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2003
Finding
Nemo

"Pixar theme" #5



Pixar is constantly on the edge-2-Ovation even before they release their next feature – and with ‘Finding Nemo’ that was no exception. With a fish out of water story and some super breathtaking visuals, the studio sets yet another sky high standard – here, on deep sea detail – and how to bring animation to life and make the audience connect to dots and connect the dots as to what we perceive in the moving pictures on screen.

Flowing through the fantastically detailed underwater world is utterly mesmerizing to watch and being in this whirlwind of wonder is beyond this world; the colors and the authenticity really makes me sit in awe several times throughout. The movie as a whole used to impress me infinitely, on every level, especially sea level (and below), but this time the story didn’t take me on the same emotionally elevating and effortlessly entertaining journey that it used to… I don’t know what it was, maybe it will change back again in the future, but for now, I will try and put my thoughts into words and wash away past memories…

In one way or the other, ‘Finding Nemo’ just didn’t float my boat this time around and I’m not sure why. However, the animation was still awe-inspiring, the story was still interesting though less inviting, and the execution felt a little more frantic and “fumbly” this time around. The movie was always rather rapidly paced, though the energy was very welcoming and the characters made it all a fun waterpark ride. But this time around, I didn’t connect as much with the story nor the characters – I became a bit more annoyed by the hectic and jumbled way the story was told and that held me back from falling headfirst into the otherwise harmwarming beautiful story that lies below the surface. The themes of family, friendship, prejudice, loss, loneliness and more is all very fascinating, but the tempo and timing of the story kept me from really attaching myself to it this time.

There were still scenes that were fast-paced and fragmented, which I still enjoyed. The scene where they meet the shark is pretty amusing, but I’m not a fan of it. The following chase scene though is rather engaging and the scene where Dory attempts to read the scuba mask is a pretty good example of when the wildly energetic style clicks with the capable but confused relationship between her and Marlin, as well as Dory’s long term short term memory loss running gag going on. The gobble scene is fun and very exciting too.

Still, all this might be fun, but the tone of the movie is quite confused. I mean, the opening scene is extremely intense, dark and very heartbreaking, yet the movie that follows is Disney at their most lightweight, except for a few small areas. Then you have the fish tank, which is filled with loud speaking, bobble-blabbering characters, yet there are instances like the filtration system scene and the whole deal about Darla and the death of a fish – including a horrible photo of a downward floating dead friend of theirs – that just doesn’t match up with the rest of the movie.

And, in contrast, to the touching and terrifying opening scene, the closing moral conclusion with the fish swimming down and the whole thing about working together, trusting and listening to each other doesn’t really match neither the opening nor the movie as a whole, mostly coming off as quite “easy” and anti-climactic in my opinion. I have hope for finding the love for ‘Finding Nemo’ once again in the future. I will “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

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