Thursday, July 10, 2003

Finding Nemo

In a Nutshell: Cute, great for children, but not as clever as previous Pixar/Disney offerings.

Quick Plot: Nemo, a young clown fish, is captured from his reef home and plunked into a dentist office aquarium. His frantic and fraidy-cat father, Marlin, makes the trans-ocean journey into the unknown to try and rescue his only child. Along the way, he befriends Dory, a memory-challenged blue tang. Meanwhile, Nemo and the fellow occupants of the fish tank hatch their own plan to escape.

In Detail: A perfectly fine film, very sweet, and beautifully rendered. But it did not join the ranks of the Toy Story films and Monsters, Inc., in my mind. (Though, admittedly, Monsters, Inc. grew on me over time.) It lacked the small but delightful moments of adult appeal, and the story just didn't flow as smoothly as I thought it should have. It seemed a little more like running an obstacle course than a progression of story elements and conflicts. And too many body function jokes; Pixar should be above that. I do think children will love it, though. It is about a child, so they will readily identify with Nemo. It is bright and colorful, with lots of movement and sparkle; simply a beautiful film to watch.

Will I Buy It? Most likely. You know me and owning a complete set. It really is a good movie, and I did like it, but it just fell slightly below the incredibly high bar that Pixar has set for themselves.

Addendum: Like most Pixar movies, this one has grown on me the more I see it. You can see that I reviewed this movie before the child was even a thought on our horizon. It was his most favorite movie for nearly 2 years (roughly age 1-3), so I have now seen it many many times, and I recommend it to everyone.