Fall in love with ‘Finding Nemo’ all over again in a new dimension

Nathan Fisher

Illustration by Ruth Hwang

I’m baring my soul here: the sappy characters in “The Muppets” and “Finding Nemo” are my all-time favorites. Really, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been as excited as the 10-year-old kid I was in 2003 when “Finding Nemo” was first released, waiting for the rerelease of “Finding Nemo” in 3-D. Sure, the 3-D was probably just a ploy to get more money, but a group of Whitties didn’t care as they crammed into my car Friday night. Were we disappointed? Absolutely not! We still laughed when the seagulls went after the ninja crab (“Mine! Mine!”) and we just about died when Dory spoke whale.

The new 3-D effects were awesome as the underwater world came to life, and bubbles, jellyfish and snapping sharks surrounded the viewers. The 3-D stuff, though, was really not necessary, because what makes “Finding Nemo” a true treasure is the heartwarming, funny story with its flawed characters. The story doesn’t hold back, even for a kids’ flick. Opening with a barracuda mass-murdering the entire family of Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), an orange clownfish, only one egg survives and becomes Marlin’s overprotected son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has an under-developed fin. Nemo’s rebellion against his neurotic dad causes him to get captured and taken to a dentist’s office aquarium filled with Bloat, a puffer fish (Brad Garret), Gil (Willem Dafoe), and a starfish named Peach (Allison Janney). But the real story is Marlin’s “Taken”-esque quest to rescue his son. Sounds like a downer, but along the way Marlin meets and befriends a wonderful cast of characters who had my entourage howling. The standout, of course, is Dory, the absent-minded blue tang (Ellen DeGeneres). The dialogue between the forgetful Dory and the anxious Marlin is magical. My other favorites were Mr. Ray (Bob Peterson) singing his sea shanties, Bruce (Barry Humphries), one of the vegetarian sharks, leading the 12-step “fish are friends, not food” meetings, the cool sea turtle dudes, Crush (Andrew Stanton) and Squirt (Nicholas Bird) still riding the EAC.

I absolutely loved and highly recommend Pixar’s timeless classic “Finding Nemo 3-D.” In fact, the film is such an epic journey of self-discovery that it should join “The Odyssey” as part of the required reading/viewing in Whitman’s first-year Encounters course. Remember, “just keep swimming!”