by James Bregman
BBC News Online
Pixar's Finding Nemo has become the most successful animated film of all time in the United States.
The film is another collaboration between Disney and Pixar
Whilst not quite the classic that its huge Stateside takings indicate, this fishy opus is hugely entertaining.
Just as Belleville Rendezvous flew a last-gasp flag for 2D animation, Finding Nemo is a thoroughly 21st century piece of work.
Every trick in the digital book is used to create a truly dazzling spectacle.
It is a real assault on the senses, and the computer-generated undersea world is packed with more colour, characters and gags than can easily be taken in.
Young clownfish Nemo is the only survivor when his mother and siblings become breakfast for a passing barracuda.
Defying his over-protective father, he leaves the safety of the reef and is promptly whisked away by a scuba diver to a fish's living hell - a dental surgery's fish-tank.
The shark only appears for a short time
Cue a twin-track story as dad looks for his son while Nemo sets about escaping his aquarium prison.
Sharp writing is both necessity and the norm for big-budget animation nowadays, and Finding Nemo comes with the obligatory slick plotting and gag-laden dialogue.
A strong cast helps pull it off, particularly the Australian contingent, led by Barry Humphries as a great white shark torturing himself on a hilarious quest for self-improvement.
His appearance is disappointingly brief, as is that of Crush, a laconic turtle with a surfer's drawl.
Indeed, Finding Nemo is an episodic piece of work, wherein characters and locations crop up, do their bit, and are not seen again.
It is a patchy structure, but works for the most part.
Less pleasing is the filmmakers' determination to ram their central theme - of "letting go" and overcoming fear - down the audience's throat without mercy.
Despite that, Nemo crams in more excitement, wit, and inspired CGI mayhem than a dozen Hulks and Terminators, and even Robbie Williams' diabolical rendition of Beyond the Sea cannot hamper the movie's status as the year's most satisfying blockbuster.
Have you seen the film? What did you think? Send us your views on the form below.
If you thought Monsters Inc. was great you will love Finding Nemo! Another brilliant offering from Pixar.
Classic film - the kids & I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The phrase "Fish are our friends, not our food" cracked me up. I eagerly await The Incredibles.
Steve, Liverpool, UK
Tasmin - Barry Humphries would be quite disappointed to hear he has a "dodgy Australian accent". If he does, I guess we all do!
Another Pixar triumph! Pixar's strength is that they never forget that the story is the thing. There's always loads of pace and the characters are always engaging. Yes, the animation is breathtaking, but you never feel as if they're saying "Hey, look what we can do!" Set pieces are enhancements rather than the distractions that they have become in certain other films. Brilliant stuff!
I loved it, thought Ellen de Generes was fab. If you can bear it, sit through all the end credits as there's a little snippet right at the end that'll make you laugh.
The animation is mind-bogglingly brilliant! I can only imagine the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into creating this masterpiece of modern animation... Somehow it treads that razor-fine line between realism (I'm a scuba diver so I should know!) and cartoonishness with utter aplomb (unlike Shrek, for instance). Pixar is god!
Oh, and the movie's good fun too.
To Hitesh Joshi: What English people? They were Australian and not English and hardly 'baddies' as such.
I loved the film and will probably go again when my friend gets back from holiday.
Also when I saw the film most of the people there were adults and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
Kids loved it, wife loved it, I nearly fell asleep. I was expecting more of Bruce due to all the advertising and build up around him. It falls short of the best film Pixar has made -Monsters Inc.
Mickey Long, UK.
I thought it was great - it even got a round of applause at the cinema where i saw it (Filmworks, Greenwich).
It was a bit intense for kids though; the peril was high pressure all the way through. My 5 year old niece was in tears for about half the film. And it makes you feel bad for keeping fish!
I loved this film. It is the best animation film yet. I liked it even better than Toy Story.
Fabulous! As a life long Disney fan I have to admit that all other new Disney releases have been poor comparisons to those animated by Pixar, Nemo easily stands alongside Toy Story or Monsters Inc. as a classic. I just love Dory and Bruce but most of all the superlative Crush Dude!
A bit weak. For the seventh biggest movie of all time I was expecting more. The sketch format is confusing after a time and the central characters do not last the full hour and a half unlike Toy Story or Bug's Life. But what did my kids think? They loved it!
Great movie. But why are the English the bad guys again?!
I took it as a very good sign that when "The End" came up on the screen, a faint "Awhhhh" was heard across the cinema, followed by a round of applause. What a cute film!
Finding Nemo is an amusing tale with Dory providing the most laughs as the fish that has no memory! However the overall composition of the film is slightly lacking when compared to its Pixar predecessors such as Toy story and Monsters Inc. It seems more like a series of amusing scenes patched together than a smooth story. But still very good!
Jasper Sleeman-Hiscock, England
Really enjoyed it, although I didn't find it as "laugh out loud" as Monsters Inc or Toy Story, nevertheless it raised plenty of smiles and smirks.
Robbie Williams sang a perfectly good Beyond the Sea, did anyone else spot Mike Wazowski? Apparently there are loads of "in jokes" hidden in the film, I only saw Buzz and Mike though.
Go see it, it's great fun and takes digital animation to new depths.
Hopefully Pixar can keep their feet on the ground and continue to bring us genuinely funny movies for years to come.
I was grateful that I hadn't been exposed to the 'how we made it' marketing rubbish. I nipped out on the first day of it being shown and really enjoyed the surprises - shark, tragedy, aussies, danger blah blah blah. Okay, it has a bit of the old cheese, but as far as cheese is concerned it's not too bad. You get plenty of distraction and the pacing is good. Even though I am happy with this, I still long for an animated film that really hits the mark - Spirited was too mangish but strangely fun, if a bit demonic. Belle Ville was great, but probably too slow. I just want something with the combined treats of mass-media budgeting/low budget ideology.
Jason , Chessington
I don't see what all the hype is about. I saw the movie on a plane and thought it ok - but that's it and that too because I was on a 12 hour flight where all the other movies were terrible!! One magazine went as far as to say that it was funnier than Toy Story - no its not. In fact it not all that funny at all. Yes it 'looks' good and so young kids will love it and there is no real story line so you can 'lose' yourself in it but asides that it is a poor excuse for a movie!
Rhaynukaa Mehta, England
Outstanding, deeply moving and hilarious... I absolutely loved it.... An absolute success!!
Yacine Yala, England
An excellent movie!! A definite DVD buy. although I was disappointed to see there were no "out-takes". Bruce (the vegetarian shark) also had quite a dodgy Austrailian accent. I thought he was a cockney shark at one point!
It's brilliant, colourful, exciting, fast-paced and like the best Disney spectacles works on a number of levels for its family audience. My two children, aged 3 and 5 enjoyed it enormously. The script is great, the characters memorable - as good as Monsters Inc., but very different and it is the variety and creativity of the Pixar team which always keeps us going back for more. It is great to see a children's film which doesn't patronise its young audience - we have death here, loss, failure and addiction. The comic turn that the "Fish Are Friends" sharks is an inspiration - highly recommended.
The best film I've seen since Monsters Inc. Can't say much more than that really. A must see movie!
Finding Nemo is not a patch on the Toy Story series and it still falls short of the originality of Monsters Inc, but it is excellent entertainment. My children loved it and spend alot of their day running round shouting "Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!"!
Mike T, London, UK
While Finding Nemo is very entertaining, I didn't think it was as quite as good as previous efforts by Pixar. Toy Story and Monsters Inc had more hilarious moments, while Finding Nemo was just amusing.
The turtles were the best bit though - they should have featured more in the storyline!
Jill, Northern Ireland
Yet another excellent animation from Pixar - Keep them coming guys.
Paul "Tank" Cassidy, Nottm, England
Finding Nemo is a cute classic. I took my kids and they have not stopped talking about it for three days now. The characters are well developed and the animation is second to none. The best animated movie I have ever seen, apart from Watership down, of course.
phil jacobs, UK
Great film!! Pixar have done it again. To all those critics who said it was not "deep enough" excuse the pun, it is only a family movie!! Children and parents alike adored it when I went to see it.
Gabriel Asseily, UK
Hitesh Joshi the English aren't even in the movie! It's set in Australia!
I thought this film was absolutely wonderful and you have to go and see it whether you're a child or an adult! It's intelligent, funny, and the animation is breath-taking. Any danger of shmaltz overload is counteracted by the film's sheer inventiveness in terms of its characters and the inspired humour that goes with them. I completely disagree with the opinion that the film's characters and humour were not up to Toy Story or A Bug's Life standards - A Bug's Life is unbelievably dull in comparison!
I feel that 'Finding Nemo' had a lot to live up to. Especially against 'Monsters Inc.' and both Toy Stories. I felt deflated leaving the cinema the other night, having not been satisfied with Pixar's latest creation. There is too much emphasis on the main characters, which doesnt really allow the others to shine through. For example, Bruce the Shark would have kept the chuckle throughout with his Aussie one-liners and fish dependency problems. A very good film in terms of story and the backdrops and animation are tremendous but the characters really let this film down. Hopefully, next time, Pixar can dig deep into their imaginations and pull out another success to rival toy story.
I saw this film in the States in June and its just wonderful. I cannot wait to see it again. The animation and sheer "cuteness" of this film will win you over ! A Winner !
Sharon, Basingstoke, England
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