Meanwhile, Marlin desperately chases after his son, but soon loses him. Dory, a fish with a short-term memory problem, helps him try to find Nemo. Thanks to left behind clues, they know where he is. The only problem is getting to him. Together they face the dangers of the ocean including sharks, jellyfish, fishermen, seagulls and more in order to rescue him. However, Marlin can only find his son if he learns to let go and trust the friends he meets along the way.
Finding Nemo is rated G.
What really makes Finding Nemo unique is the whole fishy setting. The backgrounds are stunning and filled with life and motion. The characters are bizarre, beautiful, eccentric, cute, scary, and amusing. You get a real sense of discovery watching the film. It seems like an alien world, but its all very based in reality. The beauty of the marine environment makes the sterile dentist office and aquarium all the more unappealing. The stunning animation by Pixar really brings it all to life. While I didnt like the murky look of the ocean at first, it did end up standing out in stark contrast to the crystal clear aquarium of the office. The lighting, texture, and detail on all the characters is amazing, even when theyre caught out of water.
Ive always loved the ocean and sea creatures. Ive even kept a saltwater tank with a clown fish and anemone. Based on that familiarity, I think I was even more open to the sea life jokes than others might be. The seagulls, hated by many, are a reoccurring joke through the film as they annoyingly squawk, Mine! A group of sharks, led by a Great White named Bruce (and voiced by the guy that is Dame Edna), form a support group for those addicted to eating fish. Some of their side comments are really hilarious and culminate with a feeding frenzy to make Jaws proud. A shrimp maniacally cleans the scum out of a tank while children tapping on the glass terrorize other fish. You also learn that life in an aquarium either drives fish insane or teaches them a lot about dentistry (just in case you ever wondered what they thought about while floating around watching you). Its all really amusing, and if you know any marine biologists, theyre going to get a real kick out of this film.
Not all of the jokes are about the sea, though. There are some funny jokes about dentists in the movie, surfer lingo, and more. Theres even a fantastic chase sequence between Nigel the pelican and a group of the annoying seagulls. It culminates with a hilarious fight scene in the dentists office.
The cast is fantastic. Albert Brooks is perfectly cast as Marlin. His frantic behavior is perfectly captured by Brooks. Ellen DeGeneres is great as the absent minded Dory. While Im no fan of DeGeneres, I cant think of anyone better than her to play the character. Willem Dafoe is good as Gill, another fish taken from the sea and raised in an aquarium. His drive to escape is made believable by Dafoe. Barry Humphries is funny as Bruce, the Great White shark. I had no idea this was the same guy that acts as Dame Edna. Hulk fans may be interested to note that Eric Bana plays Anchor, one of his shark support group members. Brad Garrett returns to a Pixar role as Bloat and John Ratzenberger keeps his role as the Pixar good luck charm, this time as a school of Moonfish. Geoffrey Rush is also hilarious as Nigel, the pelican who seems to have a problem spotting windows. Together, they all make this a fun film and they really bring their characters to life.
On a side note, keep an eye out for the traditional Pixar Easter Eggs through the film. Youll spot Buzz Lightyear in one scene, Mike from Monsters Inc. during the credits, and references to Psycho and The Shining. Also, be sure to stay through the credits to see a funny bit at the very end. The funny Pixar short Knick Knack, about a snowman trying to escape his snow globe, is attached to the beginning of the film.
What Didnt Work:
Parents might want to be aware that there are some scary moments. For example, while the sharks are more or less good characters, Bruce does go into a frenzy and tries to eat our heroes. Seeing a Great White with black eyes, rows of sharp teeth, a loud voice, and a massive charging body is an awesome sight. Some kids with us werent fazed by it while others cowered and hid their eyes. Your kids reaction may vary. Marlins wife and kids are also all eaten in a rather scary moment. Though it happens off screen, it might be too intense for some kids. Then theres the basic plot that is about a child being kidnapped. As if kids didnt have reason enough to be afraid of being snatched, this might play on those fears. Fortunately, its buried in enough comedy and animation to not be obvious.
The Bottom Line: