Friday, June 17, 2016

Movie Review: Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo (2003) co-written and directed by Andrew Stanton

This summer has lots of sequels and remakes coming out, so I'm reviewing the earlier works and seeing if they will inspire me to see the new films! 

Nemo is a clownfish who lives with his father Marlin. Marlin's wife and the other children were all killed by a barracuda when Nemo was still an egg. Naturally Marlin is overprotective of Nemo, but that needs to change now that Nemo is old enough to go to school. The first day's lesson is at the Drop Off, an area where humans have been known to show up. Marlin races after the class and tries to take Nemo back home, especially since a trio of kids is playing "how close will I swim to the boat" with Nemo. Nemo is mad about the overprotection and swims all the way to the boat. A human diver shows up and captures Nemo. Marlin can't keep up with the boat and enlists the help of Dory, a Blue Tang who has a short-term memory problem. She saw where the boat went but they go astray and have all sorts of odd and exciting adventures following one clue (a lost diver's mask that has an address on it) to find Nemo. Nemo meanwhile makes friends with the other fish in the diver's office fish tank and helps with their ongoing escape plans.

The computer-animated recreation of the underwater world is amazing and beautiful. Marlin and Dory wander through many environments (a deep-sea trench, a field of jellyfish, a tidal current, a whale's mouth, etc.) that are distinct and detailed. Their journey is a Homerian odyssey, meeting many strange and enchanting characters.

The movie is thematically moving. A parent's search for a lost child is a classic story made more dramatic by Marlin's trauma-enduced attitude toward Nemo. Marlin is a classic case of a father who loves not wisely but too well. As he goes through his journey, he learns to trust others and to take risks, giving him a more balanced outlook on life, a happier attitude, and a closer bond with his son.

Highly recommended, though having watched it a dozen times with the kids, Finding Nemo has lost some rewatchability (which is not true for The Incredibles--I'd watch that again in a heartbeat by myself). 

The sequel Finding Dory (out in US theaters as this posts) looks suspiciously similar to the original, judging by the trailer:

If the kids want to see it, I'll go with them. I'd have to hear some good reviews to watch it on my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment