Saturday, December 5, 2009

#413: Finding Nemo (2003)

Directors: Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich
Cast: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres & Alexander Gould

Marlin is a father who is extremely cautious over the safety of his son, Nemo, after Nemo’s mother was attacked while expecting multiple children. Nemo was the only one to survive the attack. On Nemo’s first day of school, Marlin anxiously watches the class head off on a field trip. After discovering that the class is exploring the dangerous ‘drop-off’, Marlin chases after them, only to witness Nemo get kidnapped. With the aid of Dory, who suffers short-term memory loss, Marlin hunts down the kidnappers and plans to save Nemo before he’s flushed down the toilet.

Oh, did I not mention? Nemo’s a fish.

Needless to say, this film covers some pretty intense material for a kids movie. With Marlin’s back story being given immediately is shocking for adults let alone kids, and the emotional roller coaster he endures is remarkably deep. Not gonna lie, this is the one cartoon that can give me shivers.

The animation for Finding Nemo surpasses all of Pixar’s films to date. That’s right, even WALL-E. There was just so much to work with, from the anatomy of many species of underwater life to the light coming through the water. The opening scenes are absolutely dazzling, and the quality never fails throughout.

The voice acting is also extraordinary. Albert Brooks, though he has admitted that he didn’t enjoy making this film, gives a wonderful tenderness to Marlin. But the star voice actor of the film, no doubt, is Ellen DeGeneres. Dory could have been one of the most irritating characters of all times, but Ellen just made her fun, care-free, and extremely loving.

And the music! Thomas Newman at his best. It’s unfortunate that this Newman has been put to the side for so many years to make room for his cousin Randy, though the tides are turning, with such huge titles under his belt as WALL-E, Revolutionary Road, Jarhead, Cinderella Man and The Good German.

Accessible for adults, kids, and everything in between. Absolutely wonderful.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):

  • The seagulls ("Mine, mine") were modeled after the penguins in the claymation Wallace and Gromit short Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (1993).
  • Afraid that kids would try releasing their pet fish by flushing them down a drain, a company that manufactures equipment used by water filtration and sewage treatment plants released a warning the Thursday after the film came out saying that, even though drains do eventually reach the ocean, before it got there the water would go through equipment which breaks down solids, and went on to say that in real life the movie would more appropriately be called "Grinding Nemo".
  • As "research" the key figures of the production crew had to get SCUBA certification and go to the Great Barrier Reef on the insistence of John Lasseter.
  • 'Bruce' the great white shark was named after 'Bruce' the animatronic great white that was used in making the movie Jaws (1975).

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