Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finding Nemo

I've seen "Finding Nemo" many times, in English, and also in Spanish, and yet, I still can't see what all the fuss is about. Critics and audiences fawn over any decent animation, and sometimes the attention is not so fitting. The film won an Oscar for Best Animated Film which was no big surprise since it had an entire country behind it. It has its interesting moments and techniques, but it's mostly beloved for its extremely one-note performances. Albert Brooks does for once a non-comedic performance, although that's not necessarily a good thing. He plays Marlin, a clownfish (wow, how funny). His son is a rebellious, quiet youth named Nemo (Alexander Gould), who's probably the film's main source of praise. I think he's definitely the best character here. He's really the only one who didn't get constantly on my nerves. There's one fish we all know, one played by Ellen DeGeneres, an annoying comic in her own right, that really, really for me held the film back. Dory. She has tepid chemistry with everyone, but is beloved however because her mannerisms are memorable and kids find them funny. Getting back to the plot, Nemo is Marlin's only survivor son of a barracuda attack that took basically the entire litter and Marlin's wife and left Nemo damaged with a scarred fin. Now, flash forward to the first day of school, where Marlin, the neurotic bundle of nerves stereotype that he is, watches as his son is captured by a diver and taken across the sea or whatever to Sydney. Thus begins an "epic," overrated odyssey by a father trying to save his son. Touching, yes, but relying too much on light and cute humor to get the job done. Andrew Stanton is critically lauded for everything, and he's only impressed me with "Wall-E." Here, he constructs a wink wink nudge nudge pastiche of Oscar bait silliness. Sure, I enjoyed "Finding Nemo," but seriously, it's not the best thing since sliced bread. B-

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