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Finding Nemo Reviews

Pixar heads under the sea and finds subject matter that couldn't be more perfectly suited to its vivid style of computer animation. As befits the company that produced the TOY STORY films and MONSTERS, INC. (2001), the visuals are utterly convincing and the story revolves around a diverse — and very funny — group of characters who inhabit a fantastic version of the ocean. After losing his wife and most of their unhatched eggs to a vicious barracuda, bright-orange clownfish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) becomes overly cautious — he won't even leave his sea anemone home alone — and extremely protective of his sole surviving offspring, Nemo (Alexander Gould). Marlin's overbearing paranoia eventually becomes too much for the adventurous youngster — distinguished, not handicapped, by an undersized fin — who takes up a classmate's dare to leave the safety of the reef. Nemo ventures into the open sea and is promptly snatched up by a scuba diver. Marlin witnesses the abduction of his only son and speeds off in search of the divers and their boat, his own neurotic self-preservation issues forgotten. The determined Marlin joins forces with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a flighty but optimistic Blue Tang who suffers from short-term memory loss, and the odd couple search tirelessly for little Nemo, who's landed inside a dentist's well-stocked fish tank. Nemo's tankmates, an eclectic cross section of captive sea life, befriend the new fish and plot to help him escape before he falls into the clutches of the dentist's niece, who's reputation for causing fish to go belly up strikes fear into the finny community. Marlin and Dory, meanwhile, must elude three razor-toothed sharks (they're part of a self-help group that preaches "fish are friends, not food," but suffer occasional relapses), a jungle-like mass of jellyfish and a hungry flock of seagulls who emphatically chatter the only word they know: "mine." The duo get some unexpected help from nosy pelican Nigel (Geoffrey Rush), a shape-shifting school of fish (group-voiced by John Ratzenberger), and some surfer-dude sea turtles, led by Crush (voiced to laid-back perfection by the film's director, Andrew Stanton). The film's cautionary lesson is clear, but it's imbedded in a never-ending stream of action and humor. Many of the quirky one-liners will fly over the heads of small fry — how many kids will appreciate the irony of an H2O-intolerant seahorse or the starfish who was bought on eBay? — but will find an appreciative audience among adults. The colorful and kid-friendly characters are a delight, though very young children might be alarmed by some of the larger creatures, who tend to come into view teeth first.