Finding Nemo - Movie Review
by Michael Elliott
home run for Pixar who is batting 1,000 in terms of family
Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Andrew
Stanton, Barry Humphries, Geoffrey Rush
Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds
||1 hr : 41 min
3:25, Proverbs 22:6, 1 John 4:18
Animation Studios continues its incredible run of excellent family features with
a "fish-in-the-water" tale that leaves their previous work wallowing
in its wake. No small feat considering their previous films include both Toy
Stories, A Bug's Life, and Monsters
Inc. Their newest film, Finding Nemo,
is a brilliantly realized film containing amazing animation, an emotionally
rewarding story, and some of the funniest vocal characterizations ever recorded.
(voiced by nine-year-old Alexander Gould, They)
is a young clown fish with a malformed fin who lives on The Great Barrier Reef,
safe within his sea anemone home. His father, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks, The
In-Laws), is a neurotic, overprotective single parent who has difficulty
letting Nemo swim free because he knows, from tragic experience, how dangerous
the ocean can be.
Nemo defies his father's instructions, he is captured by a scuba diver looking
for a new addition to an Australian dentist's aquarium. Marlin, despite his
fears of the open ocean, frantically goes off in search of his son.
quickly meets and befriends Dory, an eternally optimistic and perky blue tang
who suffers from short term memory loss. Together they face such dangers and
adversities as shark attacks (from sharks involved in a 12-step program to curb
their feeding frenzies) and a jellyfish forest.
young Nemo is finding that life inside a tank has many drawbacks. The fish who
have been there too long have developed strange personality quirks. One is
obsessed with the bubbles coming from the treasure chest aerator. Another
believes her reflection in the glass to be an annoying twin sister. They are
"led" by the sullen, scar-faced Gil (Willem Dafoe, Auto
Focus) who takes a liking to the spunky clown fish and includes him in his
latest daring escape plan.
excels in developing multidimensional characters and relationships which they
use to drive their story forward and provide depth and substance to their
imaginative tale. Every character, no matter how briefly they appear, has a
reason for being there and adds to the overall impact of the film.
voices are also extremely well cast. Barry Humphries is a stitch as a shark
trying (unsuccessfully) to remember that "fish are friends, not food."
Director Andrew Stanton (A Bug's Life)
lends his voice to Crush, the old, wise, and radically hip sea turtle who helps
Marlin and Dory catch a ride on the EAC (that's East Australian Current, dude.)
Gould is properly young and enthusiastic as Nemo while Albert Brooks' pained and
put upon persona translates well to a neurotically fearful fish. But it is Ellen
DeGenerate who swims away with this picture. Her work as a forgetful fish with
an upbeat attitude is priceless and generates oceans of laughs.
Finding Nemo, Marlin must learn the same lesson which Job once learned. Fear
is a negative form of believing and believing will always bring results... even
For the thing which I greatly feared is
come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25 (KJV)
is natural for a parent to want to protect his child from harm. But we cannot
shelter them forever. We must teach them, train them, and then trust them to act
wisely and safely in this unsafe place we call the world.
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from
it. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
greatest thing a parent can do for their child is to prepare him to embrace life
fully - using all the resources that God has given us.