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FINDING NEMO is an outstanding film, a modern-day animated classic from Pixar, that has managed to age gracefully in the nine years since it was first released. Outside of a couple of dated entries (Fabio?), NEMO still delivers on its two story fronts – one about a father searching for his lost son, with the second about the son growing into his own independence. If you really liked it back in 2003, that’s not going to change with the 3-D re-release of FINDING NEMO. If, for some reason you hated it then, that’ll hold true today as well. However, depending upon your station in life, you may wind up with a different appreciation for the film.

Now in my early-30s, FINDING NEMO is a whole new movie to me, because it’s an entirely different perspective from which I’m watching. As a husband and a father, there’s a deeper emotional resonance to this story of a single dad just trying to do the best he can for his son while trying to protect him from all the horrible things that could await him out in the world. I can’t imagine what life would be like without my wife, but, with two children now in the fold, it becomes even more painful to think of trying to raise a couple of kids without her help and support. Taking that a step further though, I’m constantly concerned about the well being of my children. Just the other day, my son fell off the playground at the park, and I felt horrible for not being there to catch him, to stop it from happening, having been no more than 20-25 feet away. I felt like a horrible parent, somehow responsible, for the pain my boy was feeling… but you know what? Within 10 minutes or so, he was right back at it, not climbing that same spot, but playing elsewhere, bouncing back as if nothing had ever happened. I was the one who had taken his fall the hardest, because of my status as a worrying parent. Hopefully, he’ll have taken his drop as a lesson on how not to climb that one area, and he’ll learn from that moving forward. That’s all we can hope for as parents. We have to hope that we raise our children with the tools to make their own mistakes, learn from them, and then proceed with that knowledge to do something better with their lives… well, this and that they don’t grow up to be some kind of asshole, too. But I can’t hold his hand through life. I can’t do the same for my daughter. I can now while they’re really young, but at some point, I’m going to have to be prepared to let go a little bit at a time as they try to grow up, even as my reservations about other people trampling their happiness and innocence, or corrupting their sweetness builds.

Upon this viewing of FINDING NEMO, it was Marlin’s story that hooked me more. I could identify with his worries and concerns for his son, just trying to protect him from the harshness of the world. I could feel his panic in losing his son, his drive to find him, no matter what. I could see the film in a totally different way, as I’m sure Andrew Stanton intended, allowing generations to grow with the film over time, taking different things from it depending upon your experiences. From that, FINDING NEMO reaches a new level of brilliance, in shifting that focus from child to adult as you yourself make that transition.

There’s still plenty of Nemo’s story arc that hits home, too, as the struggle to find our own footing, gaining that independence from our parents, where we can say we’re doing it all on our own, remains freshly familiar, at least to me. We never really grow out of being our parents’ kids, and while I can’t speak for everyone’s home life, I know that my parents always want the best for me. They’re not hovering over every stage of my life, but they just want to see me do well. And that connection to the father-son relationship in FINDING NEMO is something that has always landed for me about the film, first from the son side of the equation, and now as a father.

As for the re-release, it’s your prerogative whether you want to drop the extra few bucks for 3-D. To my knowledge, you’ll be getting some goggle-style eyewear with your 3-D admission, so, if that’s worth it to you in order to own some NEMO glasses, then go ahead and see it in the new format. However, let me warn you… it really doesn’t add anything to the presentation. FINDING NEMO is crisp and bright due to the color palette Stanton used in bringing this underwater world to life, and, because the film wasn’t originally intended to be seen in 3-D, there’s nothing that really pops off the screen for you, in terms of gimmick or depth, that warrants use of the extra dimension. My recommendation for seeing FINDING NEMO again rests solely on the coolness of being able to watch this Disney great on the big screen again. I had seen it that way back when it was first released, and this time I was able to share the experience with one of my kids (the other is still too young). That chance to bond over some Disney magic is what The Mouse has prided itself (and its success) on over the years, and it’s a formula that works. My son had a blast watching this film for the first time, telling me his favorite part was the one with the shark, and that’s where this opportunity to see FINDING NEMO again really works. If you want to catch it in 2-D, be my guest. You won’t be missing anything from the 3-D projection, except the glasses, and you’ll still be taking advantage of the chance to see FINDING NEMO as best appreciated.


-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Tenth and proud of it

    by Ultron ver 2.0


  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Modern-day animated classic?

    by 2sdaychicken

    More like CLASSIC, period. Finding Nemo is a cinematic masterpiece of any kind or time.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    A true apprentice to Harry the Hutt

    by ScriptCunt

    Nearly half this "review" is a bullshit, personal anecdote. Ya know, that sort of story bores the fuck out of me when it comes from somebody that I actually know and care about... exponentially more so when it's about YOU.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Fabio was outdated in 2003

    by Ironhorse

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Finding Nemo is not very good

    by Rupee88

    I won't say it "sucked" but just not a great or good movie. Incredibles, Toy Story 2 were great...Monsters Ink was pretty good. Finding Nemo was lame.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Always remember...P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST

    No problem per se with personal anecdotes in a review--

    by A_Banned_Apart

    --it helps set up the author's perspective on the film. If the anecdotes overwhelm the actual review I *might* have an issue, UNLESS the film is a re-release. At that point, recollections and nostalgia are to be expected.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    FUCK 3D

    by Stifler's Mom

    I might very well buy a ticket to see Finding Nemo on the big screen again, having not seen it since that first time in '03. But FUCK this stupid, cash-grabby gimmick, and fuck James Cameron for promising us a game-changer when all we got is the same old murky, 2-hour headache.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    bittersweet memories of this movie

    by mick vance

    long story short, it led to my first restraining order...

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST

    I had to praise Pixar for making a masterpiece...

    by Dick Jones

    ...and that masterpiece being Finding Nemo. No sequels please.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Fish are friends, not food.

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    3D is just a cash grab gimmick and is worthless!!!

    by Rupee88

    That's why hundreds of millions of people pay extra to see 3D movies every time...because they don't like it and because it's only a ploy by the studios! Avatar looked bad and it was just Ferngully...I mean Thundercats! I don't like 3D so no one else possibly could. They are wrong and I am right. My favorite color is blue and everyone who likes red is WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Billy the Kidd. Damn, I'm in for it then.

    by adeceasedfan

    I loved this movie when it came out (before family) and guarantee my perspective has changed. I don't think I've seen it since my kids were born and certainly not since the divorce. I always get hooked (ha!) by these types of stories and would like to share this experience with my children. Thanks for the 3D tip btw.

  • .......Before raising their game with The Incredibles, and then falling from a great height with Cars!! Pixar attract so much criticism, and even when they've fallen flat on their faces, they've come up grinning again. My favourite Pixar movie is UP (which worked beautifully in 3D), and I am very fond of Ratatouille as well (which seemed to eschew a lot of cutesiness for art, and - dare I say it - more grown-up comedy?). I think Pixar have done more to prove themselves than they really needed to. Kudos to them.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    I would argue Nemo is close to being Pixar's finest moment ...


  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    @2sdaychicken: Right on. @rupee88: Kindly suck it.

    by ChakaMudd

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST

    People who still are expecting "gimmick" and things

    by bah

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    that "pop out" still don't get what 3D can do

    by bah

    I seriously doubt it's not worth it for this movie. 3/4 of the film is small, oblivious foreground characters having a chat as looming enormous things approach from the background. 3D is about the only thing that makes me want to see this again.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST

    You talk about it as if it came out 20 years ago, not 9

    by wcolbert

    "aged gracefully"...Pixar's movies have essentially looked the same since Toy Story 2. They've never even tried for realism. So it's really not going to "age" at all because it was and still is a very simplistic art style.

  • it was a good piece. Apparently it took them three years to get it done and they made it a point to not make the 3D stick out like crazy, but rather, make it an immersive experience. The two scenes that make it pop are the jelly fish maze and the shark attack. I personally can't wait to see this. I'm using some Disney Movie Rewards codes I have in my Disney blu rays and get to go for free. Definitely worth checking out if you have any spare DMR points.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    One of the most moving films I ever saw in a theater...

    by Detached

    True story. I honestly had to hide my face so my niece & nephew (then 5 & 7) wouldn't see the tears in my eyes at the end. So I'm an old softie. Deal with it. One of Pixar's very best, and that's saying something.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:57 a.m. CST

    I completely agree with The Kidd on this.

    by Optimus Prime

    If you're a dad you'll get where he is coming from. If you're not, you just wont. But if/when you do become a dad you will. I just watched this on DVD for the first time in like 5 years with my 2 year old son (his first time). It's a totally different perspective when you're a parent. Anyone who thinks this is primarily geared toward kids is missing a significant amount of the point, but once they reach a higher level of maturity or get to be responsible for someone else besides themselves, they will understand.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:26 a.m. CST

    This seems well suited to 3D. I will be checking it out with my kids.

    by tomandshell

    We all love 3D in my family, and none of the grumpy detractors have any power to diminish our enjoyment. See it in 2D (or not at all) and leave the rest of us alone. Some 3D bashers can end up sounding like a crazy old man waving a cane in the air and shouting "Gimmick! Gimmick!!" to nobody in particular while lost and confused in the middle of the grocery store.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:38 a.m. CST


    by Sir Loin


  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST

    UP is by far Pixar's true masterpiece

    by Winston Smith

    Finding Nemo and The Incredibles are the next best. Really I love the majority of their work, though their last 2 were shit. End of an era, I guess. Glad we had it.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Never been able to sit through it.

    by FluffyUnbound

    It's on TV all the time, but the first 20 minutes never grab me. With THE INCREDIBLES or TOY STORY after 20 minutes you're like "Holy crap I have to watch the rest of this!" but NEMO is like, "Is the NFL Network showing a replay of a game I've already seen?"

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST


    by Fico

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Might need to watch again with my son

    by Dranem

    He's at that age where he can sit through a movie now. I always put Nemo in the same tier as Cars a far as Pixar goes as a gorgeous but ultimately forgettable movie My top 3 from Pixar are still Toy Story, Incredibles, and UP. It will be interesting to see if my perspective has changed.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Mine? Mine?

    by Big_Bubbaloola

    The gulls ..... comedy gold.

  • Nearly...i don't know that a strong case could be made for A Bug's Life or Cars 2...

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST


    by Eddie_Dane

    Please don't leave us hanging. My imagination is running wild.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    You've got serious problems....

    by RockLobster800

    if you don't shed a tear at the end of Finding Nemo. I saw it in the cinema when I was, what, 16? Welled up then. Saw it on TV last Christmas and the same thing happened. Beautiful flick. I'm willing to bet that when I have kids it'll have an even bigger effect. And hopefully Pixar will be back to making masterpieces by then too, so I can take the kids to see them! Brave was okay, but just didn't have the same hook as the rest of the roster (barring Cars 2). The scene with the kid crying at the end was clearly supposed to be the scene that would get you teared up, but it just....didn't. Cos you knew things would be okay, and it was just kind of trying too hard. The Pixar from a few years back could push your buttons without even thinking about it. I mean, I know people who go glassy eyed if they even talk about the first ten minutes of Up.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Hey kids! Do you want to see Finding Nemo tomorrow?!

    by adeceasedfan

    Ehhh...not really. damn.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    The Jungle Book in 3D

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    I wish people cared half this much about real cartoons, which are fucking DEAD damn.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    I'll keep my money thank you very much, PIXAR!

    by Norman Colson