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Still shot from the movie: Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo

It's never easy being a small swimmer in a big sea. That is why Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks), an overly protective clown fish, turns frantic when his son Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould) goes missing. Now the desperate dad is willing to swim the whole ocean over to find Nemo.

Overall Grade: B+
Violence: B
Sexual Content: A
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Release Date: 14 Sep 2012
Run Time: 100
MPAA Rating: G

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In-Depth Review

It's never easy being a small fish in a big sea. Just when Marlin (Albert Brooks), a beautiful orange and white clown fish, feels he's found a comfortable home where his wife can await the birth of a few hundred children, along comes a neighborhood predator. His little body being no match for the huge shark, Marlin is left unconscious. Upon awakening, he discovers the terrible truth. His entire family is wiped out -- save for one little fish egg from which will hatch his son Nemo (Alexander Gould).

If he was previously over protective, the father's attitude now borders on paranoia. But his habitual nagging leaves Nemo feeling he doesn't need Dad telling him what to do. On his first day of school, the headstrong child swims off from the crowd to demonstrate his independence, completely neglecting to look for danger. In short order, he's captured in the net of an eager scuba diving dentist, and placed within a dental office aquarium in Sydney, Australia.

Back in the ocean, Marlin's fear turns into desperation. The only answer to his pleas for help is a sincere but memory-challenged blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres). While at first unimpressed with Dory's non-stop nattering, Marlin changes his opinion after she demonstrates her exceptional talent: When the diver's lost goggles are discovered, Dory can read the dentist's name and address.

With this information, the pair determines first to find Sydney, and then look for Nemo. Of course the long trip is anything but smooth sailing, and chance meetings with sharks, jellyfish, and hungry birds often leave the duo swimming for their lives.

Nemo should have no trouble finding success as it rides the wave of Pixar's solid reputation for family movies. Yet the studio that created the Toy Story films has not crafted the comedy in this movie with its usual panache. Adults may be disappointed at the lack of "dual layered" jokes-- those laughs which work on different levels for both young and old. However, the same children this script is aimed at may be alarmed by the constant peril the characters find themselves in.

What parents will appreciate most about Finding Nemo is a storyline where kids don't always know best. Both junior and senior fish come to realize their attitudes were contributing factors in creating a much bigger problem.

Now in a 3D version (releasing in theaters in September 2012), audiences of all ages will feel compelled to say again, “You’ve never seen computer animation like this.” At times nearly photographic, every detail down to the buffeting of the waves and movement of the fishes’ anatomy is included in stunning detail, making this a movie that’s certainly worth going to sea.

On September 14, 2012, Finding Nemo is re-releasing to theaters in 3D. It originally debuted on May 29, 2003.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Violence:

The movie depicts frequent mild peril to main characters throughout.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

Near the beginning of the movie, Marlin begs Nemo not to do something dangerous. Why does Nemo choose to ignore him? Have you ever made a poor decision simply because your parents told you not to?

Dory has a very different attitude about life than Marlin. How can being optimistic help you meet life’s challenges? When can being overly optimistic cause problems? Do you think Dory sometimes did things that could have put her and Marlin in danger?

Did you know Finding Nemo won the Oscar® for Best Animated Film and received nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing?

Video alternatives

Pixar teamed up with Disney to make such other films as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, and Monsters Inc.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: Finding Nemo

Release Date: 3 December 2012

Finding Nemo releases to home video on DVD, as a Blu-ray Combo Pack (DVD/Blu-ray) and in 3D (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy).

 

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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