I can’t recall the last time I had a full watch of 2003‘s Finding Nemo. I’ve encountered the core of its story numerous times at Epcot and Disneyland which both feature varying versions and characters of the story in ride form. It’s the closest I’ve come to the film since seeing it in a theater on its initial release.
Flash forward nearly ten years and the second highest grossing Pixar film of all time is returning to theaters with added depth by way of a 3D conversion. To be sure it’s also likely a reminder that Finding Nemo 2 is just a short four years away slated for a 2016 release date. Being so far removed from Nemo’s first sea adventure I’d mostly forgotten about the film. I recalled liking it initially. Ten years removed, and as a changed person the film has lost a bit of its impact on me. That isn’t to say I’ve fallen out of love with Finding Nemo, it’s just that it’s story seems so simple compared to other Pixar works that have come since its release.
The story for those that don’t remember is that of Nemo (Voiced by Alexander Gould) being scooped up by a diver after taking a dare from classmates and his father going after him. Remember this is a Pixar film. That means that Nemo is a child with only one parent which is one of those Pixar tropes more mirroring of today’s single parent society than that of the old time(y) nuclear family. During Marlin’s (Voiced by Albert Brooks) chase of the boat in hopes of rescuing his son, he encounters Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a fish that suffers from a severely short attention and memory span. They traverse the ocean encountering its exotic and more mundane inhabitants while searching for Nemo.
Nemo meanwhile becomes the hilariously renamed “Shark Bait” in a dentist office fish tank. It’s also quickly realized that in a few short days the dentist intends to gift the little fish with a gimpy fin to his niece who is a notorious fish murderer.
Finding Nemo, so far removed from its initial release, is still a beautiful, vividly colored film. Thanks to being under seas with few human characters featured in the film and considering the advances in computer animation Finding Nemo easily holds up to current releases. Only the most critical of animation honed eyes are likely to find any fault with a nearly ten year old film. Just think, this is a film that came four years before the first iPhone, crazy!
As for the 3D reissue, well I’m really not sure what to say. Yes it’s now a three dimensional undersea world. Yes it looks good, though I ultimately walked away really indifferent to if it really added anything to my movie going experience. There was no one moment in Finding Nemo 3D that made me sit up and say this is a must see. Pixar/Disney seem hell bent on re-releasing most of Pixar’s better known hits in 3D. Monster’s Inc. is up next in December, also likely a reminder for its sequel due next June.
Having been through the first two Toy Story films and the The Lion King 3D reissue I’m not sure if I’m just becoming more acquainted with 3D and being less aware of its effect or if I’m truly tiring of it. For Finding Nemo 3D, It’s a chance for fans of the film to revisit a favorite on the big screen, something I always strongly encourage. If you’re one of the few that haven’t seen it, or perhaps had kids, or become an aunt or uncle since 2003 I’d fully encourage taking a new generation to discover Finding Nemo. For the rest of us, I’d teeter on giving this one a pass or perhaps chucking the Blu-Ray release of Finding Nemo in for a spin.
I give Finding Nemo 3D 3 “sunken submarines” out of 5
By John Coovert