For a few years this was the highest-grossing animated film of all time. It was recently surpassed by Toy Story 3 and one of the Shrek films, but that may be just ticket-price inflation. Not that box office performance really has to have all that much to do with quality; some real stinkers have made hundreds of millions and some masterpieces have tanked at the B.O. Not that it matters. It’s just gratifying, because this picture really deserved its blockbuster numbers, as have all Pixar films to date. Something else that is probably neither here nor there is that if it had been made by Disney or Dreamworks, there surely would have been a Finding Nemo 2 by now. But it was made by the geniuses at Pixar, and so far there have been no plans for a sequel. That may not last—Pixar’s next two films are going to be Cars 2 and Monsters, Inc. 2, and we can only hope that though they have succumbed to sequel mania, the results will be more like the Toy Story franchise and less like the Shrek sequels. My vote: Don’t do it, Pixar guys. This is a splendid story, and it’s complete. Don’t do a direct-to-video rip-off like Disney does, either. Let it stay clean, glorious, and on its own, like To Kill a Mockingbird.
Technically, this movie once more set the bar higher for computer animation. It is still one of the most visually stunning movies I’ve ever seen. The colors are fantastic as are the textures, and the feeling of really being underwater in a fantastic world. One thing that impressed me, as a former owner of salt water aquaria, was how accurate most of the sea creatures were. In particular, Nemo and his father and Dory the short-term-memory-challenged regal tang (more commonly called a blue tang) were damn near perfect except, of course, for the mouths and eyes. And the clownfish moved like real clowns do. This is a very funny movie, and a moving one, too. Just one of the best of a fantastic lot.