Story by: Jack Foley
WHILE Disney have been struggling to cope with the new standards
set by the animated likes of Shrek and co, it was only a matter
of time before they teamed up with the boys at Pixar to regain
the CG crown.
Finding Nemo is the result, and the gauntlet has been lain for
the pretenders to the throne - most notably, Shrek, who is due
to arrive in sequel form next year.
Finding Nemo has broken records in America, boasting the biggest
opening weekend ever for an animated film with a three-day Box
Office gross of $70.6m.
It also scored the biggest opening day for an animated film in
history, taking $18m alone on its debut Friday, and smashed the
weekend figure for Shrek, which
only took $42.3m.
Furthermore, it looks set to out-strip Disney/Pixars previous
best of $255m for last years Monsters,
The film follows the comedic and eventful journeys of two fish
Marlin and his son Nemo who become separated in
the Great Barrier Reef.
Buoyed by the companionship of a friendly-but-forgetful fish
named Dory, the overly cautious father embarks on a dangerous
trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic journey to
rescue his son - who hatches a few daring plans of his own to
return safely home.
It features the vocal talents of Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould
and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as Willem Dafoe, Barry Humphries
and Geoffrey Rush.
But the talent doesn't stop there. The Disney/Pixar collaboration
was designed with one thing in mind, to push the envelope in terms
of animation standards.
Hence, Oscar-nominee Andrew Stanton is once more on production
details, having served as co-director and co-screenwriter of A
Bug's Life, and co-screenwriter of Toy Story, its sequel and Monsters
Backed by the best animators, renderers, line-drawers and pencillers
that money can by, the Pixar team has even tackled one of the
final animated boundaries - water.
Always a nightmare, due to its constant mobility, the ocean was
said to be the biggest test facing the success of the movie -
and if the reaction is anything to go by, they have succeeded
in raising the bar still further.
One critic referred to Nemo's Barrier Reef footage 'as real as
a Discovery Channel documentary', adding that all of the ocean's
inhabitants 'look wonderful'.
The film is due to make a huge UK splash in October. We can only
wait with baited breath....
Needless to say, the reaction from the US critics was overwhelmingly
positive - as it tends to be with any Pixar release.
Entertainment Weekly leads the way, awarding it the maximum,
A, and writing that 'you could trawl the seven seas and not net
a funnier, more beautiful, and more original work of art and comedy
than Finding Nemo'.
Likewise, FilmCritic.com, which awarded it four and a
half out of five, and stated that 'this catch is certainly a keeper'.
The New York Times wrote that 'high on the movie's list
of accomplishments is its creation of an undersea wonderland whose
opalescent colors and shifting light reflect the enchanted aura
of dreamy aquatic photography'.
While The Onion's AV Club noted that it 'mines humor from
the oddities of an unknown world but stays grounded in a familiar
The Chicago Tribune referred to it as 'a true sunken treasure',
while Reel Views stated that it was 'the best family film to-date
TV Guide hailed it for providing 'a never-ending stream
of action and humor', while Variety stated that it is 'a
buoyant adventure that entertainingly continues the Disney/Pixar
Village Voice, meanwhile, wrote that it provides 'an ocean
of eye candy that tastes fresh even in this ADD-addled era of
The New York Post also awarded it the maximum rating -
four out of four - and wrote that it is 'a dazzling, computer-animated
fish tale with a funny, touching script and wonderful voice performances
that make it an unqualified treat for all ages'.
And the accolades continue with Hollywood Reporter, which
found the movie to be 'exhilarating', as well as 'perfectly cast'.
As did LA Weekly, which referred to it as 'ingenious and
lovely', and Slant Magazine, which found it 'adorable'
Rolling Stone, meanwhile, wrote that it is 'a thing of
beauty, hugely entertaining and way cool'.
And the Philadelphia Inquirer added that it is 'as eye-popping
as Nemo's peepers and as eccentric as this little fish with asymmetrical
And for anyone thinking it might be one for the kids only, how's
this from Film Journal International - 'another terrific
Pixar pic for all generations' - to make October's release date
one worth jotting down in any film buff's diary.