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Grab shell dude! 

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from OUTDOOR SCREENING: Finding Nemo

Let’s face it, fish generally aren’t the most charismatic of creatures. They don’t normally look cute, you can’t stroke them, they don’t have the most interesting of expressions. They can’t purr, they can’t do puppy dog eyes, in fact it’s hard to see why you’d want them as pets. It’s an unsurprising fact that fish are involved in over 40% of accidental pet deaths, with only hamsters coming close in either that or the ease with which they can be replaced with out anyone noticing categories. If you want something hypnotic to look at in a glass container, get a lava lamp.

Finding Nemo looks to readdress the balance, and give fish some of the good publicity they deserve. It can’t be said that these fish are lacking in charisma. The film centres around Marlin, an over protective clown fish who can’t tell jokes, and his quest to find his son (you’ve guessed it) Nemo, when he is fishnapped on his first day of school and taken to a dentist’s aquarium. On his journey Marlin (Brooks) teams up with the absent-minded Dory (DeGeneres) and meets Bruce and his fellow sharks at fish-eaters anonymous, some very chilled sea turles and a fairly hungry whale. Nemo (Goulds), in the meantime plans his escape from the fish tank, with the aid of Gill (Dafoe) and the other occupants, before he is given to Darla, the terror of all fish in the tank, by the dentist. Will Marlin ever find Nemo?, will Dory ever stop singing long enough to remember anything?, will Nemo evade the clutches of Darla long enough to avoid being shaken to death?

What follows is a yet another superb Pixar film to match the high standards of Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Monsters inc. The animation as expected is sublime, the difficult task of rendering water to look realistic achieved seemingly effortlessly. And the cast do a great job of making you actually care about what happens to all characters, not easy given they’re all fish. There are, perhaps, less laugh out loud moments or knowing winks to the adult audience than some of the previous Pixar outings, but there is certainly enough to keep everyone more than happy, whether it’s the concept of stoned Sea turtles, sharks giving up fish (though what they’d eat instead was never explained) or the sea gulls by the harbour.

In Finding Nemo, Pixar have succeeded in what they achieve so well, creating another slightly sentimental fun family film that can make you purely happy like no other films I know can. And it’ll make you think fish are cute. In the words of the tagline: Sea it.

Deb Mitra

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Screenings of this film:

2005/2006 Summer Term (35mm)