Taking viewers underwater into a world unseen in film locations, one that is recreated beautifully.
The screenplay for this film follows a father Clown fish called Marlin, who after loosing his mate and all but one child to a vicious pike attack becomes overprotective to his lone surviving son, Nemo. During a school trip- fish style - this overprotectiveness begins to annoy and embarrass Nemo, resulting in him disobeying a rule and swimming to a deep part of the ocean, away from safe waters. This disobedience leads to a kidnap by marine divers, and Nemo is shipped off to a dentists fish tank. Feeling struck with guilt, and un willingness to believe him lost for good, Marlin sets off in search of returning his son to the ocean. Along the way he comes across vegetarian sharks, a shoal of sardines, surfer dude turtles, a friendly pelican, one word seagulls and a field of jellyfish. Along the way he is aided by the short term memory loss sufferer Dory (an anthropomorphic creation of a Regal Tang). Cutting from the search to the horrors Nemo is witnessing in the dentist room, with great threat delivered as a 5 year old child, the film also outlines the escape attempt that Nemo begins.
The animators that have worked on this film have really utilised their abilities to the best that they can. All created underwater landscapes are beautifully sculpted. Whether it is the submarine graveyard where the two fish have a meeting with sharks, or the field of jellyfish that they must move through, the locations not only feel different from one another (resulting in a constant interest maintained by audiences) but also are created to the upmost best quality that they are able to resemble what they are intended. Put into the development the correct physics controlling movement, and water currents and the underwater world really comes to life. Controlling movement in such a way causes the impression that the characters are swimming - not just floating in an empty space. This is the companies most established film yet and through what they have completed here shows their development and skills they have gained.
The voice work in this film, like all the other Pixar films, is top quality throughout. Albert Brooks is able to fill the characteristics of the over protective father. His voice is not only interesting to listen to but also seems tailored for the role. This could be down to the way Pixar characters are meant as human interpretations of animals, a way of producing the characters in such a way that they can keep emotions throughout and become believable. Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, is another great choice. The way she changes her tone of voice and other aspects allows for the comedic elements of her character to come through easily. She acts as the films comic relief and as such, choosing someone that can adapt in such a way allows for the tension to be taken away. Along with the main cast the supporting roles are just as strongly cast. Barry Humpries as vegetarian shark Bruce is perhaps the strongest vocal choice. This is down to the fact that the voice of the character is far away from what his other characters have had. It is not until the end of the production that viewers are able to tell that it was spoken by him, this shows the amount of work and choice that the filmmakers have put into their choices. Other standout vocal work include; Willem Dafoe, Brad Garett, Allison Janney and Geoffrey Rush. Pixar regular John Ratzenberger returns in another vocal role, this time perhaps his most interesting, as a shoal of sardines. Having him included gives a type of continuity between all of this studios films and allows them to feel connected.
At time of release Finding Nemo was Pixar's most ambitious and technically difficult production they have attempted. Luckily they did not fail in what they tried to achieve, furthering the ascent into the top studio for animation. With a voiceover cast consisting of highly rated actors and roles that fit their style, the film feels complete. With an interesting narrative that will keep audiences of all ages engrossed. This is the mark of Pixar, whether you are 5 or 95, there is always something that will appeal to all. The animation has never been stronger, the vibrancy of the locations is really captivating. Character design really builds on this fact, with all characters differentiating from each other. It really is an animation production with high production values and therefore deserved the recognition it garnered.