Hot on the heels of the recent 3D theatrical re-release, Finding Nemo makes its long awaited 3D debut on Blu-ray in this amazing five-disc collection from Disney/Pixar. The fishy tale quickly became the highest-grossing animated film of all-time when it was released in 2003, only recently having been dethroned by another Pixar classic, Toy Story 3, and I’m glad that Finding Nemo is still popular and going strong after all this time, as I’m a big fan of this Disney/Pixar classic. With a moving story and fun characters on a five disc set that includes the 3D Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, a Blu-ray with the bonus materials, and the DVD and digital copy of the feature, this is one of those special films that seems to get better the more times you see it.
Directed by Andrew Stanton, who would go onto directing the stellar Wall-E and the criminally underrated John Carter, the film is still the exciting, funny, adventure filled fish-tale now as it was then, with some amazing 3D depth added that’s sure to please fans and wow newcomers. Fellow reviewer Chris Pandolfi has always loved the movie, but even he was impressed with Disney’ 3D conversation, as evidenced by the snippet below, and his take on the 3D theatrical release can be viewed HERE:
“The other reason is that the 3D process simply works better when the visuals are submersed in water (even if said water happened to be digitally simulated). I haven’t quite figured out why this is, although I do have a theory, one that applies to all movies that involve underwater footage. I think it has to do with the fact that, unlike air, even the clearest water has a certain degree of murk to it. Murk translates as texture on a theater screen, and texture is much more visible if the film is in 3D. You don’t merely see fish swimming into your field of vision; you see the fish surrounded by a slight haze with particles floating in it, sometimes far away from the camera while at other times close to it. It’s not as immersive as films like Hugo or Avatar – it is, after all, a post-conversion 3D film – but it certainly is more prominent than it has been for most of the other Disney rereleases.”
This film holds up incredibly well since I first saw it in 2003, thanks to story and the fun cast of characters with great talent behind them. Ellen DeGeneres really steals the spotlight as the ditsy but loveable Dory, while Albert Brooks has just the right balance of parental worry and determination in his voice to perfectly portray the overprotective Marlin looking for his only son. Alexander Gould is also spot-on as the titular character, as he hits all the right marks to make Nemo a believable, fun-loving child.
TThe real star of this Blu-ray set, though, is the amazing 3D depth that’s been added to the film. The way it is used here, it makes one think that this movie was always intended to be in 3D in the first place. Combining the effect with crisp, detailed 1080p visuals really makes you feel like you’re underwater, as you’ll swear some of the fish are coming right at you and that you can reach out and touch the coral. Coupled with the amazing video is the equally great Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio, which makes sure that every hilarious line along with Thomas Newman’s wonderful music score is heard perfectly.
Rounding out this Blu-ray set are a ton of extras, including some that are new in this release. Such as the CineExplore feature, where the audio commentary track is joined by some early animation clips and other behind the scenes material in a picture-in-picture frame as you watch the movie. Extras like this are always a treat to me, as you get to see all of the things the crew went through making the film come to life. There’s also plenty of other extras such as a roundtable discussion with some of the crew about the making of the movie, a segment where director Andrew Stanton talks about how they were thinking about adding flashbacks scenes to the film but decided against it, behind the scenes features, bonus animated shorts and more to keep those who love bonus material busy for quite some time.
Even after all these years, Pixar’s Finding Nemo remains one of the most beloved and endlessly watchable films in recent memory for good reason: it’s a fantastically moving story filled with great, memorable characters that any viewer can easily identify and fall in love with. The beautiful undersea visuals are made even more stirring with the addition of 3D, which helps add even more aquatic mystery and depth to what was already a near-perfect package in high-definition. For those viewers with the right set-up this is easily the best Pixar’s classic has ever looked and sounded, and the abundance of bonus features makes this a real catch for any serious film’s collection.
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Walt Disney Pictures