Film Review © 2003 by Trip Reynolds


Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich; Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, and David Reynolds; Cinematography by Sharon Calahan and Jeremy Lasky; Art Direction by Randy Berrett, Anthony Christov, Robin Cooper, and Ricky Vega Nierva; Produced by Graham Walters; Executive Produced by John Lasseter.

Starring the voice talents of Albert Brooks (as the paranoid and overly protective clownfish father of Nemo, Marlin), Ellen DeGeneres (as Marlin's ever-forgetful newfound friend, a Regal Blue Tang fish, Dory), Alexander Gould (as Marlin's son, the little clownfish, Nemo), Willem Dafoe (as Gil), Brad Garrett (as Bloat), Allison Janney (as Peach the Starfish), Austin Pendleton (as Gurgle), Stephen Root (as Bubbles), Vicki Lewis (as Deb and Flo), Joe Ranft (as Jacques), Geoffrey Rush (as a Pelican, Nigel), Andrew Stanton (as a beach-rat Sea Tortoise, Crush), Elizabeth Perkins (as Coral), Nicolas Bird (as Squirt), Bob Peterson (as Mr. Ray), Barry Humphries (as Bruce the Great White Shark), Eric Bana (as Anchor), Bruce Spence (as Chum), Bill Hunter (as the Dentist), LuLu Ebeling (as the dentist's daughter, Darla), Jordy Ranft (as Tad), Erica Beck (as Pearl), Erik Per Sullivan (as Seldon the Seahorse), and John Ratzenberger (as the Fish School instructor).

An strikingly colorful, very beautiful film to watch. High credit to Pixar for producing such a visually appealing film. The aquatic universe created for this film is totally believable and, in particular, the movement of all underwater life, from fish to sharks to sea tortoises. Kudos to Sharon Calahan and Jeremy Lasky for cinematography, and to Randy Berrett, Anthony Christov, Robin Cooper, and Ricky Vega Nierva for art direction. Additionally, film is benefited by the voice talents of a great ensemble cast.

Unfortunately, the story of a father (or son) searching for a son (or father) is a cliché of rehashed Disney scripts ad infinitum. Of course, we already know that Marlin will eventually find his son, Nemo who, in response to a challenge, ventured from the safety of his habitat into the (drum roll) Great Barrier Reef and was captured by a human and deposited into a dentist's aquarium. Nevertheless, the actual dialogue for this "rights of passage" film is often fresh, inventive and, in particular, the voice talents of Ellen DeGeneres. Without question, DeGeneres' Dory is the best thing, the funniest thing about this film.

Film is capably directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. However, the running length should have been trimmed by at least ten minutes.

Film has a running length of 100 minutes.

Recommendation: The visuals are best seen on the big screen, so see this movie in a theatre. You will enjoy yourself!