Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo
Released: August 28 2003
Cast: Albert Brooks, Ellen de Generes, Geoffrey Rush, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Erica Beck
Director: Andrew Stanton
Genre: Family/Adventure/Comedy
Rated: G
Running Time: 100 Minutes

There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean*, they're looking for one.

Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) is a colourful clown fish and the only surviving offspring of his overprotective dad, Marlin (Albert Brooks). Marlin's fears for his son's safety in the danger-filled deep are realised when Nemo goes missing. Curiosity about a boat he spots from below has him being scooped out of the water and ending up in the aquarium of a Sydney dentist (Bill Hunter) where he meets a friendly group of fellow internees, including Moorish Idol, Gill (Willem Dafoe), the battle-scarred leader.

Meanwhile, panic-stricken Marlin sets out to find his son and is joined by Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a talkative, cheery blue tang who has the best intentions but, unfortunately, also has a short-term memory problem. It's not all smooth swimming for Marlin and Dory whose encounters include a trio of sharks with distinctly Aussie accents. But these are not your everyday man-eaters; Bruce (Barry Humphries) is a great white, Anchor (Eric Bana) is a hammerhead and Chum (Bruce Spence) is a mako and they are all members of Fish Eaters Anonymous who are trying their darndest not to eat the other underwater residents! Sometimes, unfortunately, they fall off the wagon. In one Pinocchio-like setback, the two would-be rescuers also end up inside a blue whale. Back in the dentist's office, escape plans are in progress for Nemo who has to get out before he is collected by the dentist's nasty niece whose evil reputation for murdering marine life precedes her. Outside help comes from a pelican named Nigel (Geoffrey Rush) - hey, if sharks can be veggies, a pelican can avoid temptation, too!

Added to the excitement, humour and the wonderfully conceived characters are some of the most beautiful backdrops you'll see in an animated feature, which truly comes into its own in the artists' dazzling depiction of the Great Barrier Reef. As entertainment for all members of the family, Finding Nemo is a real catch.

My Verdict:
Finding Nemo is a delightful movie about letting go and believing in yourself. Nemo is the dearest little fish who is fearless and ready to take on challenges. His father, Marlin, is very protective, almost to a point of excess, which frustrates Nemo. However, Nemo did not count on becoming an exhibit in a dentist's aquarium and the film centres around his desire to be with his father again, and of his father's search for him.

The animation is superb with lavish displays of colour so wonderfully used, particularly to depict the Great Barrier Reef. It is another triumph for the Pixar studios which have also given us the two Toy Story movies, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. Finding Nemo is yet another feather in their caps as it doesn't fail to deliver at any level. There are a few moments which could be frightening to some very young viewers, but these are certainly dealt with quickly.

Finding Nemo is one of the must-see movies for 2003, and has the added bonus of being a family movie, making it accessible to all. It is a joy from start to finish and well worth parting cash for.

- Christina Bruce

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