Nemo Splashes Onto Screens

Disney and Pixar have done it again. The team that brought us Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life and Monsters, Inc. have created another side-splitting and captivating family film that is sure to be a hit with all ages. Finding Nemo opens in theaters nationwide today.

Virtuoso comedic actor Albert Brooks, also currently starring in The In-Laws, lends his voice to Marlin, a clownfish with big plans for his family. Soon, events take a tragic turn and his son, Nemo, is captured by a diver. Desperate to rescue him, Marlin sets off on a journey ripe with danger, adventure and a lot of laughs.

A good number of those laughs come from Ellen DeGeneres, who provides the voice of a forgetful fish named Dory. While she is often more of a hindrance than a help, Dory aides Marlin in his quest and adds levity against Brook’s believable desperation.

Director Andrew Stanton and the Pixar animators do a great job of letting the actors’ personalities and physical attributes come through in the animation, while at the same time giving the characters uniquely fish-like characteristics. Also remarkable is the technical achievement in creating realistic computer generated water and a myriad of underwater environments and creatures.

Alexander Gould (Wes Craven Presents: They) voices Nemo, who winds up in a fish aquarium in a dentist’s office in Sydney, Australia. There he meets Gill (Willem Dafoe) Bloat (Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett) Peach (The West Wing‘s Allison Janney) and Bubbles (Stephen Root). The voice cast also includes Geoffry Rush, Eric Bana, Vicki Lewis, Elizabeth Perkins, John Ratzenberger and Barry Humphries.

Finding Nemo is beautiful to look at and the story is equally engrossing. Written by Stanton, the script offers plenty of Jokes for adults in addition to the lower-aimed slapstick gags typical of the genre. Dads will also appreciate the heroic depiction of the father figure, which is all too often absent, lampooned or vilified in the movies.

Accompanying Finding Nemo in many theaters is a teaser trailer for the next Disney/Pixar effort, The Incredibles. Directed by Iron Giant helmer Brad Bird, the film follows the adventures of a family of undercover superheroes trying to live the quiet suburban life when they are called into action to save the world. It is slated to hit theaters December 2004.

Read about the making of Finding Nemo in the May print issue of Animation Magazine.