Skip to main content
CNN EditionEntertainment
The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Coming Attractions
Overview | Gallery | Quiz

Review: 'Finding Nemo' worth its salt

By Paul Clinton
CNN Reviewer

Comedy with teeth: Deep-sea peril abounds in
Comedy with teeth: Deep-sea peril abounds in "Finding Nemo."

Story Tools


(CNN) -- In the past, the partnership of Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios has brought us the "Toy Story" films, "A Bug's Life" and "Monsters, Inc." Their latest collaboration, "Finding Nemo" continues the amazing winning streak.

This time the action takes place in the deep blue sea as we follow the adventures of a tiny clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his young son Nemo (voiced by 9-year-old Alexander Gould). In the dog-eat-dog -- or in this case fish-eat-fish -- food chain of the open sea, Marlin loses his mate and 399 of their 400 unhatched eggs when they become lunch for a passing group of fish.

The one remaining egg becomes Nemo, and Marlin, now a single parent, attempts to protect his son from everything and anything that could possibly harm him in any way. Naturally, Nemo resents this over protection and when he's old enough to attend fish "school," his curiosity gets the best of him, he wanders off, and becomes lost at sea.

The stage is now set for adventure. Against all odds Marlin sets out to rescue his wayward son.

Of course, no animated Disney flick is worth its salt without a wacky side-kick, and this time a blue tang fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) fits the bill. Her sunny, optimistic -- and somewhat wacky -- attitude is in direct opposition to Marlin's doom and gloom outlook on life. She just has one little, itty, bitty problem. She has absolutely no short-term memory and forgets everything that happens to her within moments. You could say it all goes in one gill and out the other. Together this odd couple sets out to find little Nemo, who unbeknownst to them has been captured by deep sea divers and is now residing in a fish tank located in a dentist's office overlooking Sydney Harbor.

Brave journey

Along the way, our reluctant heroes encounter a group of sharks, who are attempting to work a 12-Step program designed to change them from mindless eating machines into warm and fuzzy vegetarians, a huge group of killer jellyfish, a herd of terminally hip sea turtles and a flock of nasty seagulls.

Their brave journey soon becomes the stuff of legend as the fish and fowl they meet along the way begin to gossip about the two brave fish and their impossible journey. Word reaches Nemo and his fellow aquarium inmates that help is on the way, and they, too, hatch a plan to move things along.

In typical Disney fashion, this animated tale is meant to delight both adults and kids and comes with some life lessons wrapped in an entertaining story. Among other things, Nemo learns there's no place like home. Marlin learns the hard fact that his son must make his own mistakes and live his own life.

Other animated films, most notably "The Little Mermaid," have taken place underwater, but the realism achieved in this film is truly remarkable. All the movement, reflections and refractions must have been a nightmare to duplicate, but the animators have done an excellent job of creating a reality that is picture perfect.

Also, let's face it: Trying to make fish appealing and give them human characteristics is not an easy task when all you have to work with are a couple of fins and eyes. But again the folks at Pixar have managed to give all these various creatures individual and unique personalities.

With animation fare such as this, so much depends on the casting of the voices. DeGeneres and Brooks are wonderful in their parts, as is young Gould in the title role. Other notable contributions were made by Willem Dafoe as Gill, a fish who befriends Nemo in the fish tank, Geoffrey Rush as Nigel, a gossipy pelican, and Barry Humphries as Bruce, the Great White shark who is desperately trying to change his eating habits.

Bottom line: Add water and you have an instant Disney/Pixar classic.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Review: 'Perfect Man' fatally flawed
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.