Review: Finding Nemo 3D
PLOT: After a clown fish loses his wife and all but one of his children to a monstrous sea predator, he vows to never put his surviving son in jeopardy again. However problems arise when the boy named Nemo wants to have a little freedom and is inadvertently captured by a scuba diver who plans to offer him as a pet to his ill-behaved daughter. It is up to the little clown fish to face his fears and rescue his son from uncertain fate.
FINDING NEMO 3D is a near perfect example of just how good Pixar is at telling a great story. Nearly a decade after its initial release, it remains a wonderful tale of facing your own fears and learning to let go. The beauty of it that it is still just as relevant as it was back in 2003. While that may not be that long ago, animation continues to improve, however a well told story is timeless.
Similar to UP, the film begins on a heartbreaking note. When clown fish Marlin finds a nice home near the deep end of the ocean for his wife and dozens of eggs, things seem perfect. The fear of becoming a parent and wondering if you will be a good one is expressed in a thoughtful manner in a short amount of time. Yet tragedy strikes quickly, and all but one egg and Marlin survive an attack by a deadly animal. After the horrific incident, Marlin realizes that there is an overwhelming amount of danger in the world. Thus, when his young tyke is born – a little fish his wife wanted to name Nemo – he is an overbearing father fearing that he would lose the most important thing in his life.
Albert Brooks is absolutely perfect as the proud papa Marlin. He carries in his voice the worry and joy that this little fish feels for his young boy. Nemo – voiced by Alexander Gould – is a good son, yet when he is goaded on by his peers to go out and try and touch a boat, he does so just to get back at his dad for embarrassing him. On his way back after getting yelled at by his father who was too terrified to go after him, a scuba diver captures Nemo in a net. This begins a sort of awakening for Marlin as he is desperate to get to his son. The image of this poor guy chasing after a boat is really terrifying and scary, although it’s not too much for children as this is a G-rated film.
Re-visiting this terrific little film, I had almost forgotten how great Ellen DeGeneres is as a forgetful fish named Dory. Marlin meets her along the way only to have to continue reminding her who he is and that he is trying to find his son. It’s almost a shame that Ms. DeGeneres doesn’t do more voiceover work as she really is the stand out here. The role of Dory is a rarity as it adds much of the humor that appeals to both young and old. Her “whale speak” is laugh out loud funny as is her irritating habit of having to constantly reintroduce herself. As funny as she is, there is something really heartfelt and sincere in the more dramatic moments with Brooks. Vocally, the two make a delightful pair.
As far as the rest of the characters, there are almost too many great ones to mention. The seagulls who keep calling out “mine” every single time a fish swims by are hilarious, and even sometimes a little creepy. And speaking of creepy, you can’t beat the shark trio, Bruce (Barry Humphries), Anchor (Eric Bana) and Chum (Bruce Spence). I also really enjoyed all the fish that try and help little Nemo escape from a dentists aquarium before the good doctor’s daughter kills him like she seems to do with all her new pets. William Dafoe is especially good as Gill, a fish that was taken from the ocean himself with a few battle scars from trying to return to his home. This is a beautifully realized undersea world with strikingly impressive animation – no surprise coming from Pixar – and memorable oceanic creatures.
The best part of watching FINDING NEMO again is not the added 3D. The best part is just enjoying the movie in a theatre again. For that, it is worth venturing out to the Cineplex for. The added 3D is fine, yet it is superfluous and really doesn’t add much to an already rich and colorful film. Occasionally it offers a little something extra to look at occasionally taking advantage of the vast big blue sea. So if adding the 3D gave them reason to re-release this great motion picture, than grab the snorkel and lets’ go swim with the fishes! FINDING NEMO 3D may be nearly ten years old, but it is just as fresh as it was back then with or without the extra dimension.