Intentional Pun? Nemo has a gimpy right fin as a result of an embryonic accident. Would that be a fin ding? Or a fine ding?

In any case, Finding Nemo was an excellent movie, the kind that I left the theater thinking “I’ve got to see that again”.

It is a very balanced movie: there is humor and tragedy, nonsense, suspense, characters, sound, colors, voices, subtle jabs at previous movies, a full plate of originality and a plot which has enough eddies and tides to make the story unpredictable, even if you already know from the title that they will probably will eventually find Nemo. But what else about Nemo do they find? Its also a movie that has enough to keep you thinking the next day and the next. Simple messages but well packaged.

Michael Tsai says of Dory’s role: “…as a lead she’s more annoying than Jar Jar Binks.” I saw nothing of the sort. First of all, Ellen really fleshes out the short-term memory dimension very well, so that even if you don’t find it entertaining, at least it is believable. But it was very entertaining, especially to my son Staffan, who loved all the gags around that running joke. And also, Dory’s disability opens the door to different abilities in a way that enables the plot. Jar Jar, on the other hand, was only half believable, entertaining for no one, and seems to have the sole function of pointing out that a contrived plot seemed contrived.

And the animation was fabulous. I especially liked how much character and emotion could be squeezed from the motions of fins and other body parts of sealife, especially when so much care is taken to make them look very real.

But there are loose ends. Some are unsatisfying: What are the sharks supposed to eat, anyway? Some are food for thought: Does Dory really understand whalesong?

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