Marlin loses his son, Nemo, after he ventures into the open sea, despite his father's constant warnings about many of the ocean's dangers. Nemo is abducted by a boat, netted up, and sent to a dentist's office in Sydney.
Marlin takes off to try and retrieve Nemo and meets a fish named Dory, a blue tang suffering from short-term memory loss. The companions travel a great distance, encountering various dangerous sea creatures such as sharks, angelfish and jellyfishes, in order to rescue Nemo from the dentist's office, which is situated by the Sydney Harbor.
While the two are doing this, Nemo and the other sea animals in the dentist's fish tank plot a way to returning to Sydney Harbor to live their lives free again....
I put the DVD in my player this past weekend with great reluctance thinking this would be a cutesy children's movie. I had originally rented this about a month ago, but the DVD was bad. My first thought this was an omen, but my good friend's Brian & Laura loaned me their copy.
What a surprise. Expecting the normal saccharine slush I find in family viewing, I watched a fantastic comedy, with very sympathetic characters, great set-pieces and very clever movie references (Scarface, The Shining, Psycho and The Birds to name a few). It's also packed to the gills (pun intended) with eccentric characters, such as a trio of sharks trying to kick the habit of eating other fish, a pack of surfer-dude sea turtles, and some dim-witted birds.
But what stood out for me the most was the attention to detail with the ocean and the way the sea life moved around. The detail hypnotises you into enjoyment and some of the scenes almost become psychedelic with their beauty (the jelly fish sequence is one of theses). The voice work is very good, and for once there wasn't any cultural references to animals and no ethnicity was used to capture a creature's likeness.
All of the cast were great and if you want a movie that will entertain, excite and humor you, then this is the movie for you. It even gave me a lump in my throat at the end. It's just a shame that I never saw this at the movie theater, because I could imagine that the spectacle was even more enjoyable on a big screen. A fantastic story, with great narrative, and characters and goals that you really care about.