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Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 2, 2012 by  



“Finding Nemo” is a Disney/Pixar classic that will continue to entertain families for generations to come.  But for those who grew up with this film and are now sharing this film with their own young ones, this film is priceless.  And for those wondering if its worth upgrading from DVD to Blu-ray, the answer is YES!  Another Disney/Pixar film that deserves a 5-star rating!  “Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition” is highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2012 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition

THEATRICAL RELEASE: 2003

DURATION: 100 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: G (All Ages Admitted)

Release Date: December 4, 2012

Directed by Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Original Story by Andrew Stanton

Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds

Produced by Graham Walters

Executive Produced: John Lasseter

Associate Producer: Jinko Gotoh

Music by Thomas Newman

Cinematography by Sharon Calahan, Jeremy Lask

Edited by David Ian Salter

Casting by Matthew Joh Beck, Mary Hidalgo, Kevin Reher

Production Design by Ralph Eggleston

Featuring the voices of:

Albert Brooks as Marlin

Ellen DeGeneres as Dory

Alexander Gould as Nemo

Willem Dafoe as Gill

Brad Garrett as Bloat

Allison Janney as Peach

Austin Pendleton as Gurgle

Stephen Root as Bubbles

Vicki Lewis as Deb/Flo

Joe Ranft as Jacques

Geoffrey Rush as Nigel

Andrew Stanton as Crush

Elizabether Perkins as Coral

Nicholas Bird as Squirt

Bob Peterson as Mr. Ray

Barry Humphries as Bruce

Eric Bana as Anchor

Bruce Spence as Chum

In this stunning underwater adventure teeming with memorable comedic characters and heartfelt emotion, ―Finding Nemo‖ follows the momentous journey of an overprotective clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his young son Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould). When the two are unexpectedly separated in the Great Barrier Reef, Nemo is carried far from his ocean home and deposited in a fish tank in a dentist’s office. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic effort to rescue his son––who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home.

With the continued success of Pixar who had a string of success with their two “Toy Story” films, “A Bug’s Life” and “Monsters, Inc.”, in 2003, Pixar released their fifth animated film titled “Finding Nemo”.

Co-directed by Andrew Stanton (“Wall-E”, “A Bug’s Life”, “John Carter”) and Lee Unkrich (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Toy Story 3”), the inspiration of “Finding Nemo” was inspired by Andrew Stanton’s memories of a child and going to the dentist and seeing a fish tank and felt the fish wanted to go back home instead of being in an aquarium.  And many years later as an adult and having a child, he took the family to Marine World and saw a shark tube and wondered what if fish and sharks can be animated?  And as his son grew older, as a father, he learned from personal experience of him being over-protective of his son.  And this became the basis for “Finding Nemo”.  And as for using clown fish as the two protagonists, it came from seeing an interview in “National Geographic” Magazine.  The film would give Pixar artists a chance to learn about sealife as they learned how to scuba dive and study the coral reef.

For casting, “Finding Nemo” would feature voice talent such as Albert Brooks (“Taxi Driver”, “Drive”, “Defending Your Life”), Ellen DeGeneres (“Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, “Ellen”), Alexander Gould (“Curious George”, “Bambi 2”), Willem Dafoe (“Platoon”, “Spider-Man”, “The Boondock Saints”), Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”, Ratatouille”), Allison Janney (“The West Wing”, “American Beauty”), Elizabeth Perkins (“Weeds”, “Big”) and many others who contributed to the film.

Suffice to say, “Finding Nemo” was an enormous success.  Budgeted at $94 million, the film would make over $921 million in the box office and would be recognized as #10 in AFI’s 10 Top 10, would inspire a popular toy-line and Disneyland ride.

And nearly a decade later, in 2012, with the success of “The Lion King 3D”, Disney and Pixar would re-release “Finding Nemo 3D” and while the conversion would cost under $5 million, the film would gross $16.7 million in the U.S. and more overseas.

And now “Finding Nemo” will be released in Dec. 2012 via a in 3D, but also as a Collector’s Edition which includes the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.

“Finding Nemo” begins with two clownfish, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his wife Coral (voiced by Elizabeth Perkins) as they start their new lives as parents in the Great Barrier Reef and are looking forward to their eggs to hatch.  But while the two are looking at their new home, a barracuda is preparing to attack and Coral wants to protect her babies.

While Marlin puts up a fight, he is knocked unconscious while Coral and all of the eggs have been eaten by the barracuda.  When all is lost, Marlin finds one egg (with a slight crack on it) and uses the name that Coral wanted and that is “Nemo”.

Flashforward years later and it’s Nemo’s first day of school.  Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) is full of energy and because he has been born with a small tiny right fin and that he is the only son of Marlin, Marlin is overprotective of his son.

But as Nemo tries to make new friends at school and are dropped off at the “dropoff area”, this causes concern for Marlin as he sees that area as dangerous and quickly goes to find his son.  Meanwhile, Nemo and his friends dare each other of who can get closer to a boat that can be seen a distance away.  Immediately, Marlin stops his son from doing it and tells everyone that Nemo shouldn’t be attempting such a thing because he can’t swim that well due to his small fin.

Embarrassed by his father, Nemo goes off to prove his father wrong by swimming towards the boat and not listening to his father and stopping.  Nemo goes as far as touching the boat and next thing you know, Nemo is caught by a scuba diver.  As Marlin rushes to save his son, it is too late.  His son has been captured and put into container.  Meanwhile, as the boat speeds off, the goggles for the diver falls to the ocean.

As Marlin goes to find his son, he runs into a Regal blue tang named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) who suffers from short-term memory loss.   Dory tells Marlin that she has seen the boat and asks him to follow her, but immediately forgets what Marlin told her and thinks he is trying to follow her.  But as the two discuss looking for Nemo, the two get involved in an adventure which includes coming across Bruce, a great white shark; Anchor, a hammerhead shark and Chum; a mako shark who are on a  fish-free diet and to prove themselves, they try to make friends with Nemo and Dory.  Also, a tangle with jelly fish, riding with the turtoises and getting stuck inside the belly of a whale.

Meanwhile, Nemo is taken to a dentist’s aquarium where he is to be given to his nice, Darla.  Fearing for Nemo, the group of aquarium fish known as the “Tank Gang” led by Gill, the moorish idol tries to help Nemo escape.

Will Marlin find Nemo?  And will the Tank Gang find a way for Nemo to escape, so he can be reunited with his father?

VIDEO:

“Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition” is presented in 1080p High Definition (aspect ration of 1:78:1) and I’m sure people wonder how a film made back prior to 2003 would look a decade later in HD.  And while watching this film, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Would there be banding?  Would there be artifacts?   But you know, there are no issues that I could find with the picture quality.  “Finding Nemo”  looks absolutely fantastic on Blu-ray.  Colors are vibrant, black levels are nice and deep and clarity is amazing.

Even while watching this film, I tried to find if there is anything that doesn’t hold up.  Well, looking at the amazing details on the sharks, to seeing the vibrant colors of Marlin and Nemo to even the water CG animation, everything holds up amazingly well in 2012 and still looks much better than some CG animated films created today.

This is a gorgeous film on Blu-ray and videophiles will definitely enjoy how “Finding Nemo” looks on Blu-ray!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition” is presented in English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and also English 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX – DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital.  As with the video, I was wondering how immersive this soundtrack would be over a decade later.  But the fact is that Disney knows quality and for a lot of their Pixar releases, I have not seen one bad or sub-standard Blu-ray release yet.  And so, here we are with “Finding Nemo” and just to hear the dynamic range and the use of the surround channels and LFE for this film is amazing.

From the fish swimming in the water, the shark going after Marlin and Dori, the pelican chase scene, the explosions from the underwater mines, the sound of Marlin and Dori being shot out of the whale to the many echos and the overall flow of water and just overall aquatic sounds are fabulous. This “Finding Nemo” lossless soundtrack is immersive and the film just comes alive in HD.  I never had this experience while watching it on DVD, so another positive for this Blu-ray release.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition” comes with the following special features on two Blu-ray discs:

  • Knick Knack – (3:38) A short created in 1989 by Pixar Animation Studios, six years before “Toy Story”.
  • Aquarium – Featuring seven screensavers from creatures of the ocean. (Note: These are short video screensavers that loop)
  • Cine-Explore – (1:40:53) Co-Directors Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich along with co-writer Bob Peterson discussing the film.  And the feature is presented via picture-in-picture, so you can see the actual artwork, storyboards and more.
  • Finding Nemo: A Filmmaker’s Roundtable – (17:36) Featuring Director Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, writer Bob Peterson, producer Graham Walters, production designer Ralph Eggleston and technical lead Oren Jacob reuniting for this 10th anniversary roundtable.
  • Reinventing the Submarine Voyage – (15:05) Featuring the Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland.
  • Deleted Scene (Alt Opening) – (3:04) Featuring an alternate opening presented via the conceptual artwork.
  • A Lesson in Flashbacks – (8:00) Co-director/writer Andrew Stanton talks about the lessons learned on the making of “Finding Nemo”.
  • Art Review – (8:38) Production designer Ralph Eggleston, character art director Ricky Nierva and shading art director Robin Cooper discuss the pre-production artwork for “Finding Nemo”.
  • Making Nemo – (25:35) From the 2003 DVD release featuring  the behind-the-scenes of the making “Finding Nemo”.
  • Exploring the Reef – (7:01) A featurette about the endangered coral reefs with host Jean-Michel Cousteau.
  • Studio Tour – (5:24) Alexander Gould (voice of Nemo) taking viewers on a tour of Pixar Studios.
  • Old School – Featuring eight shorts: El Capitan Pitch Selects (:52), School Progression Reel (:38), MA Reference (:53), Whale Mouth (2:19), International Mino (:22), Pelican Animation (:52), Glenn McQueen Tribute (2:$6), Aquaseum 2003 (:32)
  • Outtakes – Featuring four outtakes from “Finding Nemo”.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring the deleted scenes via storyboard: “Crush the Hippie,” “Shark Volleyball,” “Frantic Dad,” “Scent of Lavender,” “Sewage,” “Prologue Bedtime Story” and “Soap Opera/Gil Lies”.
  • Publicity Pieces – Featuring four promotional trailers for “Finding Nemo” plus Fishy Facts, ABC and DVD Stunts.
  • Mr. Ray’s Encyclopedia – An interactive encyclopedia with videos of undersea creatures.

“Finding Nemo” will always be a Pixar animated film that I will have a strong connection to. It was a film that came out the year that my son was born.  It was the first Disney film that we watched together as father and son and watching this Blu-ray release, we watched it again together a decade later and while I don’t know if we will ever watch this film again as father and son, perhaps he will watch this film with his child when he gets older.

But what I love about this film is the bond between father and son, how father will do what he can for his son but at the same time, knowing that he can’t be overprotective and has to give his son breathing room to grow.

And so as a father, this film stays true to my heart.

But aside from the personal connection, as an animated film, this film was gorgeous when it came out back in 2003 and it looks gorgeous today.  You really don’t see too many animated films of underwater creatures this captivating.  Yes, Disney had underwater creatures featured in “The Little Mermaid” but the overall character design of Marlin, Dori, Nemo and the other creatures were done well, but also the research that went into the characters and featuring Marlin and Dori that would be vibrant enough to stand out among the other many characters featured in the film.

So, animation and overall detail for these creatures and humans and objects were amazing, but what also brought this film to life was its awesome voice acting.  Pixar films have always found the right talent to cast for various roles but in this case, Albert Brooks as Marlin and Ellen DeGeneres were perfect.  Child actor at the time, Alexander Gould, also fit the role of Nemo.  These three did a wonderful job portraying the voices of these characters and it adds to the overall efficacy of the film.

As for the Blu-ray release, if you made the move to HD, “Finding Nemo” is a major upgrade from its original DVD release.  The previous DVD was fantastic, but just the detail and clarity of the film in HD, picture quality is much better and its 7.1 lossless soundtrack is wonderful.  It’s an immersive soundtrack to go along with picture quality so vibrant and detailed, you can’t help but fall in love with his film yet again!  And included with the special features from the previous DVD release are also newer features included on Blu-ray, so fans of the film should be pleased!

Overall, “Finding Nemo” is a Disney/Pixar classic that will continue to entertain families for generations to come.  But for those who grew up with this film and are now sharing this film with their own young ones, this film is priceless.  And for those wondering if its worth upgrading from DVD to Blu-ray, the answer is YES!  Another Disney/Pixar film that deserves a 5-star rating!

“Finding Nemo: Collector’s Edition” is highly recommended!

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