Finding Nemo (2003)

Directed by Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich

The people from Pixar make visually marvellous movies. The stories are generally pretty good, though they are pretty basic – as it should be given the audience the films are made for, children and their families.

In Finding Nemo, we get the quest of an over-protective single parent, a neurotic father named Marlin, voiced by Albert Brooks. He’s in search of his son who has been stolen from the sea by men catching tropical fish. His son has been lost mainly because the father and son have quarrelled over the father’s over-protectiveness. The son isn’t allowed to grow because of the father’s fears of something “bad” happening.

(The father’s fear is explained at the film’s beginning – he has lost his wife and other children to the dangers of the ocean. He is therefore terrified of losing his one remaining son, Nemo.)

It’s a quest movie through the world’s oceans. As with all quests, there are numerous characters the hero meets along the way and the Pixar animators have given us some stunning and quirky ones. It’s delightful to watch and travel along with Marlin.

Contrasting the ocean adventures of Marlin, the film intercuts with Nemo in a tropical fish tank in Australia. By contrast with the ocean, the tank is about constaints. The fish continually swim into glass walls.

The one part of the Pixar animations I find is always a bit weak is the humans. Somehow, they stick out like sore thumbs and seem not to belong in the same film.

While not a great movie, Finding Nemo is pretty good and certainly a visual feast.

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