DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Finding Nemo – Ultimate Collector’s Edition: Blu-ray 3d+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2003/2012)

Another animation masterpiece from Pixar, who just keep topping themselves in the creation of family-oriented features.

Published on December 14, 2012

Finding Nemo – Ultimate Collector’s Edition: Blu-ray 3d+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2003/2012)

Voice Actors: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Allison Janney, Geoffrey Rush, Barry Humphries, Alexander Gould
Director: Andrew Stanton
Studio: Pixar/Disney 109763, 5 discs [12/4/12]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 1080p HD color
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Digital EX 5.1, French & Spanish DD EX 5.1, DVS DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish (on film content only)
Extras: Several “Aquarium” loops, CineExplore, Reinventing the Submarine Voyage, Alternate opening, A Lesson in Flashbacks, A Filmmakers’ Discussion, Theatrical short: Knick Knack, Art review, Outtakes and deleted scenes, more…
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: *****

Finding Nemo won the 2003 Academy Award for “Best Animated Feature Film,” and fully deserves it. Now very successfully converted to 3D in a post-production operation, it makes underneath the ocean probably the best environment for 3D ever. One quickly becomes immersed in the underwater world and the often emotional story of Marlin the clown fish, joined by Dory the blue tang fish, searching for Nemo—the only remaining son of Marlin’s—who has been captured and taken to Sydney by a scuba-diver and put in his dental office fish tank.

The various top actors who voiced the different characters are part of the charm of Finding Nemo. Albert Brooks does the neurotic bit for the fish father to a T, and Ellen Degeneres is a scream as Dory, the fish with a serious short-term memory loss. It was a kick viewing the closing titles and seeing which one played which character. I especially liked Geoffrey Rush’s helpful pelican, Nigel. Crush—the surfer dude 150-year-old turtle, is also a wonderful character. The setting is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and the ocean floor looks like the real thing. The details of the various undersea life are amazing, and Marlin and Dory meet a fantastic array of those that swim around during their foray. Not all of them are helpful to their goal of getting to Sydney to rescue Nemo. One of the funniest is the AA-style group of three sharks who keep repeating that “fish are friends, not food,” but occasionally have lapses.

Proper handling of water images has long been a challenge for computer animators, along with hair and fur. Pixar has it down for Finding Nemo—with various things floating in the water, and the realistic play of light on the sandy ocean bottom. This is definitely not just a kiddie movie—adults will be as enthralled as their children. And it’s one of the best demos of the value of 3D in the home. The extras are also interesting, but I wish it were easier to escape from the various Aquarium loops. I just wanted to check them out, but you had to quit everything and then repeat the many previews at the beginning which every Disney Blu-ray comes equipped with, before moving on.

—John Sunier

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