Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Fall 2004 DVD
Ages: All Ages
DVD Price: $19.99
A visual treat, a heartwarming story and a lesson in tolerance make Finding Nemo a joy. Rated G, Nemo is the story of a little clown fish with an extra small fin who wants to prove he can handle anything. His father, Marlin, is a widower who is overly protective ever since the rest of his family fell prey to a barricuda. On Nemo's first day of school, the little fish swims too far from the group and is captured by a scuba diver who takes him to live in a fish tank in a dentist's office. Dad will do anything to find his son, and Nemo will do anything to get out of that tank and find his dad. Their quest is the basis for the film. Along the way, both meet funny characters, some with loads of scary teeth, but all with loving personalities, particularly Dory, who suffers short-term memory loss.

Parents will get a kick out Albert Brooks' neurotic Marlin, who braves the unknown ocean in his journey to find Nemo. Ellen DeGeneres voices Dory, the silly, helpful and kind fish who accompanies him. Comedy abounds through the smart and charming movie, providing humor that will appeal to both kids and adults. Aside from some big sharks who are trying to kick their habit of eating fish, the movie has no evil villains. The only bad guy is the dentist for having a tank of fish, and we barely glimpse him. Visually, Nemo's ocean scenes are mesmerizing, aglow with the colorful fish set against the blue background. Because of Dory's short-term memory problem and Nemo's smaller-than-average fin, there are subtle lessons in coping with diversity to be gleaned. Everyone can, and will, enjoy the story. Finding Nemo is a charming, wonderful film, perfect for family viewing.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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