Co-helmed by WALL-E director Andrew Stanton, FINDING NEMO follows Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), an overprotective clown fish father, as he desperately searches the farthest reaches of the sea for his missing son Nemo. Marlin's journey leads him beyond the Great Barrier Reef into deeper and darker waters, where he meets Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a forgetful yet optimistic blue tang, and a number of not-so-friendly--and often very hungry--aquatic creatures. Meanwhile, little Nemo finds himself in a dentist's fish tank in Syndey, Australia, along with other underwater captives, including Gill (Willem Dafoe), the group's scarred Moorish idol leader. As Nemo works with his new friends on a plan to escape their tank, Marlin and Dory swim closer, but they'll need more than just fins to get into the dentist's office.
This fifth computer-animated outing by Pixar continues the company's remarkable winning streak that began with TOY STORY. Like other Pixar films, FINDING NEMO features a story with heart--this time, a father-and-son tale--and thoroughly charming leads--in this case, Marlin, Nemo, and Dory. And, of course, there's an army of fascinating supporting characters, including Bruce (Barry Humphries), a great white shark on a no-fish diet; Crush (director/screenwriter Stanton), a surfer-dude sea turtle; Peach (Allison Janney), a stuck-to-the-aquarium starfish; and Nigel (Geoffrey Rush), a bold pelican. However, what truly distinguishes NEMO from even its CGI cousins is its stunning depiction of aquatic life, from the colorful creatures on a coral reef to a blue whale on the vast expanse of the open ocean. By combining the aesthetic of a National Geographic marine life documentary with clever jokes and Hitchcock references, NEMO succeeds in its bid to up the ante for animated films yet again. And be sure to watch the credits or you just might miss something!
Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Film 2004