Monday, April 07, 2008

18. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)


Pixar may have walked away with the Oscar (rather undeservedly, I felt) again this year for and gotten countless superlative praises for their work on Ratatouille, but I far, far prefer Monster’s Inc, Toy Story, The Incredibles and A Bug’s Life. And I love Finding Nemo even more than them.

I watch a lot of films and TV programmes with my little brother Tom, and Finding Nemo is our favourite to watch together. It's a movie that we both love for the same reasons, and never gets old. The plot – weak-finned Nemo is the only remaining family of neurotic clownfish Marlin following an accident that kills his mum and all his other brothers and sisters. One day, sick of his dad’s constant fretting, Nemo goes against his dad’s instructions, and gets caught by a passing diver in the process. Marlin must then gather his wits in order to get his son back, and in the adventure, both father and son discover the beauty and grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as finding out just how important family is to them.

Finding Nemo is feast for the eyes, ears and soul alike. The detail and intricacy at which the underwater fishes are created are nothing short of breathtaking. Each frame glows with beauty. The score, from Thomas Newman, is my favourite of all time. His orchestration, whether it be soft strings (Nemo egg), Pizzicati (First Day) or Shawshank Redemption-ness (Wow) fits the movie perfectly. And every character in the film is memorable and adorable in their own little way, whether it be the vegetarian sharks, plucky little Marlin or, best of all, the forgetful but well-intentioned Dory, possibly one of the cutest film characters of all time. The script is so, so good, it never gets over schmaltzy like some Disney films have in the past, yet it still captivates the audience to deliver a message that can be appreciated universally. Andrew Stanton should have won Original Screenplay at the Oscars over Sofia Coppola. All this cumulates in a very special piece of work that had me weeping with laughter from one minute (the Psycho homage), and wiping away a bittersweet tear of another (Nemo telling his dad he loved him.)

I like me a bit of cartoons, whether it be Studio Ghibli Produkshunz, 40s Disney or The Simpsons. And Finding Nemo, for me, is as good as it gets in animated film. This film is sweet, moving, entertaining and really, really funny. 2003 was a great year for films and Finding Nemo will always have a special place in my heart.


46 comments:

Maynard and or Lando and or Bada said...

Lost in Translation>Finding Nemo x40. Now and forever.

Anonymous said...

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Arthur said...

Wow. You know you've made it big when you've got critics, Emma. Kudos.

Yeah I loved Finding Nemo too. A friend of mine's sister took us to see it when it first came out. I adamantly refused to watch such a "kid's movie" but I actually came out of the cinema whistling because I enjoyed the movie so much. There have been too many Pixar-type animation films recently though. DMU sets rather quickly... ;) Just stick to perfecting the few - Toy Story, Shrek, and The Incredibles were my favourites.

Just keep swimmin'...

Anonymous said...

Finding Nemo's for babies. Lost in Translation is a masterpiece for intellectuals. Trust you not to understand it, Emma.

Emma said...

I guess I'm a baby and not an intellectual like you then.

Anonymous said...

Listen bitch, as long as you keep hating on Sofia Coppola’s masterpiece and pimping films for 5 year olds, your film blog will never get taken seriously

Kayleigh said...

Erm...okay. Some people have a lot of free time on their hands. Great review Emma, Nemo is a fanastic film. Whoever says cartoons are just for kids really don't have any idea what they're talking about.

edward said...

nd Finding Nemo is our favourite to watch together. It's a movie that we both love for the same reasons, and never gets old.


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tinea corporis said...

I love this movie ... in my experience is one of the best productions of Disney ... I take out the two to go see it with my children

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