Movie Review
Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo poster
By Craig Younkin     Published June 11, 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
A fantastic family film, full of heart and comedy
In Finding Nemo, Pixar has totally rebounded from the disappointing Monsters Inc. to create its best movie to date.

Nemo is a funny and heartfelt Disney film that will mean just as much to parents as it will for kids. Much like its predecessors, it takes a little bit from other Disney films (such as The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio) but transforms it into its own little world full of imagination and goofy characters. The CG animation is again top-notch ? even more here so than in previous films. I'm ashamed to admit it but there were actually a few shots in the film that had me totally fooled.
But the real gem here is the story, which makes Nemo a movie for adults, whether they have kids or not. The movie begins with a clown fish named Marlin (Albert Brooks), whose idea of a happy home with his wife and 400 children is tragically cut short when a shark eats her and mostly all of the kids, leaving only one remaining: Nemo.

Several years later we see Nemo as an adventurous kid who desperately wants to explore the ocean, only the attack has left Marlin fearful of the waters and has also made him so over protective that he is quickly driving his son a way. One day while trying to show off, Nemo is captured by a scuba diver and placed in a dentist?s fish tank in Sydney. From that point on, the only thing in Marlin?s mind is getting his son back and with the help of a blue fish with short term memory loss named Dory (Ellen Degeneres), Marlin learns valuable lessons about trust and parenting.

The journey also has many comic highlights, including sharks who are in a 12 step program to stop eating fish, 150 year old surfer turtles, and a school of fish who are very good at playing charades. The comedy in this film is a return to form for Pixar, who didn't really have me rolling in the aisles with Monsters, Inc.

Of course, some of the credit should go to Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres, both two extremely talented comic actors who put a bit of their own characteristics into their character. Brooks is very funny being the caustic and not-so-funny clown fish and he plays well off of Ellen's silliness as a energetic fish whose memory ain't so good.

Nemo is a fantastic family film, full of heart and comedy. It is the best movie of the summer so far, and whether you?re young or old this movie will engage you from beginning to end.
Craig's Grade: A
Craig's Overall Grading: 340 graded movies
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'Finding Nemo' Articles
  • Todd's review B+
    June 6, 2003    Another fun, witty, delightful Disney/Pixar collaboration that will delight children and adults -- Todd Heustess
  • Stephen's review B+
    June 6, 2003    Visually stunning, and emotionally and humorously compelling -- Stephen Lucas