Movie Review: Finding Nemo

I didn’t have particularly high expectations for the latest Pixar flick, Finding Nemo. What little I knew of the plot didn’t seem to have the same wacky, fanciful quality shared by the other Pixar films (Monsters, Inc., Toy Story). But, the 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes told me that maybe there is something going on here. The movie turned out to be excellent.

Since I don’t get paid to write reviews, I’m not going to rehash the plot, beyond the very basics. A clownfish named Marlin’s only son, Nemo, is snatched up by some humans and Marlin won’t stop until he finds Nemo. The characters were well-defined and well-acted. The graphics were fantastic, with all sorts of underwater creatures and things coming to life in vivid color. I think Pixar tried to make the sea creatures realistic overall. Had this movie actually been shot under water, it would have taken many lights to make this as colorful.

Pixar has had a string of greatly entertaining, visually appealing movies and Finding Nemo continues this tradition as well. A preview for next year’s The Incredibles makes me think that Pixar’s winning streak is not yet over. The short film before the main movie (I forget what it was called) was a nice bit of entertainment and was quite impressive for 1989.

Since I’m writing this on Monday morning, I’ve had a chance to see the box office receipts for Finding Nemo. $70 million+ in its first weekend, a new record for an animated movie. The remarkable thing about this is that many of the admissions were at matinee and kids prices (unlike a more adult-oriented movie like Matrix Reloaded). Very cool. We’ll see if it has the same kind of mighty dropoffs that Reloaded and Bruce Almighty have had.