Finding Nemo-Pixar’s Secret Formula, Annoying Voice Overs and Randy Newman
Nemo, a young clown fish is taken by a scuba diver and ends up in a aquarium in a dentist office. His father, Marlin, voiced by Mel Brooks, oh goodie, must go on a quest to find him. There are lots of wacky characters that both Nemo and Marlin meet on their respective journeys. This is a really sweet film that is largely free of any social programming type issues that we see in so many other animated films aimed at children (see my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Monster Inc. reviews.) Maybe I just missed the programming but, other than the usual follow the rules or you get hurt type stuff that seems to be in all kids movies, Finding Nemo seems to be fairly honest. Simply put this is nice, simple kids movie that has excellent CG animation, good pacing and is just fun to look at for both big kids and little ones. The theme of parental love resonates throughout the movie, but in a cutesy and not heavy handed way.
Annoyance Factor number one: Pixar, definitely has a formula. Just as in Monsters Inc. We have a super annoying voice being pumped into our ears through most of the film. In Finding Nemo it is Mel Brooks, in Monsters Inc it was Billy Crystal. I just don’t get this, why do these directors and studio executives persist on forcing us to listen to these guys? This really distracts from the overall quality of these films. However, I will say this, at least Brooks and Crystal, while annoying, I don’t believe they are bad guys. What is strange is how with many big budget animated releases actually employ actors that you know are borderline monsters. That is just confusing. Employ the thugs, a-holes and felons elsewhere, but not in the kid films, come on.
Annoyance Factor number two: Randy Newman. Again, Pixar hits us right over the head with freaking Randy Newman. For the love of all things holy stop it with Randy Newman! This is even more annoying that Annoyance Factor number one! But, we keep going, so the stuffed suits, say oh they like Randy Newman’s elegant and sophisticated ballads and they must like Mel Brooks and Billy Crystal, so there you have it. This film was wildly successful with a budget of about $90-$100 million and a gross of about $750 million, so we will probably get more Brooks and more Newman in the sequels, as Nemo will probably get lost again. Regardless, we need more films for children like Finding Nemo even with its minor flaws.
Visuals A+ (This is a really beautiful film. The CG animation will make your eyes pop.)
Enjoyability Grade B+
Home Theater/HD Factor A+ (What a great movie for showing how great HD animation can look.)
Overall Grade B+