Finding Nemo

Dan Goldwasser Movie Reviews

What can one say about Finding Nemo that either hasn’t been said already, or doesn’t sound like a rehash of every Pixar movie review written since Toy Story?

I went to see this new gem of a flick with John over at the Pacific Crest theater in Westwood. It was a 9:15pm show – the last show of the evening. I figured the “kiddy” factor would be reduced. I was right. However, as we waited patiently in line to get into the theater we were flanked by groups of kids on both sides. The kids behind us didn’t understand that they constantly violated our personal space. The kinds in front of us were roudy, and their “supervisor” didn’t do squat to keep them in line. When one of them dropped their soda, spilling it all over the floor and spashing my feet, they just laughed uproariously, and the “supervisor” did nothing. Grr. Learn some frickin’ manners.

The film itself was, as one can expect now from Pixar, 110% enjoyable, made possible by the excellent story, exceptional animation, and perfect voice casting. Albert Brooks isn’t as depressing as he usually can be, but his solemness and desperation to find his son Nemo is perfectly contrasted by Ellen DeGeneres’s “Dory”, a flighty airhead who has a short-term memory problem. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the recording session for her – it must have been a trip! Willem Dafoe plays… surprisingly enough… a good fish. Wow. First time in years, eh, Billy?

On a technical level, Pixar keeps pushing the envelope with their CGI rendering ability, and this is certainly the most “photorealistic” Pixar film I’ve seen. With the exception of the characters, of course. The lighting and colors make this one of the most eye-popping films I’ve seen all year. Musically, Thomas Newman hands in a delightful – yet ecclectic – underscore, which remains constant in its emotional goals, but allows him to jump all over the place stylistically. The scene with Crush and Squirt and the “swirling vortex of death” is just a blast!

Bitchfest: They put the old Pixar short “Knickknack” in front of the film – and digitally modified it. Yes, that’s right, this classic little short has been Disney-fied. Urgh. Gone are the outrageously large boobies that the mermaids had. Yes, I know it’s a kids film that it’s attached to, but this is absurd! Were they afraid little Billy would turn to his mom and say “Mommy, what’s that!?” Well, kid, they’re the same thing mom has – but bigger. Part of the humor of the short came from the fact that these mermaids were so outrageously endowed – and that is why Knickknack was drawn to them, the horndog snowman that he was. Too bad censorship reared its ugly head once again, and a classic short film was modified to match the audience. I can’t wait for the “Andre & Wally B” where they digitally remove the stinger, cause it’s offensive.