Movie Review
Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo poster
By Todd Heustess     Published June 6, 2003
US Release: May 30, 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Erica Beck , Albert Brooks , Willem Dafoe , Ellen DeGeneres

Running Time: 101 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $380,482,000
Another fun, witty, delightful Disney/Pixar collaboration that will delight children and adults
Finding Nemo is another fun, witty, delightful Disney/Pixar collaboration that will delight children and adults just as the Toy Story movies and Monsters Inc. did.

While it doesn't reach the giddy comic heights of the Toy Story movies, it comes quite close and what little it lacks in comic zest it makes up for in truly eye-popping, wonderful animation. The underwater world off the Australian coast, where Nemo lies, is an astounding feat of computer animation, truly one-of-a-kind, never before seen on film. The ocean water and waves look so real that it's almost like watching an IMAX scuba-diving movie with animated characters. The color literally jumps off the screen, creating an almost orgasmic visual experience.
Luckily, the Disney/Pixar movies are strong in story and characterizations in addition to their groundbreaking animation. Finding Nemo tells the story of Nemo, a clown fish who lost his mother at an early age and is being raised by his father, Marlin (the voice of Albert Brooks). Marlin is over protective to the point of driving his son crazy; but one day Nemo is captured by a scuba diver while swimming and is taken to an aquarium at a dentist's office in Sydney. Marlin vows to get his son back and with the help of a blue fish named Dory (the voice of Ellen DeGeneres), he sets out to rescue Nemo.

Along the way, Dory and Marlin encounter sharks involved in 12-step programs to stop eating fish, 150 year-old sea turtles that talk in surfer-lingo and hilarious sea gulls that cry out "Mine!" incessantly. Nemo's aquarium in Sydney is also populated with colorful (literally and figuratively) characters voiced by such top-notch talents as Wilem Dafoe and Allison Janey. The jokes fly fast and furious but there's heart in this comedy. The animation creates the illusion that these fish are real ? that they have human feelings and characteristics and therefore the story matters just as much as the animation.

DeGeneres and Brooks are at the top of their comic talents as Dory and Marlin, especially Ellen. Her Dory is a perpetually sunny and happy blue fish who happens to have a short-term memory problem; her line readings steal every scene she's in. Finding Nemo is a fun, joyous experience, and while it falls just a little short of the standard set by Toy Story, it's still one of the best studio movies you'll see this year.
Todd's Grade: B+
Todd's Overall Grading: 13 graded movies
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'Finding Nemo' Articles
  • Craig's review A
    June 11, 2003    A fantastic family film, full of heart and comedy -- Craig Younkin
  • Stephen's review B+
    June 6, 2003    Visually stunning, and emotionally and humorously compelling -- Stephen Lucas