Dick De Jong
December 17, 2012
Here are four good reasons to acquire this new release of Finding Nemo. First, if you or your children (or your children's children) have never seen this family friendly fish tale, then you all have a treat in store.
Second, this is the first time that this 2003 Academy Award winning animation has been released as a Blu-ray. And the high definition print of this technicolor undersea world looks fabulous, definitely worth the upgrade from a standard definition DVD.
Third, the Blu-ray package is seemingly teeming with as many worthwhile bonus features as fish in the sea. More about that later.
And last but not least, especially if you are a 3D fan, the 5-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition includes a 3D version of the film. Though for me, watching in 3D really didn't add enough to the experience to warrant wearing the requisite 3D glasses. The film wasn't originally designed to be seen in 3D and the 2D Blu-ray is my preferred viewing option.
If you are not familiar with the story, a loving, overly protective father, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) is separated from his curious young son, Nemo (Alexander Gould). Oh, and if I didn't say, Marlin and Nemo are fish living among a host of colorful denizens in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
The story revolves around Marlin's harrowing travails to reunite with Nemo, including run ins with sharks and whales - oh my. And even though Marlin is anxiety ridden and the wayward Nemo has his own worries about a looming confrontation with a menacing looking brat with a mouth full of braces, the entertaining Finding Nemo has more than its share of humor. After all, Marlin is a clown fish, albeit one who can't tell a joke.
The real comic relief is supplied by the ditsy Dora (Ellen DeGeneres) who becomes Marlin's intrepid travel companion. In addition, the film is filled with funny fish, fowl and fauna, like possessive sea gulls, awkward pelicans and hippie-dippie sea turtles, voiced by a stellar cast including Willem Dafoe, Allison Janney, Brad Garrett, Elizabeth Perkins, Geoffrey Rush, Eric Bana, and Stephen Root.
But the true stars in Finding Nemo are Director Andrew Stanton and his Pixar crew of animators, who bring these characters to life, and artists, who create the vibrant environs. Every frame is a stimulation to your senses and a spark to your imagination.
Both the 5-Disc and 3-Disc Collector's Edition packages are chock full of big and small Bonus Features of delight and insight while thankfully lacking in self-congratulations.
For example, the Disney/Pixar folks prepared "Finding Nemo - A Filmmakers Roundtable" specifically for this Blu-ray release. Almost ten years after the debut of the film, they gathered Stanton, Co-director Lee Unkrich, Screenwriter Bob Peterson, Producer Graham Walters, Production Designer Ralph Eggleston and Technical Lead Oren Jacob to reminisce about making the movie.
It was interesting hearing their thoughts from this decade long perspective. And to my relief, the session never veered into a round of you-were-great back slapping.
So much content has been gathered over the years that a second Blu-ray of only Bonus Features was necessary. Depending on your tastes, not all of them may be a pearl, but I found that it was rewarding to crack open all the oysters.
For me, the "Art Review" was particularly appealing. Production Designer Eggleston, Character Art Director Ricky Nierva, and Robin Cooper, Shading Art Director use the wonderful pre-production artwork to describe the process of creating the characters and settings.
After watching the movie, plan to take another evening to explore the Bonuses. You will unearth your own favorite nuggets, like the outtake of Albert Brooks as Marlin adlibbing the end of a joke, "The sea cucumber looks over at the mollusk and says, 'Not partially mackerel, wholly mackerel.'"
Director: Andrew Stanton
Cast:Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Allison Janney, Brad Garrett, Austin Pendleton, Elizabeth Perkins, Geoffrey Rush, Vicki Lewis, Eric Bana, Stephen Root
Length: 102 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
7.1 DTS-HD Master
Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French and Spanish