For tonight’s movie I thought of going with a light-hearted movie which seems like I only saw with my friends yesterday. Finding Nemo came out all the way back in 2003, yet as with all Pixar’s movies it still looks amazing and still entertains.
The movie is about a wee clown fish named Nemo (spoiler?) who has a damaged fin from a childhood injury – basically his entire family was killed by a barracuda (cue Heart music) except him and his dad Marlin (voiced perfectly by Albert Brooks). What a way to start a family film, right? Yet Pixar’s movies never have shied away from mature themes in their movies, which end up making them far more better than traditional animated family films.
This traumatic event though leads Marlin to be an understandably over-protective parent. When Nemo ends up sneaking off one day he gets captured by scuba divers and taken to a dentist office fish tank. Most of Nemo’s adventure here is the B-story as he meets other taken fish who long to be free. There are some great characters here like Willem Dafoe’s Gill who starts off jaded but becomes a real leader of the Tank Gang when he learns Nemo is going to be given to the dentist’s niece – who has a tendency of accidentally killing the fish she gets (again, dark!).
The main story is about Marlin bringing his son back home. On this adventure we end up meeting a fan favourite – Dori (a sequel for her is due out later this year). Dori is voiced superbly by Ellen DeGeneres and hits every comedic beat and emotional cue each and every time. Her character has issues with memory loss (playing with the myth about fish having only a few seconds of memory) which leads to some fantastic jokes. You think such a repetitive joke would wear quickly, yet each time it manages to be so funny.
Dori aids Marlin in the search for his son which leads us throughout many of the South Pacific’s environs meeting its wonderful sea life (another favourite being the surfer dude sea turtles).
There are ups and downs, trials and tribulations yet we all know how the story will end. Marlin finds his son and learns not to be so over-protective. Yet most of these movies are more about the adventure you have rather than the end destination. This movie still holds up so well after more than a decade, and I am sure the sequel due out later this year will be just as funny and charming as the original.
Pixar strikes it rich again in this underwater adventure in the South Pacific. The film is about an over-protective father finding his missing son and the adventure he has along the way. We know how the story will end but it is so entertaining getting there, with great voice work and some wonderful characters. This is an excellent family film anchored by some mature themes which make the experience all the more rewarding.