Finding Nemo – movie review

As you may have guessed, we are a big Disney household. Well, Q and I are anyways, M is a bit indifferent to the whole thing.  I have been a fan of Disney movies my whole life, and have passed that on to Q, who has introduced me to a whole new generation of amazing movies (though, I will admit, I probably would see them even if he wasn’t around).

One of his current favourite movies is Finding Nemo, and he was very excited when he found out that he would be able to see it at the theatre.  Imagine our excitement when we were invited to see a screening of Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo is an underwater adventure from Disney Pixar.  It tells the story of Nemo, a little clownfish and his Dad, Marlin.  We begin the movie being introduced to Marlin and his wife Coral, who have just moved into a new place in a neighbourhood they call “The dropoff”.  Marlin and Coral are soon to be new parents, and they are basking in happiness  with the thoughts of impending parenthood until tragedy strikes.  All that is left is one tiny, cracked egg, and when Marlin finds the survivor, he calls him “Nemo”.

Thus begins the story of the relationship between Marlin and his son.  Marlin is no longer a carefree fish, and he appears to suffer a great deal of anxiety over the safety and well-being of his son.  These were feelings that I could relate to, as a parent.  The problem is that Marlin is over-protective of Nemo, and won’t let him do anything that may result in him getting hurt.  On Nemo’s first day of school, Marlin is anxious to let him go off with the class, and when he finds out that they will be going to “The Dropoff”, he freaks out and goes after them.  When he arrives, he sees what he thinks is Nemo and his friends swimming out towards what they call “the butt” (a boat), even though Nemo had refused the taunts of his friends.  Marlin refuses to hear what Nemo has to say, and jumps to his own conclusions.  This leads Nemo into an act of defiance that will change things in a way that none of them ever expected.  He is scooped up by a diver, and taken to live in an aquarium in a dentist’s office.

This begins Marlin’s frantic search for his son, across the ocean.  Along the way, he comes across a motly crew of characters – Dorie, a blue tang with short term memory problems, Bruce, a shark who is trying to overcome his love of eating fish and now tries to go by the motto “Fish are friends, not food”, and Crush, a gnarly sea turtle.  There are obstacles to overcome, and friendships to develop.  The relationship between Marlin and Dorie struck me in a lot of ways.  She teaches him to trust in friendship, even when he doesn’t want to, and he helps her to feel secure in who she is.  Through their adventures, Marlin learns that it is ok to take chances, and that just because something is scary doesn’t always mean that it is bad.

Nemo also has his own adventure in the fish tank. He is befriended by the gang there, who include Gill, an angel fish from the ocean, and Bloat, a puffer fish.  His new friends try to hatch a plan to help him escape the aquarium before Darla, the dentist’s niece, comes to claim him. While in the aquarium, Nemo learn a sense of independence and self-reliance.

Q loved the movie in 3D, and wasn’t ever too overwhelmed by it.  If you have a very sensitive child, they may not like the scenes with the sharks, but when we saw it, there were no kids crying or seemingly too scared.  In fact, Q said that one of his favourite parts was the one with Bruce.

Overall, Finding Nemo is a movie that seems to strike a chord with kids and adults alike.  There are a lot of themes that I think will resonate with parents, especially learning that sometimes it is ok to let go, even if you don’t know what will happen. I know I could use that lesson sometimes.

Finding Nemo 3D is in theatres on September 14th.  As a bonus, the movie opens with a Toy Story Toons short called Partysaurus Rex that Q absolutely adored. It was hilarious.

Just for fun here are a few Finding Nemo puzzles you can download, print and enjoy with your kids as well.

Have you seen Finding Nemo? What did you think?

Disclosure: We were invited to an advanced screening of Finding Nemo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures Canada, however, all the opinions in this post are my own. 

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