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‘Finding Nemo’: a tender ode to the paternal bond

“Finding Nemo” is a movie that perfectly balances quick humor, adventure and heavy moments all together. Its unique setting, incredible visuals and charming characters all contribute to a rollercoaster of a movie.

Marlin is one of Pixar’s most relatable characters. After losing his wife and kids, his whole life is based on the fear of losing Nemo. The only thing he has left is his son Nemo, so naturally, he’s overprotective. As a result, Nemo feels like his father holds him back. He’s unable to see that Marlin’s concern is coming from a place of love, so he lashes out. Eventually, Marlin has to learn to let go of the fear of losing Nemo, and Nemo has to learn how to appreciate the love his Dad has for him. It’s a perfect dynamic that so many kids and parents alike can relate to.

When Marlin does lose Nemo, he’ll stop at nothing to get him back. Marlin and Dory’s journey through the ocean is filled with so many memorable characters and exciting moments. Everything from the vegetarian sharks, the surfer turtles and the army of jellyfish all make their adventure a true underwater odyssey. And while Nemo’s time in the tank doesn’t quite live up to Marlin and Dory’s half of the story, it’s nice to have a change of pace and location.

As usual with Pixar, the movie looks fantastic. It is able to simultaneously capture the beauty and terror of the deep blue sea. In some scenes, the colors are vibrant and pop out of the screen but there are also scenes with oppressive grays that indicate a more serious or depressing tone. The climax is a great example of this. The harsh coloring mixed with the fish’s terrified looks as they desperately try to fight for their lives against the fisher’s net makes this whole sequence feel like something out of a horror movie. The echoey and subtle score perfectly encapsulates the giant expanse of the Ocean and perfectly complements the visuals in every way.

“Finding Nemo” tells the perfect father-son story and also makes full use of its underwater location. There is not a single unlikeable character, and it is a perfect example of how Pixar consistently made hilarious and emotionally complex movies all throughout the 2010s.

Rating: Light 4


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