Terry Malloy Thinks FINDING NEMO On Blu-ray Is The New Demo Disc For His Collection!!
What’s up, Contenders? Terry Malloy here reporting live from the Waterfront.
FINDING NEMO on Blu-ray released last week, December 4th, 2012.
Let’s get directly to the point here, friends. FINDING NEMO on Blu-ray is a visual revelation. It is one of the most stunning looking high definition films I have ever seen. Taking that fact into account, I was surprised to realize that FINDING NEMO is also approaching its 10 year anniversary in 2013. Can you believe FINDING NEMO released initially in 2003? It doesn’t look dated at all, and may even have a whole new layer of beauty on Blu-ray than it ever had before.
I hadn’t seen this film since the theater, and it hit me directly in the heart upon revisiting this Blu-ray. Just a few weeks ago I got a chance to review the BRAVE Blu-ray after seeing it for the first time. And while that movie underwhelmed me in comparison to more recent Pixar fare such as WALL-E and UP, NEMO had sort of fallen off my Pixar radar. I remembered liking it a lot. I remembered it being sweet-natured, that it looked cool, and that Ellen DeGeneres was really funny in it. But beyond that and a vague memory of a sea turtle sequence, I just plain didn’t remember a whole lot about this film.
Before the opening credits are even complete, FINDING NEMO sets up a beautiful and gut-wrenchingly dramatic world for our story to be told in. The film’s main character is actually Marlin, Nemo’s father, voiced by Albert Brooks! I had no recollection that Brooks was the lead character of this movie, and I get a huge kick out of that. At any rate, Marlin the Clown Fish and his wife live inside a beautiful sea anemone at the edge of a coral reef. All is right with the world and the couple are expecting a few hundred babies as they go to visit the resting place for their eggs. But a barracuda snatches Marlin’s wife away and almost every last egg as well. The final moment before the opening credits finds father promising to always keep little pre-hatched Nemo safe and your heart strings are already being pulled. It is a masterful opening sequence that just sets up a phenomenal film.
After the credits, Nemo is grown, ready to head off to school for the first time, and voiced by Alexander Gould (AKA Shane Botwin from WEEDS!). Nemo’s teacher takes the students on a field trip of their coral reef and at that point I realized that this Blu-ray was something special. FINDING NEMO is one of the most immersive, colorful, and fully realized computer animated worlds ever attempted.
The inevitable clash between our overbearing father and coming of age son leads to Nemo rebelliously swimming towards a boat and being netted by a human diver and taken away to a dentist’s office in the port harbour of Sydney, Australia. At this point, Pixar pulls off another story-telling challenge with aplomb: the split story. Now we will follow Marlin and Dori (Ellen Degeneres as the memory-challenged companion) on their search for Nemo, and we’ll also follow Nemo as he meets the other fish in the dentist’s tank and they all plot their escape.
FINDING NEMO is an epic quest film. Marlin must overcome his insecurities about the wider ocean world and encounter sharks, whales, sea turtles, and ocean currents to find his son. But nothing can stop him because his love for Nemo (and guilt for losing him) drives him to overcome his anxiety. Meanwhile, little Nemo with one misshapen fin is constantly told he isn’t a good swimmer because of his disability. But Nemo grows in confidence through his trials in the “real world” and manages his own victory by escaping from the tank to be reunited with his father. This is grand, iconic story telling told in a massive playground of a cartoon ocean.
At one point in the movie’s extra features, Director Andrew Stanton says something along the lines that they wanted to make a movie that “excluded noone”. And I think that gets at the heart of why I LOVE Pixar movies but otherwise don’t always jump at the chance to watch the latest animated feature. FINDING NEMO isn’t a kid’s movie at all. It is just a huge, sweeping, family adventure whose goal was to exclude no one. Adults, kids, teens… anyone can identify with FINDING NEMO and love it. Whether you let the visuals sweep you away, the adventure thrill you, the jokes crack you up, or the drama tug at your heart, this movie is just a bona fide work of magic from the good people at Pixar.
My particular screener copy is the 3-Disc edition minus the 3-D version of the film. I don’t have 3-D capability at home and don’t plan to have it in the near future, so for me this addition of the film is all I could ever ask for. It has the Blu-ray and the DVD copy of the movie, and a bonus Blu-ray with extras. Sure, maybe it’d be nice to have a digital copy thrown in, too, but I also haven’t really integrated digital copies into my movie watching habits yet, so I don’t miss that personally.
As I mentioned in the title of the review, FINDING NEMO is probably going to be one of the discs I pop in to show off the power of high definition to anyone who would ever care to see it. (While I often think this is a useless concept we geeks throw around, the mythological “Demo Disc”, I did recently get a new TV at home so the occasion actually has arisen to show something off, and I’ve pulled out NEMO!) The level of detail that is visible in high definition is stunning. It is almost as if the animators future-proofed this film with levels of detail that weren’t even perceptible in standard definition. When fish are close up, you can see scales and ripples of muscle under their skin. It is kind of profound.
I guess the ultimate testament to the incredible visuals of FINDING NEMO come down to some pretty tech-heavy stuff, which could become really boring to learn about. But the special features here are just as playful and accessible as the movie! I actually highly recommend budding young film fans check out the bonus features on this disc. There is a cute Pixar studio tour hosted by a young Alexander Gould that finds each Pixar department furiously slacking off when he arrives. They all relax when they realize Director Stanton isn’t with him and show him what they did on the film. It is a funny little gag that also introduces you to the world of Pixar.
The real technicians of Pixar do things that I can’t even imagine, such as working JUST on lighting, or colorization, or physiology. In the disc’s version of a commentary, you get a very well presented mode of movie-watching called “CinExplore”. I’d kind of like to see commentary tracks like this more often, but I’m sure they take a ton of work. This mode is basically a curated watch of the film, with different filmmakers and crew popping up in a picture-in-picture to talk about a particular moment or set piece in the film. There are illustrations and storyboards that appear as well, just to root what you are seeing as a finished product. It feels incredibly natural and immersive. I don’t think this type of commentary should outright replace filmmakers’ commentaries, but I do think this “CinExplore” mode feels very seamless.
I haven’t tried any of this “second screen” stuff yet on any home video releases as I am too broke to really own a “second screen” beyond a smart phone. But I can’t imagine the second screen experience being as fun as CinExplore is here. With this unique commentary track, you get a curated walk through the film without having to look away, press buttons to branch off for more content, etc. I clearly really enjoyed it.
There are just a ton of bonus features to explore here, some tiny bits of comedy or storyboards, and even a touching tribute to Pixar animator Glenn McQueen who passed away before the film was completed. The coolest little minor touch is an Aquarium feature which lets you keep the beautiful seascapes of the discs menus playing on an infinite loop with NEMO music playing softly in the background. As I was navigating through the disc and doing chores around the house, I actually put the aquarium mode on a couple of times and found it ridiculously soothing. There are probably 2 dozen clickable little bonus features packing out these 2 discs.
So this film is an undeniable Pixar masterpiece and the Blu-ray more than does it justice. This is a must-own for any Pixar fanatic.
And I’m Out.
Terry Malloy AKA Ed Travis
* Images and screen captures from Blu-ray.com
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
Dec. 12, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST
my comments on the Bourne Legacy article.
Dec. 12, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST
So if you want more hilarious reviews like Harry's JACK REACHER review then buy this shit and keep the site going.
Dec. 12, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST
I relate more to this review because, dammit, Terry's feeling the economic pain of the downtrodden masses
by Margot Tenenbaum
Dec. 12, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST
Now all we get from them is racist shit like Brave and your typical run of the mill dum-dum animated comedy.
Dec. 12, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST
by Margot Tenenbaum
-- both of your reviews read like marketing PR, not objective criticism. If you're really just a guy reviewing discs you like, tone down the selling a bit.
Dec. 12, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST
I know this is beating a dead horse, but couldn't we get some consistency? I'm shocked this site doesn't play music when you visit it like some old GeoCities page.
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST
My preferred 'demo' to show off HD, for the two people I know that don't already have it. More timely article 5 years ago methinks.
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST
just as I thought...
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST
The level of detail that is visible in high definition is stunning. It is almost as if the animators future-proofed this film with levels of detail that weren’t even perceptible in standard definition.
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST
Planet Earth seems to be the gold standard to show off your sweet new TV, but a lot of the sequences are lower quality for obvious technical reasons
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST
for approximately 30 days
Dec. 12, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST
not only the amazing colors but depths and more texture.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST
could be interesting..
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST
I shouldn't be picturing the voice actor when I'm watching an animated movie. It also bugs me how half the movie involves two characters arguing in the foreground while something big looms behind them -- a diver, a whale, a lanternfish, jellyfish. That said, my only copy of this is on VHS. I could stand to get the BR.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST
by Cpt. Arnoldo
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST
by Bill C.
Seriously. The BD came out yesterday, and I haven't laughed that hard at a movie in a long long time. (Which might just mean I need to see more movies, but hey.) The way Dragon Sound's utterly upbeat and Velveeta-grade music grinds into your brain like the bugs from STII:TWOK...Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, pretty much period (it makes sense when you see the movie) and the poor token black guy...the universally cardboard-thin "flip card" acting...the surprisingly decent but oh so dated synth score... It's so bad, it's AWESOME.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST
by Bass Ackwards
When they invite me over and demo they're "awesome" tv and sound system. I seriously do not give a fuck about your tv, I do not want a demo, I do not care about how blues pop or blacks are deep, if you are someone who does this, you are boring the shit out of your friends, guaranteed.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST
by Sir Loin
...to show off one's spiffy new VHS/Dolby Surround setup. Ah, memories.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST
What a great film. One of the best of the best from Pixar.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST
Terry Mallow has been broke for about a month now.... but thanks to all this paid ad/favorable reviews he ain't broke no more
by Joey Stars
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST
Strangely attracted to Dory? I fucking was.
Dec. 12, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST
The ultimate system demo blu ray is Tahiti wave 3D. You're all welcome to come round mine and be demoified.
Dec. 12, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST
It is almost as if the animators future-proofed this film with levels of detail that weren’t even perceptible in standard definition.
As if Cinerama in the '50s was only 720x486 or something...
Dec. 12, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST
I hate it so much. Harry uses it every other article, it seems, and other aintitcool writers just adore it.
Dec. 12, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST
by Margot Tenenbaum
It makes me look at AICN reviews in a totally different way…my whole outlook on this site has changed…it's…ah...what is the word I'm looking for…? ARGH I hate when this happens.
Dec. 12, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST
I just don't like dark shit unless it is on purpose like horror (and even then I hate torture porn). Nemo - Mother dies being torn to shreds by a barracuda, Son is disabled with one fin smaller then the other, Son gets taken by divers in front of his father who already has post trauma from the wife dying, Dad hooks up with a Dory who has short term memory problems complicating things to no end and in some ways making fun of people with this actual condition, Middle of the movie is devoted to extreme anxiety dealing with short term memory Dory and fleeing Sharks, deep water toothy glowy fish things and killer jellyfish, Kid wakes up in fish tank in dentist and spends the rest of the movie living in terror of the daughter taking him and shaking him to death in a bag, They get eaten by a whale and then spat out, They get eaten by a pelican and then get spat out, They nearly get killed in fish net, The fate of the rest of the fish tank fish is unresolved possibly suffocating to death in their bags. Beautiful movie visually and - yes - great story but I just allways get to the end of it feeling bummed out. Even as a kid I always preferred the Warner / Hanna cartoons rater then Disney Bambi / Dumbo parents die life of abuse type cartoons.
Dec. 12, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST
by Deceased Fan
and a middle finger in your direction.
Dec. 12, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST
Hey, whats wrong Mihouse? I just found out there's another chapter at the beginning of Finding Nemo!!! Every parent know this is funny.
my kids have never seen mom die...yet.
Dec. 12, 2012, 10:12 p.m. CST
If you're calling yourself a reviewer, please get decent kit and review a film properly (esp. as the new release is due to the new 3D version). Us people with 2 eyes and no astigmatism sometimes enjoy 3D. ...and are you REALLY telling us the plot and reviewing this classic? Just give us the BluRay specs and technical review of the transfer and extras.
Dec. 12, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST
Dec. 13, 2012, 1:02 a.m. CST
Armchair critics are the worst and this board is FILLED with them. I also haven't seen this film since seeing it the cinema and the review refreshed my memory and gave me a clear idea of what I'll find on the bonus disc. That's all it needed to do.
Dec. 13, 2012, 8:34 a.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Dec. 13, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST
I mean, we all know that every professional publication uses size 18 font, so I guess I understand where they're coming from.
Dec. 13, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST
Almost didn't make it through it the first time due to her incredibly obnoxious and annoying voice work.
Dec. 13, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST
why does terry spend all these paragraphs summarizing the plot as if everyone didn't see this movie 10 years ago?
Dec. 13, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST
by Mace Tofu
So the whole film could have been given an upgrade as software, memory and computer power has gone up in 10 years. It still looked great back in the day.
Dec. 13, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST
...I loved it, as did my kids.
Dec. 14, 2012, 12:03 a.m. CST
I appreciate Terry's thoughts on the Blu-ray quality and extras, but the actual review of the movie itself wasn't really necessary.
Dec. 14, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST
oh and Dori is hilarious. not a fan of Ellen, but she was one of the best and funniest things about this movie, which is saying a lot.
Dec. 14, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST
It's set in Scotland. About Scottish people. Voiced by almost all Scottish actors. Please explain your stupid point.
Dec. 14, 2012, 3:53 a.m. CST
by Bedknobs and Boomsticks
Dec. 14, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST
Just talking about that the other day. So many big names just having fun. Space herpes....
Dec. 14, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST
Finding Nemo has to be one of my favorite animated movies of all time. When it first came out I didn’t have kids so I didn’t really think about buying it. One of the best things about Nemo is that it is a heartwarming story of a father and his son. It’s not really something you see in animated features too often. I love how it touches on overcoming your fears and finding those you love. I just rented the movie from Blockbuster @Home which is available through DISH and the film came via mail. So now I can get new and old movies from a variety of genres from the comfort of my own home.
- HERCULES ON THE RADIO!! Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Chats Up BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER / ED WOOD Icon (And Hollywood Royalty) Juliet Landau!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 10pm PT / Sunday 1am ET!! -- 28 total posts 3 posts
- Darker ZORRO Reboot Finds its Writer! -- 255 total posts 2 posts
- Fox Renews For Next Season THE MINDY PROJECT, THE FOLLOWING, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE And NEW GIRL!! -- 56 total posts 2 posts
- Harry shares Day 1 of SXSW which stars Jon Favreau's utterly delicious CHEF!!! -- 130 total posts 1 post
- Quint eats up Jon Favreau's CHEF, opening night flick of SXSW 2014! -- 30 total posts 1 post