Finding Nemo (Disney Pixar) Blu Ray|
The latest CGI spectacle from the creators of "Toy Story" follows two fish, Marlin and his son Nemo. When Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from home and thrust into a fish tank, Marlin must embark on an epic journey to rescue his son.from£9.44 | RRP:
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Average Rating for Finding Nemo (Disney Pixar) [Blu-ray] - 5 out of 5
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Finding Nemo (Disney Pixar) [Blu-ray]George Orton
It's been a long wait for the high-definition release of this animated modern classic: Finding Nemo, a film which I guess now exemplifies the early period of Pixar movies where every single one of their films was a solid-gold hit. Most of the studio's other releases from that era have been available on Blu-Ray for quite a while, and so I was worried that for some reason we'd never see Finding Nemo arrive on the format. But thankfully, Pixar have taken their time to really do the movie justice, bringing one of their most visually arresting stories to HD with the lavish treatment that it deserves.
In case you've never seen the movie, allow me to sum it up in a single sentence - by saying it's the kind of movie that's impossible to sum up in a single sentence! On one level, it's a colourful adventure story for kids, populated with with larger-than-life characters, exciting situations and fun jokes that will keep youngsters spellbound for the whole of its 100-minute running time. But on another level, it contains a powerful and unusually complex message for adults, acting as a fable about how overbearing parental protection can actually harm a child's development, and how mothers and fathers need to learn to let their offspring make their own way in the world. And, as with so many Pixar movies, it's crammed with clever gags and references that are purely for the benefit of grown-up viewers.
Along the way, we encounter a cast of characters that Pixar has probably never bettered in terms of diversity and likeability. Young Nemo, of course, is one of the two heroes of the piece, with his concerned father Marlin - the unfunniest clownfish you'll ever meet - acting as the adult protagonist. Again, this gives both sectors of the audience someone to root for, with children investing their emotions in Nemo's kidnapping (fishnapping?) and imprisonment in a Sydney-based dentist's fishtank, whilst parents can sympathise - albeit perhaps reluctantly - with Marlin's conflicted parental priorities.
It's the supporting characters, however, who provide the most colour and flair, and are responsible for many of Finding Nemo's most memorable moments. Dory - voiced by Ellen DeGeneres - is the utterly hilarious star of the piece, a well-meaning but air-headed companion for Marlin who's cursed with a five-second memory (not to mention a misguided belief that she can "speak whale"). The gang of misfits in the dentist's tank - led by Gill (Willem Dafoe) - also provide an amusing selection of stir-crazy idiosyncrasies, whilst all manner of other seabound creatures make memorable appearances that have an impact that lasts long beyond their all-too-brief screentime. I probably only need to say "sharks", "turtle", "seagulls", or "pelican" to anyone who's seen this film to have them rolling on the floor with laughter. And if you don't understand why that is - well, then it's time you found out.
As I said, kids will love all the colourful characters and exciting adventures that are packed into this movie. But Pixar is also admirably unafraid to throw some potentially challenging sequences into the mix, too - such as the opening barracuda attack that leaves Nemo motherless, or the scary scene in which a group of would-be-vegetarian sharks get a whiff of blood in the water. It's these more serious moments - which don't last long, but which are important to the film's story - that help to ground the hi-jinks of the movie in a more adult and potentially dangerous world, which is crucial if there's to be a real sense of jeopardy and urgency in Marlin's quest to rescue his son.
So in short, Finding Nemo contains everything that makes Pixar movies great. And on Blu-Ray, it looks better than ever. This is probably one of Pixar's most graphically lush films ever - the animators visited countless aquariums and did SCUBA dives in places such as the Great Barrier Reef to research the movie's visuals, and it shows - making it a perfect candidate for a high-definition release. And it looks as stunning as you'd expect. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's reference-quality material for home entertainment systems, especially as far as the animation is concerned, with the crystal-clear transfer of the computer-generated graphics looking 100% flawless. I didn't spot any changes or modifications to this version of the movie - and to be honest the film doesn't demand any - so just rest assured that this is the best-looking version of it you've ever seen.
And all the extras from the DVD edition are present and correct too (as far as I remember, anyway - and some of them are even now in HD too), meaning that fans can delve into background material that enhances their enjoyment of the film even further. And my favourite - and as far as I know, unique - feature from the DVD looks even better on Blu-Ray: the ability to turn your TV into a virtual aquarium, with a selection of different Pixar-animated undersea backdrops that run on a loop, underscored by chilled-out music, that will gently soothe you after a hard day of movie-watching.
All in all, this is a perfect package for one of the best animated movies of all time, and I'd urge fans of the movie and newcomers alike to snap it up - especially given that you'll surely be wanting to rewatch it soon in preparation for the upcoming sequel - Finding Dory - next year. If it's anywhere near as good as the original, we'll be in for a treat.
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