As I’m writing this, Finding Nemo is just behind “Spiderman” for the title of the fastest selling DVD of all time. Most likely, it will eclipse the superheroís epic within the next few days. Thankfully, this is certainly a disc that’s worthy of a space on everyoneís DVDshelf, but this is still a 2-disc set aimed at the kiddies so true film fanatics are left on the curb.
Finding Nemo follows the story of Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), an overprotective father (for good reason considering the films traumatic opening moments) of Nemo. When Nemo is taken by a diver, Marlin goes on a quest that could only happen in a Disney film. Along the way, viewers are introduced to countless memorable characters, the most prevalent being Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a fish with a serious short term memory problem.
Any fan of Pixars other animated films will feel right at home here. The same sense of humor that permeated Toy Story and a Bugs Life is still present though the jokes are a bit spread out for the first hour compared to their previous films. With about 30 minutes to go, the movie really begins to pick up speed and the jokes really start to fly. It’s entertaining throughout, but nothing can match the final chapters.
By far, this is the best looking CG film released yet. The water effects are impossible to describe, lighting is gorgeous, and once Australia is revealed for the finale you’ll swear it’s all real. This set provides a digital-to-digital transfer that is possibly even better than the previous Pixar discs. The colors are stunning in the reef and this a great way to show off a new TV. Even when the movie begins to take on a darker tone, you’ll never catch any grain or compression issues. The full frame version included on disc 2 has been reformatted so you don’t miss anything if you choose to watch the film in this manner, but the widescreen print seems much less crammed and of better overall quality.
5.1 EX is the order of the day, and the water creates some surreal moments. The bass during some of the crashing water segments is strong enough to impress even those with a weaker system and the rears are used generously throughout. Scenes occurring inside the aquarium really make viewers feel what it would be like to be inside a glass rectangle, filter sounds and all.
As a 2-disc set, there’s a ton of stuff to do and play around with. Disc one is for the film buff with tons of behind the scene art, a slew of deleted scenes (none of which were finished sadly), a nice yet brief 28 minute making-of (which really shows how much work these guys do in a film like this.…everyone had to become certified divers before they could start working!), and a few easter eggs. The “virtual aquarium” feature is an interesting idea, but the execution is seriously lacking. Each of the discs contains a different one, but the video used is grainy and boring. Most don’t even feature fish!