Finding Nemo in 3D is a magnificent experience. Not so much because it is in 3D but because it is an animated gem that sits proudly in the pantheon of one of the best animated films of all time. The opening shot took me straight to 2003 where I first saw the marvelous art direction and it gave me an eyegasm. The same happened 9 years later when those beautiful marine colors and the oceanic fluorescence flooded my optic nerves.
I wouldnt want to go into the boring routine of mentioning the plot that us reviewers have to brush through, but I can get away with it this time by saying that we already know what this film is about. A quick summation anyhow: Marlin is looking for his lost son, Nemo, while Dory accompanies him on this quest. Marlin and Nemo are clownfish and it breaks the misconception that they are supposed to be funny and tell jokes. Dory is a royal blue tang who has short-term memory loss and it breaks the misconception that fish cant have memory disorders.
Finding Nemo is one of those movies that have seeped into our collective consciousness. From the opening visual splendor of the corals of the Great Barrier Reef to Robbie Williams rendition of Beyond The Sea over the end credits, this film is one of those films that are too young to be called a classic but it doesnt sound like a tall claim at all. I often find myself referencing the film with its various quotes: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming; I shall call him squishy and he shall be mine. Each fan of this movie definitely remembers the address: P. Sherman, 42, Wallaby Way, Sydney. It could easily be Australia's most widely known address. Then there are the Dude turtles and the annoying Mine seagulls. It has various little quirks and nuances that you never get tired of (even some movie references like The Shining and Psycho). It is still as funny as it was and even made my eyes well up during the reunion.
One of the things that stood out for me when I revisited this film was the 15 seconds of black screen when Dory and Marlin go down close to the ocean floor. How many movies today take the risk of making you watch nothing and still make you laugh? While its a visually grand movie and has a well-crafted screenplay, I had never fully appreciated the dexterous voice acting. Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks and Willem Dafoe definitely need to do more animated films.
Im glad the 3D doesnt hamper the experience by things popping out of the screen, nor does it truly enhance it. This is just an excuse for me to watch the film in the theater again. The experience of watching Finding Nemo was always luminous and immersive. It was like bathing in the opulence of the ocean. The 3D hopes to make it more immersive but the makers forget they never needed to do us that favor. We knew how to do it with this movie anyway. A great movie is a great movie, with or without 3D. Finding Nemo would be the best movie to watch on any weekend of the calendar. If you have never seen it, first slap yourself twice and then purchase a ticket. If you have, go watch it again, if you havent already.