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Dan's DVD/Blu-ray Review: Finding Nemo

Somewhere, beyond the sea...
Finding Nemo (Disney/Pixar)

Rated G.

Starring (voices of) Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Joe Ranft, Geoffrey Rush, Andrew Stanton, Elizabeth Perkins, Nicholas Bird, Bob Peterson.

Written by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds.

Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.

GRADE: A

DVD/Blu-ray REVIEW:


Finding Nemo is already a "classic" animated feature, not even 10 years since its release. It's also one of the most beloved family films of all time, another accomplishment for a film so young.

Albert Brooks provides the voice for Marlin, the widowed clown fish raising his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) on his own at a reef near Australia. When Nemo is taken by divers, Marlin strikes out to find him, recruiting the absent-minded blue tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) for help. As Marlin and Dory encounter sharks, jellyfish, sea turtles and a whale, Nemo tries to adapt to life in a tank inside Sydney dentist's office. Nemo's new friends Gill (Willem Dafoe), Bloat (Brad Garrett), Peach (Allison Janney), Flo (Vickie Lewis), Gurgle (Austin Pendleton), Bubbles (Steven Root) and Jacque (Joe Ranft) all try helping the young fish devise a plan to get out of the tank and back in the ocean. A pelican named Nigel (Geoffrey Rush) also does his part.

As Marlin and Dory get closer to Sydney, Marlin begins to understand the importance of allowing kids to grow a little on their own, without being too protective.

Finding Nemo is not only one of the best animated films of all time, it's also one of the best family films. The humor and quality of animation make it one of Pixar's best and certainly most beloved.

DVD/Blu-ray Extras:

-Cine-Explore: Director Andrew Stanton, co-director Lee Unkrich and co-writer Bob Peterson sit down to dissect the film in a picture-in-picture commentary experience seen during the film.

-Finding Nemo: A Filmmakers' Roundtable short documentary including Stanton, Unkrich, Peterson, producer Graham Walters, production designer Ralph Eggleston and technical lead Oren Jacob.

-Reinventing the Submarine Voyage short documentary, looking at the original Submarine Voyage Disnelyland attraction and its transformation over the decades including the present Finding Nemo ride (I didn't know the original ride had REAL mermaids!)

-A Lesson in Flashbacks short documentary. Stanton discusses one the lessons he learned while developing and refining Nemo's story and flow.

-Deleted scene/alternate opening presented via animated concept art.

-Knick Knack short film. One of the original Pixar short films, released 6 years before Toy Story.

-Trailers and Sneak Peeks.

-Art Review with Production designer Ralph Eggleston, character art director Ricky Nierva and shading art director Robin Cooper offer a running commentary of pre-production artwork.

-Making Nemo short documentary from the original 2003 DVD release

-Exploring the Reef short documentary, also from the original 2003 DVD release, with host Jean-Michel Cousteau.

-Studio Tour short documentary with young Alexander Gould (voice of Nemo) exploring Pixar Studios and its departments.

-Old School short takes, a series of quick-hit extras: "El Capitan Pitch Selects," "School Progression," "MA Reference," "Whale Mouth," "International Mine," "Pelican Animation," "Glenn McQueen Tribute" and "Aquascum 2003."

-Deleted Scenes "Crush the Hippie," "Shark Volleyball," "Frantic Dad," "Scent of Lavender," "Sewage," "Prologue Bedtime Story" and "Soap Opera/Gil Lies," all presented via animated storyboards.

-Outtakes "Chickenfish," "Dory Muttering," "Rove McManus" and "Brooks Punch Lines."

-Publicity Pieces, including 4 trailers, plus "Fishy Facts," "ABC Stunts" and "DVD Stunts."

-Mr. Ray's Encyclopedia, an interactive encyclopedia with videos of real undersea creatures.

-A collection of short-loop ocean floor screensavers, including "Anemone," "Jellyfish," "Plate Coral," "Reef," "Sandy Reef" and "School of Fish."


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