cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Finding Nemo

Starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney
Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds; Original Story by Andrew Stanton
Directed by Andrew Stanton

IN SHORT: Take the kidlets. [Rated G. 100 minutes]

We've written elsewhere that animating the 'look of water' is the most difficult of all 'toon tasks. Leave it to the folks at Pixar to set an entire project above and below the lapping waves of the big blue briney. From the collaboration which has consistently produced the best full length animated movies of the last hunk a' years -- those would be the Toy Story flicks, A Bug's Life and Monster's Inc from Disney/Pixar -- comes half a full movie (the second half) and, all in all, one which you can take the kids to without worry. As a solo adult outing, though, it came up short for us. As with Monsters Inc., the 'toon technology gets in the way of storytelling. Fur in Monsters Inc.. Water in Finding Nemo. Darn shame, too, because the latter half of Finding Nemo is blockbuster worthy.

Then again, we were almost seriously injured the night before our screening (in an escalator accident, too long a story to tell) so it just may be that it took us longer to fall under this film's spell.

A father-son tale of words ill-spoken, two lives shattered by extraordinary intervention and an epic journey to achieve reunion and reconciliation -- we'll stop now -- Finding Nemo introduces us o Albert Brooks as Marlin, a clown fish who is overprotective of his son Nemo (Alexander Gould), born with a malformed flipper. Marlin's got good reason, as seen in the opening sequence which may be too intense for four year olds who are old enough to figure out the "what happened?" but maybe not the "why did it happen" of life. We're sure the Disney folk tested the sequence endlessly but even we found it more intense than anything we expected. It's the second of two emotionally tough bits, with the separation of Marlin and Nemo following in short order.

Marlin, determined to find and save his son finds a traveling companion in a blue tang fish called Dory (Ellen DeGeneris). Dory's heart is in the right place but her attention span is less than nil -- in the pre-politically correct days she would've been called "dumb." The pair are pointed in the right direction by a school of fish (Pixar regular John Ratzenberger) and hitch a ride on a friendly tortoise through the gulf stream off of Australia's coast. In their way are Anchor (Eric Bana), Chum (Bruce Spence) and Bruce (Barry Humphries), all of 'em man-eating sharks. Their gimmick is the first glimpse of light and clever in the story. The journey of Marlin and Dory will become legend in the ocean, known even to those creatures who live above the waves. More in a moment.

Nemo, once a small fish in the big ocean wakes to find himself a small fish in a large tank. His new, temporary, home is in the office of an Australian dentist shared by a blowfish named Bloat (Brad Garrett); Jacques (Joe Ranft), a shrimp with a cleaning fetish; Deb & Flo (Vicki Lewis), a damselfish with even less brainpower than Dory; yellow tang fish Bubbles (Stephen Root) and a starfish called Peach (Allison Janney). The dentist intends to make a present of Nemo to his niece Darla (LuLu Ebeling), known to one and all as a dreaded "fish killer". Being the smallest, though, means that Nemo is tiny enough to engineer the mechanics of the "great escape" that senior fish Gill (Willem Dafoe), has conceived. This plan has a truly hysterically funny punch line which is delivered at the very end of the movie.

Linking the two stories is Nigel the pelican (Geoffrey Rush) -- Nigel and his compatriots sitting on a pier is about the point where everything kicked into place for us beginning with an observation that the animated image seemed to improve -- who protects the liddle fishies from hungry seagulls who would make them lunch. One Terminator 2 nod later we were rolling in the aisles.

Our audience was unanimous in praise so, given how the latter half turned out for us, on average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Finding Nemo, he would have paid . . .


You got kids? Take 'em.

amazon com link Click to buy films starring Albert Brooks
Click to buy films starring Willem Dafoe
Click to buy films by Geoffrey Rush

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.