Under the sea in fantasy, fun, and enchantment, "Finding Nemo" introduces us to sweet characters swimming through perilous waters in anxious times. Opening on a pink-coral homeland that has become Paradise Lost, the film shows a worried father, Marlin, constantly cautioning his only child, Nemo, "Be safe!" Although the fantasy takes us far from such threats as terrorist attacks and child kidnappings, its young audiences will delight in the story, and will identify with spunky little Nemo, while adoring the father who loves him valiantly.
Characters lacking arms, legs, and distinct personalities -- a clown fish and a blue tang -- must have been hard to write for, but dialogue and voice talent flesh them out. Albert Brooks plays Marlin, the nervous father clownfish who embarks on a dangerous journey off the Great Barrier Reef to rescue his son (Alexander Gould plays Nemo), who has been scooped up by a poacher. Ellen DeGeneres steals the show as the voice of ditzy Dory, a blue tang with short-term memory loss. The eternal optimist, Dory accompanies Marlin in searching for little Nemo.
The funniest scene shows a herd of laid-back sea turtles surfing the East Australian Current, where Crush, a 150-year-old turtle, advises worried Marlin to "let little dudes find their own way home," ironically downplaying Nemo's plight. Trapped in an aquarium in an australian dental office after being caught by a diver, he struggles to escape.
"Finding Nemo" is a new highpoint in animation, although it might not become a classic.
Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, and David Reynolds
Ellen Degeneres, Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould
Fatherly love, ocean ecology, Nemo, clownfish, animation, Pi
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