Finding Nemo (2003)


Finding Nemo (2003)


Nemo‘s omission from the Best Picture field of the 76th Academy Awards is, in my mind, one of the greatest Oscar snubs ever. Pass on TS1 because it’s more recognized for being technical innovation than a piece of art, okay. Pass on TS2 because it’s a sequel, sure. Pass on Monsters because it wasn’t even the most popular animated movie of the year, alright.

But what’s the reasoning for passing on Finding Nemo? You’re telling me — with a straight face — that Seabiscuit and Master and Commander are better than this?

Yet, I think the fact that I can write that previous sentence goes to show that Finding Nemo has stood the test of time. If you tell someone “a bunch of people paid to have opinions about movies declared Seabiscuit a greater movie than Finding Nemo” they should (and likely will) be outraged.

This story of an overprotective clownfish who goes on an epic quest with an amnesiac tangfish is the most raucous, engaging kind of story — funny and dramatic and scary like Beauty and the Beast, sprawling and episodic like The Odyssey — paired with some of the most beautiful visuals ever featured in a movie. Like The Lion King, Nemo will always look incredible because of great design and color sense. This movie is simply a pleasure to LOOK AT, with saturated brights and a tactile texture.

I also love that Finding Nemo is silly. Silliness is sometimes underappreciated. The wacky “I am Mrs. Nesbit” moment from Toy Story 1 feels a bit out of place next to The Incredibles or Up, but not next to Nemo and Dory speaking whale. I enjoy silly and wacky in small doses.

Finding Nemo might not be Pixar’s greatest movie (though you can make the case), but I think it has to be Pixar’s MOST FUN movie.

Verdict: Properly Rated

Favorite moment: “Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills…”


Finding Nemo is the first movie that convinced me of computer animation’s potential. It is the first computer animated film I thought was beautiful. And it needed to be, because we’re not talking about plastic toys here. We are talking about a landscape humans know less about than the moon. Pixar animates our oceans.

Pixar perfectly depicts the fantasy-like quality of our oft-neglected underwater world. In some places it is dark, there are mine bombs, sunken ships for shark therapy session, ethereal myriad of floating jellyfish, sea turtles riding ocean currents, and giant krill-consuming, clown fish-expelling sea creatures. The scope of Finding Nemo makes the adventure feel like it takes place across the entire globe, and that’s because it does.

Yet, the greatest adventure occurs internally in the heart of one fish. Finding Nemo is actually a pretty deceptive title, because while the physical journey is to Nemo, the real journey is within Marlin. After having terrible things happen to once-spouse Marlin, he is afraid of death. Through the partnership of the hilariously silly Dory and some poignant words from a 150 year old surfer-styled sea turtle, Marlin embarks on a journey in which he learns is what life is all about.

Verdict: Properly Rated

Favorite moment: Marlin and Dory jump on jellyfish.

Final Grade: A (94%)–Finding Nemo brings the depth and beauty of the ocean into its screenplay.

For the full article: http://earnthis.net/animation-evaluation-pixar-1995-2006/

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