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Finding Nemo

March 22, 2007

Finding Nemo one of the best animated features I have seen so far, is a wonderful movie dealing with a father son relationship. Nemo( voice by Alexander Gould) is a happy go lucky clownfish who has to put up with his over protective father, Marlin( voice by Albert Brooks) . Marlin has a reason for being protective, his wife and his entire brood had been wiped out in a shark attack, and Nemo is the sole survivor. Marlin does not want to lose his only son, and his worst fears come true, when Nemo is captured by a human diver at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef .
While Marlin goes on a hunt for his son, with the help of an absent minded surgeon fish called Dory( voice of Ellen De Generes), Nemo finds himself in a dentist’s aquarium, surrounded by a whole host of sea creatures, most prominent being a Morrish idol called Gill, the leader there( voice by Willelm Dafoe). And Marlin goes along a series of crazy adventures with a trio of vegetarian sharks, a torpedo, a school of fish, turtles floating in the current, a sea of jellyfish. On the other hand, Nemo plots his escape from the aquarium along with his mates there. Geoffrey Rush who acted as Capt Barbossa in Pirates of Carribean , gives his voice to Nigel , a Pelican, who helps out Marlin and Dory .
As an action-adventure, Finding Nemo , has enough to keep you and your kid, totally hooked for it’s running length. Some of the outstanding action sequences are
  • Marlin and Dory swimming through a sea of jelly fish.
  • Marlin and Dory encounters with the sharks.
  • The scene where the school of fish, make different shapes.
  • Marlin and Dory getting swallowed by a whale, and again coming out.
  • Marlin riding along with the turtles in the current.
  • Nemo’s attempts to escape from the aquarium.
  • Nemo’s first encounter with his mates in the aquarium.
Apart from the action scenes, the movie works because of it’s strong emotional theme of a father and son relationship. Many of us at some time or other, must have felt like Nemo , that our fathers were too over protective, and the way the movie looks at both the perspectives is what makes it work.
You feel for both Nemo and Marlin . Again Marlin’s search for Nemo , has been narrated in many stories, of a father searching for his child.
So apart from the action stuff, the movie has that strong emotional core. Some of the scenes are genuinely moving, like when Marlin , totally loses hope, that he could ever find his son.
But I guess the biggest impact the movie made on kids, is with the character of Nemo , the cute clownfish. Whenever my daughter sees an aquarium, the first thing she says “Daddy look Nemo”. Now even if you are not a kid, nor much into animation features, but still a true blue cinephile, you need to watch it for some subtle references.
Especially the homage to Alfred Hitchcock in 2 scenes, when the nasty bratty girl Darla comes into the frame, we have that spine chilling Bernard Hermann’s score from Psycho , as if to indicate her sadistic nature.
Again where the sea gulls dive to attack Marlin and Dora , is taken from a similar scene in another Hitchcock classic The Birds .
Nemo is taken from the character in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea , and the movie version was made by Disney , which also distributed this movie. And yes the special effects, cinematography and technical values, are in one word awesome . Never has the ocean looked so beautiful on screen, with wonderful fusion of colors, depicting the beauty of the sea. The brightly sparkling corals, the rich colors of the ocean floor, the depths of the abyss, everything has been depicted in a manner reminiscent of many Pixar movies. So if you have a kid, watch this movie with him/her and just enjoy the brilliant storytelling and wonderful visuals.
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