August 18, 2013

Finding Nemo

Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, 2003

Set in the Great Barrier Reef, overprotective single-father Clownfish Marlin gets separated from his only son Nemo who gets caught by a fish collector who places him in a dentist's aquarium. Realizing that his son is in Sydney, he desperately attempts to rescue him and be reunited with the help of some newly acquired friends.

You know that when watching a Pixar film that there's something in it for everyone. The simplistic story structure and memorable characters are going to impress the young viewers, and there's still something engaging for the older ones. There's always clever twists, some kind of moral dilemma. The characters are going to provide some reflection of humanity. There's always going to be a consistency, and a standard of quality to Pixars films. And there's always going to be beautiful visual elements. Colorful coral reefs create a vibrant landscape, with a lot of activity. The characters themselves, while exaggerations of real life creatures, are given distinctive personalities like the surfer-turtle, or the recovering fish addict sharks. It's something you will obviously see in any animated feature, but Pixar does it flawlessly. And in the end, this is a film without any noticeable flaws.

With Nemo, you can sit back and hear Albert Brooks be Albert Brooks. That's never a bad thing. You're going to sit back and hear other familiar voices, like Ellen Degeneres, or Willem Dafoe - all well-placed. And while it may not make as much of an emotional impact as some of the other Pixar movies, it still carries weight and it's probably the most nice-looking of all of them. But the emotional impact is obviously a subjective thing. Perhaps a father would be more affected by this film losing a son, more than he would watching Woody get taken away from Andy in Toy Story. Everything ties together well in the end and Nemo is certainly one of the better Pixar films made.

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