In the colorful and warm tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, a Clownfish named Marlin lives safe and secluded in a quiet cul-de-sac with his only son, NEMO. Fearful of the ocean and its unpredictable risks, he struggles to protect his son.
Nemo, like all young fish, is eager to explore the mysterious reef. When Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from home and thrust into a dentist’s office fish tank, Marlin finds himself the unlikely hero on an epic journey to rescue his son. In his quest, Marlin is joined by a good Samaritan named Dory, a Regal Blue Tang fish with the worst short-term memory and biggest heart in the entire ocean.
As the two fish continue on their journey, encountering numerous dangers, Dory’s optimism continually forces Marlin to find the courage to take risks and overcome his fears.
In doing so, Marlin gains the ability to trust and believe, like Dory, that things will work out in the end. Confronting seabirds, sewer systems, and even man himself, father and son’s fateful separation ends in triumph. And the once-fearful Marlin becomes a true hero in the eyes of his son, and the entire ocean.
Finding Nemo, directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, follows Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), an overprotective clown fish father, as he desperately searches the sea for his missing son, Nemo (Alexander Gould).
Marlin’s journey leads him beyond the Great Barrier Reef into deeper and darker waters, where he meets Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a forgetful yet optimistic blue tang, and a number of not-so-friendly–and often very hungry–aquatic creatures.
Meanwhile, little Nemo finds himself in a dentist’s fish tank in Syndey, Australia, along with other underwater captives, including Gill (Willem Dafoe), the group’s scarred Moorish idol leader. As Nemo works with his new friends on a plan to escape their tank, Marlin and Dory swim closer, but they’ll need more than just fins to get into the dentist’s office.
This fifth computer-animated outing by Pixar continues the company’s remarkable winning streak that began with Toy Story. Like other Pixar films, Finding Nemo features a story with heart–this time, a father-and-son tale–and thoroughly charming leads–in this case, Marlin, Nemo, and Dory. And, of course, there’s an army of fascinating supporting characters, including Bruce (Barry Humphries), a great white shark on a no-fish diet; Crush (director/screenwriter Stanton), a surfer-dude sea turtle; Peach (Allison Janney), a stuck-to-the-aquarium starfish; and Nigel (Geoffrey Rush), a bold pelican.
However, what truly distinguishes NEMO from even its CGI cousins is its stunning depiction of aquatic life, from the colorful creatures on a coral reef to a blue whale on the vast expanse of the open ocean. By combining the aesthetic of a National Geographic marine life documentary with clever jokes and Hitchcock references, NEMO succeeds in its bid to up the ante for animated films yet again. And be sure to watch the credits or you just might miss something!
Starring: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, Allison Janney, Brad Garrett, Vicki Lewis, Elizabeth Perkins, Eric Bana, Erica Beck
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Screenplay: Andrew Stanton
Release Date: May 30th, 2003
MPAA Rating: G for general audience.
Box Office: $339,714,978 (US total)
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Related Link: Finding Nemo on Movies Central