to be overwhelming.
animators, anyway, who treated the ocean floor
as beyond their artistic grasp.
now water under the, um, bridge.
Nemo baits the hook with not
only a heartwarming father-son story but a visually
splendiferous underwater setting.
Andrew Stanton, who's had a fin in his share
of animated classics (Toy
Story 2, A
Bug's Life, Monsters,
Inc.), Finding Nemo manages
to blend comedy, drama, suspense, adventure,
and spectacle into a remarkably fluid entertainment.
gives voice to the main character, a nervous
clown fish named Marlin who's overprotective
of his only son Nemo after a tragedy changes
family life for them in the Great Barrier Reef.
...When an Australian
diver captures Nemo, who ends up in a dentist's-office
aquarium in Sydney, the timid clown fish/father
takes off after his beloved offspring in a desperate
race against time, his own timidity, troubled
waters, and astronomical odds.
...Along the way,
Marlin and Nemo encounter their share of colorful
characters--some helpful, some threatening,
some swimming, some flying, all witty--with
voices provided by an ensemble cast that includes
Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett,
Allison Janney, and Geoffrey Rush.
...And as the central
story proceeds swimmingly toward reunion, giving
the adventure a strong emotional spine, several
themes bob to the surface, chief among them
the difficulty parents have letting go of their
most amazing about the film--even though you
catch yourself taking it for granted for stretches
of time early on--is the surprisingly convincing,
richly detailed oceanic environment.
...This is a marvel
of computer-generated animation that raises
the bar by capturing the look, feel, sense,
and flow of underwater life to an astonishing
and arresting degree.
...What its predessors
have done for toys, bugs, and monsters, this
dip in the sea does for fish.
out of 4 for the splashy tale that sets the
CGI high-water mark for visual design, Finding
fishy about this fishiest of animated attractions.
one of the big reasons, of course, that we are
now enjoying the fruits of a golden age of animation,
and Pixar has led the way with its quartet of
witty, imaginative blockbusters:
Story (1995) was the first completely
computer-animated, feature-length cartoon, a
scintillating entertainment about talking toys--featuring
the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen--and a
delight for kids of all ages.
Story 2 (1999) did the impossible.
It topped--or at least matched--the glorious
original by reaching even more eye-popping,
laugh-generating, tear-inducing heights with
a continuation of the same joyful, toyful saga.
Bug's Life (1998), which was
sandwiched by the Toy Stories, is just a shade
less wonderful--and an appropriately tiny shade
at that. It's a creepy-crawly-creature feature,
set in the insect world, about a misfit ant
who leaves the colony to save the day.
Inc. (2001), another technical
dazzler, brings the world of children's fears
to frightfully funny life, aided by the voices
of Billy Crystal and John Goodman as factory-worker
citizens of Monstropolis.