“There’s more fish in the sea” is not
a motto that goes over well with the characters of “Finding
Nemo.” They are in search of one unique clownfish with a
gimpy fin, and will brave sharks, jellyfish and their greatest
fears to find him. This splash hit follows the adventures of an
over-protective father, Marlin (Albert Brooks), and a forgetful
regal blue tang named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), as they travel far
from home to find the fishnapped Nemo. The breathtaking computer
animation and hilarious dialogue allow “Finding Nemo”
to transcend the genre of children’s cartoons, making it a
delight to watch for fish of all ages.
After three and a half years of diligent work, hundreds of takes
and thousands of reiterations, this animated masterpiece is out of
the sea and available on DVD. Fans will be thrilled to get their
fins on the new collector’s edition for the crisp picture and
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The two-disc set provides a
widescreen presentation with spanish and french subtitles and a
full frame format offering complete spanish and french language
tracks. Skillfully animated menus are easy to use, and include the
option of turning the TV screen into a virtual aquarium.
Where the set really gets wet is in its unique audio commentary
by filmmakers Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and Bob Peterson. In
addition to their narration, this two-hour-13-minute segment
includes deleted storyboards and behind-the-scenes footage
interspersed throughout the film. While interesting to watch,
waiting for the DVD player to move from the film to extras and back
again can become frustrating. An option to watch the special
features separately would have made for faster viewing.
The second disc provides less serious features, including an
exploration of the coral reef with Jean-Michel Cousteau that is
continually interrupted by our fishy friends. Along with “Mr.
Ray’s Encyclopedia,” this disc provides plenty of
educational information about the underwater world Pixar replicates
in detail. For young Nemos, there is also a read along story
segment and a “Fisharades” game.
A refreshing step up from conventional animation, “Finding
Nemo” is a visually stunning family favorite to warm hearts
and remind us that when life gets rough all we have to do is just
Movie: 4.5 stars.
Picture/Sound: 4 stars.
Features: 4 stars.