Humor in ‘Finding Nemo’ still fresh in 3D rerelease
Movie Review | 3.5 out of 5 stars
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 11:09
3D can be tricky; sometimes it is worth the raised ticket price, and other times it is simply not. Happily, “Finding Nemo 3D” (2012) passes the test.
Originally released in 2003, “Finding Nemo” hit theatres early enough in Pixar’s career to be innovative and entertaining. It also continued Pixar’s legacy as the most successful animation studio in recent history. Those were the days when Walt Disney Studios, Pixar’s parent company, still did things right. In recent years, however, Disney has relied on sequels, prequels and now on 3D re-releases including “The Lion King 3D” (2012), “Monsters Inc. 3D” (2012) and “The Little Mermaid 3D” (2013), with largely lackluster results. In some ways, “Finding Nemo 3D” is a prime example of this. Yet, there is enough originality and nostalgia wrapped up in “Finding Nemo 3D” that it is a solid re-release overall.
It is customary for Pixar to release a new short film along with its features. In the case of “Finding Nemo 3D,” this film is “Partysaurus Rex” (2012), an addition to Pixar’s Toy Story Toons short film series. This short makes good use of the advancements in animation technology that have appeared since 2003 to bring viewers exaggerated colors, sounds and movements. The 3D effect is amazing, but there is very little focus on the actual plot, which contrasts with the originality and cleverness of “Finding Nemo.”
For those who missed the original flick, “Finding Nemo” is the story of Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clownfish who loses his wife and unborn children in a sudden shark attack that leaves him with one surviving baby boy, Nemo (Alexander Gould). Marlin vows to protect him for the rest of his life, but as Nemo grows up, the young fish feels that his father is overbearing. One day, he decides to disobey his father’s warnings.
Nemo is then captured by a human diver, and so begins Marlin’s quest to find his lost son. Along the way, he meets a constantly happy, always hyper and easily forgetful fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) who joins him on his journey across the ocean. Together, Marlin and Dory encounter countless sea creatures, from vegetarian sharks to surfer-dude turtles to evil jellyfish.
Meanwhile, the film chronicles Nemo’s life in a fish tank, where he befriends a group of charismatic fish that try to help him find his way back into the ocean. The story is full of surprises and interesting characters throughout, and it builds to a dramatic conclusion.
It is important to note that in an underwater setting, everything is in constant motion. This is where the 3D effect is most satisfying. There is an incredible amount of layering and movement in “Finding Nemo,” more so than in any other Pixar film. Fish race through the ocean by plants and creatures of every size, color and texture. Even when the characters are relatively stationary, every little fleck and bubble in the ocean stands out. The 3D thoroughly adds to these experiences, making the journey feel all the more exhilarating.
The rerelease of “Finding Nemo” seems primarily commercially motivated, and it should be a big hit. “Nemo” is the perfect film for Pixar to bring back into theaters because it successfully attracts both old and new audiences. Old fans that have previously seen the film in theaters will pay to compare the 3D version to the original, while those seeing it for the first time will simply be exposed to an animated classic.
For many, “Finding Nemo 3D” will be an incredibly visual experience, albeit one with a familiar storyline. “Finding Nemo” is one of the most hilarious and quotable animated features in recent years, due to Ellen DeGeneres’ great comedic timing and delivery, and such laughs are better shared at a movie theater than during home viewing.
Although some parents with small children have come to the film expecting to see a sequel instead of a re-release, a fact that caused an understandable bit of confusion, audiences still seem to enjoy “Finding Nemo 3D”. It has held up well over the past nine years as a classic Disney Pixar film, and will continue to do so as newer, and probably less original, animated films are released. This does happen to include a rumored “Finding Nemo” sequel.