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Finding Nemo (U)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Widescreen version; Turn your TV into a virtual aquarium with animated scenes from the movie; Filmmakers' commentary including deleted scenes and recording sessions; 'Making Nemo' documentary; Review The Art Of Nemo (narrated by the artists themselves).
Disc Two: Full frame version. Exploring The Reef With Jean-Michel Cousteau; Turn your TV into a virtual aquarium including never-before-seen animation; The Pixar short film 'Knick Knack'; Sneak peek at Pixar's The Incredibles; School Of Fish; Mr. Ray's Encyclopedia; Behind-the-scenes tour of Pixar; Storytime Fun; Play 'Fisharades'.

THOSE geniuses at Pixar have done it again, creating another animated adventure for children and adults that has to rate among the year’s most enjoyable cinema outings.

Finding Nemo follows the touching story of two fish - the overly cautious Marlin, and his curious son, Nemo - who become separated in the Great Barrier Reef, after the latter is plucked from the sea by a passing diver and taken to a fish tank at a Sidney dentist.

Distraught at the loss of his only surviving son, Marlin sets off in pursuit, aided by the companionship of Dory, a friendly-but-forgetful fish, and becomes involved in a number of adventures, taking on jellyfish and great white sharks in a bid to reach Sidney Harbour.

Nemo, meanwhile, sets about orchestrating his own escape with the help of Gill, a former ocean dweller, who sees the feisty youngster as his last chance of freedom.

Featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe and Geoffrey Rush, among others, Finding Nemo is the type of film that redeems one’s faith in cinema, building well on its established formula for success (friendship, tolerance and triumph against the odds), without ever feeling formulaic or over-familiar.

The look and style of the film is breathtakingly beautiful, with virtually every frame filled with some sort of visual treat, while the script, by Oscar nominee, Andrew Stanton (who also directs), contains plenty of comic gems.

And while the very young may find it slower, in places, than the likes of Toy Story and Monsters Inc, the set pieces, when they arrive, are genuinely thrilling.

Highlights include Marlin’s encounter with jellyfish and some surfer-dude turtles, as well as Barry Humphries’ winning turn as a great white shark, who is trying to stop eating fish.

Given the technical difficulties associated with filming on any kind of water, it is also a tribute to the wizardry of the Pixar team that the underwater kingdom they have created is equally accomplished, with the movement, light, and shade displaying a careful eye for detail and helping to produce a world that you can totally believe in.

Not only is it a rich visual feast, but it remains endlessly inventive throughout, cramming more into its 101 minutes than most of this Summer’s over-inflated blockbusters did put together.

Another strength lies in Pixar’s ability to create characters that are genuinely worth rooting for, with almost every creation remaining memorable in some way, no matter how small their screen time (even the seagulls and dolphins make their mark).

Of the central characters, DeGeneres is particularly funny as the forgetful Dory, displaying some excellent comic timing, particularly when ‘talking whale’, while Dafoe and Rush bring their usual touch of class to proceedings.

With so much to recommend it, cinema fans should waste no time in splashing out to sea it, for this will have you hooked from start to finish!

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