In the summer of 2003, audiences were introduced to Marlin, Dory and Nemo.
Now, audiences across the country can enjoy the classic, heartfelt movie, "Finding Nemo," with astounding graphic effects on a 3-D screen.
The story about a father searching for his son would go on to gross more than $357 million in North America and made $890 million worldwide — the second-highest in 2003.
“Finding Nemo” achieved near-universal acclaim — it holds a rating of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 89 percent on Metacritic — and deservedly so. After years of standing idly on store shelves, the movie has been re-released to placate the growing population of avid 3-D movie fans.
Like most plotlines of movies made for children, “Finding Nemo” is, in terms of realism, utterly ridiculous. There is the group of vegetarian sharks, Dory who speaks whale and reads English, and the friendly pelican who carries Marlin and Dory in his mouth without eating them.
But the film does not suffer for all its silliness. Rather, it is so successful in making the viewer feel the world is real that “suspense of disbelief” is not even an issue.
It is for this reason that the 3-D re-release does not feel like a cheap ploy, unlike the re-release of “Titanic” or any number of movies which have been hastily converted to 3-D recently.
Ultimately, the 3-D effects actually add to the already surprisingly real visuals of underwater life.
Lisa Schwarzbaum of “Entertainment Weekly” wrote "the spatial mysteries of watery currents and floating worlds are exactly where 3-D explorers were born to boldly go” and she is entirely right.
Despite being an animated movie geared towards children, “Finding Nemo 3-D” manages to engross an audience of all ages thanks to powerful visuals and a heart-wrenching storyline.
Indeed, the opening scene where we are introduced to the clownfish Marlin and his wife Coral, only to see Coral killed and their eggs eaten by a barracuda, may be second only to the opening sequence in “Up” for its intense emotional appeal.
From there, the movie flashes forward several years to Marlin and his son Nemo, the only egg to be spared the barracuda’s wrath. Rather understandably, Marlin is wildly overprotective of Nemo, to the point of considering not even letting him go to school that year.
Marlin’s paranoia and near-agoraphobic state of living are challenged when a scuba diver abducts Nemo, forcing Marlin to leave the reef and venture out into open water in hopes of finding his son.
Along the way, Marlin befriends a fish named Dory who, despite her short-term memory loss, manages to save them several times.
Voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, Dory is one of the best characters in cinema in recent years. Her memory problems are not just for laughs, although it is frequently hilarious, but they paint the picture of real situations with paramount consequences. Dory’s pure joy and optimism in the face of overwhelming odds radiate throughout the film, so eventually even “Mr. Grumpy Gills” Marlin ends up cherishing her presence.
The casting for the film overall was superb, from Willem Dafoe as the gritty Gill of the “Tank Gang” to Barry Humphries as the great white shark Bruce.
Is it really worth the exorbitant fee at the box office when the original is already so good?
Probably not. But it is an awful lot of fun to see.
New releases for Friday, September 21:
“Dredd” (available in 3-D): Set in a futuristic society, chaos spreads through the towns, and the only hope for mankind is the “Judges,” an urban police force aiming to maintain order under its leader, Dredd.
Starring: Lena Headley, Domhnall Gleeson
“End of Watch”: This crime-fighting cop film is set in Los Angeles, and the cinematography mirrors that of “Cloverfield”, with handheld action from policeman and townspeople at crime scenes.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena