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Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film written and directed by Andrew Stanton and released by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 5th film produced by Pixar and tells the story of the overprotective clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) who, along with a regal tang named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), searches for his abducted son Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) all the way to Sydney Harbour. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and let Nemo take care of himself. It is Pixar's first film to be released in cinemas in the northern hemisphere summer. The film was in theatres May 30th 2003 and in 3D on September 14th 2012, and it was released on Blu-ray on December 4th 2012. A sequel, Finding Dory, is in development, set to be released on June 17th 2016, marking Pixar’s 30th anniversary. The film received widespread critical acclaim, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and was nominated in three more categories including Best Original Screenplay. It was the second highest-grossing film of 2003, earning a total of $936 million worldwide.  Finding Nemo is the best-selling DVD of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006, and was the highest-grossing G-rated film of all time till Pixar's own Toy Story 3 overtook it. It is the 27th highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the 5th highest-grossing animated film. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it the 10th greatest animated film ever made as part of their 10 Top 10 lists

Plot Edit

Two ocellaris clownfish, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his wife Coral, are admiring their new home in the Great Barrier Reef and their clutch of eggs when a barracuda attacks, knocking Marlin unconscious. He wakes up to find Coral and all but one of the eggs missing. Marlin names this last egg Nemo, a name that Coral liked. Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) develops a small right fin due to damage to his egg from the attack, which limits his swimming ability. After Marlin embarrasses Nemo during a school field trip, he sneaks away from the reef and is captured by scuba divers. As the boat departs, one of the divers accidentally knocks his diving mask overboard. While attempting to save Nemo, Marlin meets Dory, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) with short-term memory loss. Marlin and Dory encounter three sharks – Bruce, Anchor and Chum – in an old minefield. Marlin discovers the diver's mask and notices an address written on it. When he argues with Dory and accidentally gives her a nosebleed, the blood scent causes Bruce to enter a feeding frenzy. The pair escapes from Bruce but the mask falls into a trench in the deep sea. During a hazardous struggle with an anglerfish in the trench, Dory sees the diving mask and reads the address located in Sydney, Australia. After receiving directions to Sydney from a school of moonfish, Marlin and Dory encounter a bloom of jellyfish that nearly kills them. Marlin loses consciousness and wakes up to see a sea turtle named Crush, who takes Dory and him on the East Australian Current. Marlin shares the details of his journey with a group of young sea turtles, and his story is spread across the ocean. Nemo's captor - P. Sherman, a dentist - places him in a fish tank in his office on Sydney Harbour. He meets aquarium fish called the Tank Gang, led by a moorish idol named Gill, who has a broken fin. The Tank Gang includes Bloat, a puffer fish; Bubbles, a yellow tang; Peach, an ochre starfish; Gurgle, a royal gramma; Jacques, a pacific cleaner shrimp; and Deb, a blacktailed humbug. The fish learn that Sherman plans to give Nemo to his niece, Darla, who once killed a fish by constantly shaking its bag. Gill reveals his escape plan, which involves jamming the tank's filter, forcing the dentist to remove the fish to clean it. The fish would be placed in plastic bags, and they would roll out the window and into the harbor. After an attempt at the escape goes wrong, a brown pelican named Nigel brings news of Marlin's adventure. Nemo successfully jams the filter after a second try, but the dentist installs a new high-tech filter. Upon leaving the East Australian Current, Marlin and Dory are engulfed by a whale. Inside the whale's mouth, Dory communicates with the whale, which carries them to Port Jackson and expels them through his blowhole. They are met by Nigel, who recognizes Marlin from the stories he has heard and takes them to the dentist's office. Darla has arrived and the dentist is giving Nemo to her. Nemo tries to play dead to save himself as Nigel arrives. Marlin sees Nemo and believes he is dead. Gill helps Nemo escape into a drain. In despair, Marlin leaves Dory and begins swimming home. Dory loses her memory and becomes confused, but meets Nemo, who reached the ocean. Dory's memory is restored after she reads the word "Sydney" on a nearby drainpipe. She guides Nemo to Marlin and they reunite. Dory is caught in a fishing net with a school of grouper. Nemo enters the net and directs the group to swim downward to break the net, enabling them to escape. After returning home, Nemo leaves for school and Marlin, no longer overprotective, proudly watches Nemo swim away with Dory at his side. At the dentist's office, the high-tech filter breaks down and the Tank Gang escapes into the harbor, belatedly realizing they are still confined in the bags of water.

Cast Edit

1. Albert Brooks as Marlin, a clownfish, Nemo's father

2. Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, a Pacific regal blue tang

3. Alexander Gould as Nemo, a juvenile clownfish, Marlin's son

4. Willem Dafoe as Gill, a moorish idol

5. Brad Garrett as Bloat, a porcupinefish

6. Allison Janney as Peach, an Ochre starfish

7. Austin Pendleton as Gurgle, a royal gramma

8. Stephen Root as Bubbles, a yellow tang

9. Vicki Lewis as Deb (and her sister, "Flo", Deb's reflection), a four-striped damselfish

10. Joe Ranft as Jacques, a French-speaking Pacific cleaner shrimp

11. Geoffrey Rush as Nigel, a Brown pelican

12. John Ratzenberger as the school of moonfish

13. Andrew Stanton as Crush, a green sea turtle.

14. Bob Peterson as Mr. Ray, a spotted eagle ray, Nemo's school teacher

15. Barry Humphries as Bruce, a great white shark

16. Eric Bana as Anchor, a hammerhead shark, Bruce's sidekick

17. Bruce Spence as Chum, a mako shark, Bruce's sidekick

18. Erik Per Sullivan as Sheldon, a juvenile seahorse

19. Bill Hunter as Dr. Philip Sherman, the dentist who captured Nemo on a SCUBA diving trip

20.  Elizabeth Perkins as Coral, Marlin's wife and Nemo's mother

21.  Rove McManus as a crab

22.  Nicholas Bird as Squirt, a juvenile sea turtle, Crush's son

23.  Jordy Ranft as Tad, a juvenile yellow longnose butterflyfish

24.  Erica Beck as Pearl, a juvenile flapjack octopus

25.  LuLu Ebeling as Darla, Dr. Sherman's niece, known as a "fish-killer"

Production Edit

The inspiration for Nemo sprang from multiple experiences, going back to when director Andrew Stanton was a child, when he loved going to the dentist to see the fish tank, assuming that the fish were from the ocean and wanted to go home.  In 1992, shortly after his son was born, he and his family took a trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (which was called Marine World at the time). There, after seeing the shark tube and various exhibits, he felt that the underwater world could be done beautifully in computer animation. Later, in 1997, he took his son for a walk in the park, but realized that he was over protecting him and lost an opportunity to have a father-son experience that day.  In addition, clownfish are colourful, but do not tend to come out of an anemone often. For a character who has to go on a dangerous journey, Stanton felt a clownfish was the perfect type of fish for the character. Pre-production of the film began in early 1997. Stanton began writing the screenplay during the post-production of A Bug's Life. As a result, Finding Nemo began production with a complete screenplay, something that co-director Lee Unkrich called "very unusual for an animated film". The artists took scuba diving lessons to study the coral reef. Andrew Stanton co-wrote and directed the film. The idea for the initiation sequence came from a story conference between Andrew Stanton and Bob Peterson while they were driving to record the actors. Ellen DeGeneres was cast after Stanton watched Ellen with his wife and saw Ellen "change the subject five times before finishing one sentence". The pelican character named Gerald (who in the final film ends up swallowing and choking on Marlin and Dory) was originally a friend of Nigel. They were going to play against each other with Nigel being neat and fastidious and Gerald being scruffy and sloppy. The filmmakers could not find an appropriate scene for them that did not slow the pace of the picture, so Gerald's character was minimized. Stanton himself provided the voice of Crush the sea turtle. He originally did the voice for the film's story reel, and assumed they would find an actor later. When Stanton's performance became popular in test screenings, he decided to keep his performance in the film. He recorded all his dialogue while lying on a sofa in co-director Lee Unkrich's office. Crush's son Squirt was voiced by Nicholas Bird, the young son of fellow Pixar director Brad Bird. According to Stanton, the elder Bird was playing a tape recording of his young son around the Pixar studios one day. Stanton felt the voice was "this generation's Thumper" and immediately cast Nicholas. Megan Mullally was originally going to provide a voice in the film. According to Mullally, the producers were dissatisfied to learn that the voice of her character Karen Walker on the television show Will & Grace was not her natural speaking voice. The producers hired her anyway, and then strongly encouraged her to use her Karen Walker voice for the role. When Mullally refused, she was dismissed. To ensure that the movements of the fish in the film were believable, the animators took a crash course in fish biology and oceanography. They visited aquariums, went diving in Hawaii and received in-house lectures from an ichthyologist. As a result, Pixar's animator for Dory, Gini Cruz Santos, integrated "the fish movement, human movement, and facial expressions to make them look and feel like real characters." The film was dedicated to Glenn McQueen, a Pixar animator who died of melanoma in October 2002. Finding Nemo shares many plot elements with Pierrot the Clownfish, a children's book published in 2002, but conceived in 1995. The author, Franck Le Calvez, sued Disney for infringement of his intellectual rights. The judge ruled against him, citing the color differences between Pierrot and Nemo.

Video game Edit

A video game based on the film was released in 2003, for PC, Xbox, Play Station 2, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance. The goal of the game is to complete different levels under the roles of film protagonists Nemo, Marlin or Dory. It includes cutscenes from the movie, and each clip is based on a level. It was also the last Disney/Pixar game developed by Traveller's Tales. Upon release, the game received mixed reviews. A Game Boy Advance sequel, titled Finding Nemo: The Continuing Adventures, was released in 2004.

Soundtrack Edit

Finding Nemo, the original soundtrack album, was the first Pixar film not to be scored by Randy Newman. The album was scored by Thomas Newman and released on May 20th 2003, 10 days before the movie. The album was nominated for the Academy Award for Original Music Score, losing to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Reception Edit

Critical response Edit

Finding Nemo received widespread critical acclaim. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 99% approval rating with an average rating of 8.6/10 based on 238 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Breathtaking animation, talented vocal work, and a well-written screenplay add up to another Pixar success." Another review aggregation website Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 90 out of 100 based on 38 reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars, calling it "one of those rare movies where I wanted to sit in the front row and let the images wash out to the edges of my field of vision". Broadway star Nathan Lane, who was the voice of Timon the meerkat in The Lion King, said Finding Nemo was his favorite animated film. Ed Park of The Village Voice gave the film a positive review, saying "It's an ocean of eye candy that tastes fresh even in this ADD-addled era of SpongeBob SquarePants." Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune gave the film four out of four stars, saying "You connect to these sea creatures as you rarely do with humans in big-screen adventures. The result: a true sunken treasure." Hazel-Dawn Dumpert of L.A. Weekly gave the film a positive review, saying "As gorgeous a film as Disney's ever put out, with astonishing qualities of light, movement, surface and color at the service of the best professional imaginations money can buy." Jeff Strickler of the Star Tribune gave the film a positive review, saying "Proves that even when Pixar is not at the top of its game, it still produces better animation than some of its competitors on their best days." Gene Seymour of Newsday gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "The underwater backdrops take your breath away. No, really. They're so lifelike, you almost feel like holding your breath while watching." Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Parental anxiety may not be the kind of stuff children's films are usually made of, but this perfectly enchanting movie knows how to cater to its kiddie audience without condescending to them." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "The best break of all is that Pixar's traditionally untethered imagination can't be kept under wraps forever, and "Nemo" erupts with sea creatures that showcase Stanton and company's gift for character and peerless eye for skewering contemporary culture." Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film four out of five stars, saying "Visual imagination and sophisticated wit raise Finding Nemo to a level just below the peaks of Pixar's Toy Story movies and Monsters, Inc.."  Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press gave the film three out of four stars, saying "As we now expect from Pixar, even the supporting fish in "Finding Nemo" are more developed as characters than any human in the Mission: Impossible movies." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film three and half stars out of four, saying "Finding Nemo is an undersea treasure. The most gorgeous of all the Pixar films — which include Toy Story 1 and 2, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. —Nemo treats family audiences to a sweet, resonant story and breathtaking visuals. It may lack Monsters, Inc.'s clever humor, but kids will identify with the spunky sea fish Nemo, and adults will relate to Marlin, Nemo's devoted dad." Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle gave the film an A-, saying "Finding Nemo lives up to Pixar's high standards for wildly creative visuals, clever comedy, solid characters and an involving story." Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film an A-, saying "A simple test of humanity: If you don't laugh aloud while watching it, you've got a battery not a heart." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film four out of four stars, saying "A dazzling, computer-animated fish tale with a funny, touching script and wonderful voice performances that make it an unqualified treat for all ages." Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Enchanting; written with an effortless blend of sweetness and silliness, and animated with such rainbow-hued beauty, you may find yourself wanting to freeze-frame it." Daphne Gordon of the Toronto Star gave the film four out of five stars, saying "One of the strongest releases from Disney in years, thanks to the work of Andrew Stanton, possibly one of the most successful directors you've never heard of." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Finding Nemo isn't quite up there with the company's finest work -- there's finally a sense of formula setting in -- but it's hands down the best family film since Monsters, Inc.." C.W. Nevius of The San Francisco Chronicle gave the film four out of four stars, saying "The visuals pop, the fish emote and the ocean comes alive. That's in the first two minutes. After that, they do some really cool stuff." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post gave the film a positive review, saying "Finding Nemo will engross kids with its absorbing story, brightly drawn characters and lively action, and grown-ups will be equally entertained by the film's subtle humor and the sophistication of its visuals." David Ansen of Newsweek gave the film a positive review, saying "A visual marvel, every frame packed to the gills with clever details, Finding Nemo is the best big-studio release so far this year." Richard Corliss of Time gave the film a positive review, saying "Nemo, with its ravishing underwater fantasia, manages to trump the design glamour of earlier Pixar films." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A, saying "In this seamless blending of technical brilliance and storytelling verve, the Pixar team has made something as marvelously soulful and innately, fluidly American as jazz." Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film three out of four stars, saying "As eye-popping as Nemo's peepers and as eccentric as this little fish with asymmetrical fins." David Germain of the Associated Press gave the film a positive review, saying "Finding Nemo is laced with smart humor and clever gags, and buoyed by another cheery story of mismatched buddies: a pair of fish voiced by Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres." Anthony Lane of The New Yorker gave the film a positive review, saying "The latest flood of wizardry from Pixar, whose productions, from Toy Story onward, have lent an indispensable vigor and wit to the sagging art of mainstream animation."The 3D re-release prompted a retrospective on the film nine years after its initial release. Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger described it as "a genuinely funny and touching film that, in less than a decade, has established itself as a timeless classic." On the 3D re-release, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote that its emotional power was deepened by "the dimensionality of the oceanic deep" where "the spatial mysteries of watery currents and floating worlds are exactly where 3D explorers were born to boldly go".

Box office Edit

Finding Nemo earned $380,843,261 in North America, and $555,900,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $936,743,261. It is the twenty-seventh highest-grossing film and the second highest-grossing film of 2003, behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Worldwide, it was the highest-grossing Pixar film, up until 2010 when Toy Story 3 surpassed it. In North America, Finding Nemo set an opening weekend record for an animated feature, making $70,251,710 (first surpassed by Shrek 2). It became the highest-grossing animated film in North America ($339.7 million), outside North America ($528.2 million) and worldwide ($867.9 million), in all three occasions out-grossing The Lion King. In North America, it was surpassed by both Shrek 2 in 2004, and Toy Story 3 in 2010. After the re-release of The Lion King in 2011 and after Despicable Me 2 and Frozen passed it in 2014, it stands as the fifth highest-grossing animated film in these regions. Outside North America, it stands as the fifth highest-grossing animated film. Worldwide, it now ranks fourth among animated films. The film had impressive box office runs in many international markets. In Japan, its highest-grossing market after North America, it grossed ¥11.2 billion ($102.4 million), becoming the highest-grossing foreign animated film in local currency (yen). It has only been surpassed by Frozen (¥12.1 billion). Following in biggest grosses are the U.K., Ireland and Malta, where it grossed £37.2 million ($67.1 million), France and the Maghreb region ($64.8 million), Germany ($53.9 million) and Spain ($29.5 million).

Accolades Edit

Finding Nemo won the Academy Award and Saturn Award for Best Animated Film. It also won the award for Best Animated Film at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards, the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards, the National Board of Review Awards, the Online Film Critics Society Awards, and the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards. The film received many other awards, including: Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Movie and Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie (Ellen DeGeneres) and Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress (Ellen DeGeneres). The film was also nominated for two Chicago Film Critics Association Awards for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Ellen DeGeneres), a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and two MTV Movie Awards for Best Movie and Best Comedic Performance (Ellen DeGeneres). In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten Top Ten", the best 10 films in 10 "classic" American film genres, after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Finding Nemo was acknowledged as the 10th best film in the animation genre.  It was the most recently released film among all 10 lists, and one of only three movies made after the year 2000 (the others being The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Shrek).

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