and impact the end of the story.

My 2 and a half year old son was frequently frightened to the point of crying out and grabbing on to me during the movie, and he followed the primary issues easily. At a particular moment in the film when things seemed hopeless, I heard dozens of young children beginning to cry. If your child is very affected by scary or dramatic moments in movies, you may want to talk with them about "pretend" versus "real" and prepare them for the eventuality that everything will turn out all right well before you go into the theater. His final analysis was that "the fish movie was good!" - so take it under advisement if you have kids of similar age.

I give "Finding Nemo" an 8 out of 10 on the strength of its visual lushness, its enjoyable voice work, and its moments of perfectly timed humor. It does not, in my opinion, match the strength as a *film* of earlier Pixar offerings, but even in its innocuous state, it's higher quality than most of the family films I've seen in the past 3 years.
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Excellent viewing
Modjo4u22 August 2005
I loved this film, loved everything about it, it's colourful and entertaining and funny and sad and everything else you could wish for in an animated film. I myself am a collector of banned films, video nasties, so bad they're good films, gore-a-plenty etc etc, but I have watched Finding Nemo more than any other film I own. And I can TOTALLY relate to Dory :oD

I loved this film, loved everything about it, it's colourful and entertaining and funny and sad and everything else you could wish for in an animated film. I myself am a collector of banned films, video nasties, so bad they're good films, gore-a-plenty etc etc, but I have watched Finding Nemo more than any other film I own. And I can TOTALLY relate to Dory :oD
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The now-traditional mix of adult wit and kiddie laughs – although less sharp than usual (but still very funny)
bob the moo30 September 2003
Scarred by the loss of his wife and eggs, Marlin has over sheltered his only child, Nemo. However when Nemo's first day at school comes about, that mothering leads Nemo to swim out to the open ocean where he is caught by a scuba diver and be put in a fish tank far away. Enlisting help from the forgetful Dory, Marlin tracks the boat and his ocean adventure begins.

Now as much as a tradition as national holidays, the latest Pixar animation arrives in the UK on a wave (d'oh!) of hype and marketing. Officially the biggest summer film in the US and all over buses and Happy Meals (which seems a little perverse when you think about it) it is hard not to want to see it or prevent your kids from demanding they see it. Happily the well establish benchmark of being kiddie friendly but fun for adults is maintained and the film does exactly what you know it will. The plot is a little like Toy Story's quest but is fleshed out enough to be interesting and the themes of `letting go' and loss are actually quite well handled and will speak more to adults than kids.

The slight problem with the film is that is does do just what you expect and the `animated film with adult wit and kiddie characters' stuff is hardly cutting edge anymore. However this is a picky flaw as it is still very good fun. It may not be the strongest of this genre, indeed some bits flag and the sentimental core, while a break from cruel humour or sarcasm, does then to slow things down a bit at times.

The adult references are all good but not as frequent as I'd have liked – they seem to be separate from the main flow where I wanted them integral with all of it. Clever homage's to Jaws (Bruce was the pet name of the rubber shark) and The Birds are distracting and make you feel good about yourself, and the banter is mostly witty if lacking a real sharpness at times.

The voice cast are all good are quite an all star bunch. Brooks does a workmanlike job in the lead – it must be said I didn't think he distinguished himself but then he did have to carry the moral weight of the film. DeGeneres is much better and her dippy character is a delight at times. The support cast is not as deep and fun as in other films – Janney and Dafoe are both fun in the tank (as are all the tank characters) it's just that none of them are really consistent. My favourite characters were the one word seagulls – `mine?'

Overall I have been unfair to this film in my review. If I saw this in isolation I would be praising it to the roof, however using the others as a benchmark this does have a few weaknesses that show signs of wear and tear in the genre. Not to cancel everything I have said, these weaknesses are all things that I realised after I had watched it – while I was watching it I was too busy laughing! Biggest downside for me though – no comedy outtakes, booooooo!
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Just keep swimming...
moviemanMA10 July 2005
Can Pixar and Disney miss with a film? Both Toy Story's, A Bugs Life, Monster's Inc., Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. These movies are instant classics.

The movie in focus is Finding Nemo, a story of a clown fish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), trying to find his son Nemo who was taken away by scuba divers. With the help of a fish named Dory (Ellen Degeneres)Marlin bumps into on his journey, they set out on finding Nemo. The only problem is that Dory suffers from short-term memory loss. She can't remember anything except her name. It's sad but brings a lot of comedy to the movie.

Along the way they meet some priceless characters like Crush (voiced by writer/director Andrew Stanton), the thrill seeking sea turtle. They also encounter a trio of friendly sharks, Bruce, Anchor, and Chum. They have sworn to never eat a fish again. They also run into some potentially deadly situations with an ugly deep sea fish, also a huge swarm of jellyfish, and a whale. Marlin and Dory must tough it out and make it to find Nemo.

Meanwhile, Nemo is now the new addition to an Australian dentist's office aquarium. There he meets some interesting characters. Peach the starfish, Bloat the blowfish, and more sea dwellers. There Nemo tries to fit in, becoming a member of the tank named "Shark Bait". He tries to help out Gill (William Defoe) with his plan to escape from the tank and get everyone out. Nemo must come through in order to see his father ever again. A local pelican named Nigel (Geoffrey Rush) also tries to help out in the escape. Word has spread around the world of Marlin's trip to find his son, reaching Nigel.

FInding Nemo is an instant classic. With great lines and unforgettable characters, this movie is a delight. The animation itself is remarkable. It's as though the fish are really swimming. You can even see particles floating in the water. Light shines through and currents make the fish and surrounding react. The animators have done their homework for this picture.

This movie is quite an experience. It is a film the whole family can enjoy for years to come. It is a timeless adventure that people can enjoy. Don't let this film drift out to sea...
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Finding Nemo
spikes_and_stripes56019 January 2004
Never, and I mean, never, in my entire life, has a movie effect me the same way Finding Nemo did. It's the best movie I've EVER seen, and I know I say that about alot movie, but I actually mean it this time. Never, did I ever come out of a theater after seeing a movie smile for the rest of the night. The movie just completely blew me away. I knew it was going to be good, but I had no clue what was in store for me when I saw it opening night. This movie is a work of pure genius. The animation is just beautiful, acting is awesome, the music fit everything that was going on. I could go on and on with this list, but I think I'll stop there. What I liked mostly about this movie was that it didn't lack anything at all. There was just the right amount of comedy, drama, suspense/action, and even romance. And it all blended together beautifully. This is why I gave this movie a full 10. Believe, me if I could give it more, I would.
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Pixar's best movie.
RightWingGuy8 March 2006
I didn't see this movie until it came out on DVD. My family and I don't go to the movies very often, mostly because there's hardly anything worth seeing.

But this movie was absolutely flawless. The voice cast was super. The voice of Nemo is Alexander Gould, who is 11 years old now. I saw his picture, and I really like his smile.

"Finding Nemo" is a classic. It'a among my favorite movies, and is a movie everyone should see. Unlike about 96% of movies, this movie is Rated "G", and can be viewed by children. There might be a few moments when it gets "scary," but they soon turn into comedy.

Watch "Finding Nemo" and I think you'll be a happier person by the end of the movie!

My Score: 10/10.
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tedg13 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Steve Jobs drags us all into higher awareness. He does so by grabbing our attention by conventional means but does his real work subliminally.

In the computer world, what we see is a coherent, accessible approach with appealing style. In the movie world we see the same, except the art of excellent character development and storytelling is substituted for sheer functionality and ease of creativity. In both, we all are pulled by this tractor into a more refined space.

And space is what it is all about, in particular a notion of location in space coupled with a higher degree of freedom within that space.

This has been a concern of intelligent filmmakers all along. Griffith merged the theatrical space with grand vistas of mass movement and did so from a spot no human would normally have. Welles and Kurosawa played with this, the first by working with architecture, the other by flattening in deep focus. But until the eighties we always had to deal with the reality of the ground -- and the horizon.

The real appeal of "Star Wars" wasn't the cowboy story or guns, nor the pseudo-religious trappings, though we all thought it was. It was the freedom from that hard bottom, the Earth which we interact with in as consistently as breath and blood. "Star Wars" -- and "2001" before -- gave a thrill because our visual vocabulary was now expanded spatially rather than ALWAYS being referenced to the floor.

Pixar's work has always been cognizant of this new frontier even when owned by Lucas. Under Jobs, every film has become more and more dimensional until now. We don't honk around with the camera as much as I would like, but we do set a new standard for interacting space. Naturally, all else is well crafted but serves this notion of space ? especially the fishtank business.

Ted?s Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
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beautiful but....
doo347713 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
has there ever been a more stunningly beautiful animated film? I don't think so. has any animated film ever had such detail? probably not. but it simply isn't worth sitting through the hour and half view time of this depressingly slow movie just for the visual dynamics. I have the sneaking suspicion that the animators at pixar had the visual concept LONG before a storyline and had to make one up on the fly. the beginning is so sad and miserable that the ending feels utterly anti-climatic. never have I seen such a gorgeously animated children's film that left me feeling so hopeless and sad. in short if you want realism and breathtaking detail. watch some nature shows on discovery channel in HD. and if,like me. you want to be entertained stick with Monster's Inc or Ice Age
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It's alright but just didn't seem all that special
KineticSeoul8 December 2012
I remember the first time I saw this Pixar movie when it first came out when I was in elementary school. I thought it was alright back then but nothing special. And didn't have the impact on me during my childhood like the movie "Lion King" or the first "Toy Story" did. Didn't think it was a bad film back then but wasn't enthusiastic about it to the point I wanted to see it a second time. Now seeing it again as an adult in 3D my opinions about this movie is still about the same but I appreciate it a bit more. So the story is about a Clown fish that loses his only son and he goes across the ocean with a friend fish named Dory played by Ellen DeGeneres. Who did a amazing job with her role, in fact her character stood out the most in the whole movie. And through the journey it shows what Nemo is going through after being captured by the humans but mostly shows Nemo's dad's journey with clever fish scenarios thrown in different areas. And the clever scenarios mixed in with different fishes is what drives this movie. Overall it was a alright movie and you can tell quite a bit of effort has been thrown into this animated flick. But it didn't really have that impact to make it all that memorable.

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The little fish movie that could.
vip_ebriega23 October 2008
My Take: Simply magical, down to the last computer-animated detail.

I was at least 13 or 14 years old when this came out, and only now am I reviewing it. But that can't stop me, I have to lay out my sentiments for this clever and occasionally brilliant animated achievement. Not only is it the best, so far, in Pixar's portfolio of animated films, it's one of the very best animated films ever made, period. FINDING NEMO is a well-told fairy tale adventure, but a well-told story is only a bonus compared to the film's awesome look and feel. The movie is visually stunning, with images that flow like living paintings, some of which almost but leaps out the screen. The movie is beautifully crafted, and sometimes, I almost didn't care about anything else. Almost.

On the contrary, the story is quite simple. After a tragedy introduced in the opening scenes, Marlin the clown fish (voiced by Albert Brooks) becomes too over-protective of his last son Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould). Every move he makes is always under the watchful eye of his over-protective father, who couldn't afford to lose him. To prove that he can walk with his own two feet (or is that swim with his own fins?), Nemo approached an anchored divers boat and is abducted by two curious divers and taken far off the Great Barrier Reef. Marlin, guilty for his loss, is determined to find his son, captured by a dentist and placed inside a too-small-for-a-fish aquarium in the dentist's clinic. Along his side is a joyous yet forgetful fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) who gives a helping fin a long the way, whatever she can remember.

This is quite an adventure too. Not only are we introduced to a closer-than-life-like reef, we are also introduced with a clever and elaborate band of characters, including a trio of sharks who swore their lives to be vegetarians (until the call of the wild kicks in), a couple of surfer-dude turtles, a charade-playing school of fish and many other wonders. The animation here is, by far, the most brilliant ones I have ever seen. A colorful and life-filled reef, a forest of jellyfish and a crystal-clear aquarium filled of plastic ornaments have never looked more pristine in this lavish and elaborate adventure. But other than its brilliant design which is considerable enough to recommend the picture, the film is not without a good story, and it is told well. The characters have a great deal of features and characteristics. This is most evident on the character of Dory, who not only has the showmanship of the voice who dubbed her, but also the delight we expect from a true family film.

If the story may not apply to you, or you might find it cliché, then FINDING NEMO will still do as a brilliant eye-candy, with one of the best sights I have ever seen in an animated film then and now. Sometimes, sitting in front of a theater or even the small screen and just let the elaborate visuals flow right through you is more than enough to see a movie. Sometimes it's a movie like this one that reminds you the fun that going to movies are.

Rating: ***** out of 5.
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Overrated, But Still A Good Movie
bookmanjunior13 September 2006
"Finding Nemo" is obviously a good movie. But, like many Pixar films, it's overrated. It seems they give more attention to CGI movies than older animated classics like "The Lion King" and "Beauty And The Beast", that deserve to be in the Top 250 instead of this kind of film. There are good Pixar films, like "Cars" and "The Incredibles", but I don't think that it deserves to rank the 2nd best Disney film ever behind only The Incredibles. Now, they also leave out "Pinocchio", "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs", "Dumbo", "Bambi", and other classics created during Disney's life. This is a very good movie, but I think it deserves the highest rating of a 7.3 or 7.4.
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americandragonfreak25 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film is supposed to be "the best Pixar film". I disagree. The film is incredibly overrated. Sharks that are trying to not eat fish, what the hell are they supposed to eat? Just wondering. Although Ellen DeGenerous is awesome as Dory. Dory was one of the 2 things that saved this film. The second was the animation. The beginning is beautiful and truly has the pixar animation. Although I feel this film could have been PG. The mom is killed and some of the scenes can be scary.

Overall this film is good because of Ellen DeGenerous, who is one of the best comedians.

Sorry to disappoint you huge time fans who just adore this film.
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