Know these words and phrases
coming or developing from
the first appearance
(of feelings) locked inside; unable to be expressed
having your mind so fill with something that you cannot think of anything else
an idea that forms the basis for something else
a fact that someone is suddenly and surprisingly aware of
a pleasant situation that is imagined but unlikely to happen
drawn so that some features of a person or object are exaggerated
qualities or characteristics
produced by or from living things
(of a child) having abilities and ways of behaving at a much younger age than usual
a sudden strong wish to do something, without stopping to think about the results
to start something new or difficult
very exciting and enjoyable
a situation that contains hidden dangers or difficulties
so interesting or exciting that it holds your attention completely
a mass of air or water that spins very fast and pulls things into its centre
to turn something from its regular course
moving about like water
an exciting adventure
to paste one piece of film into another
about to happen
amusing and unexpected
to make something look like something else
extremely delicate and light
Behind the story
The story of Finding Nemo was very personal for director/writer Andrew Stanton, derived as it was from a series of events in his own life. A visit to Marine World in 1992 started him thinking about the amazing possibilities of capturing an undersea world in computer animation.
This was three years before Toy Story made its debut, but Stanton was fascinated with the prospect of creating such a wondrous environment. Another piece of the puzzle came from Stanton's childhood memories of a fish tank in his family dentist's office. He recalls looking forward to going to the dentist just so he could look at the fish. Stanton remembered thinking, ''What a weird place for fish from the ocean to end up. Don't these fish miss their home? Would these fish try to escape and go back to the ocean?''
The final piece of the puzzle for Stanton was his own relationship with his son. He explains, ''When my son was five, I remember taking him to the park. I had been working long hours and felt guilty about not spending enough time with him. As we were walking, I was experiencing all this pent-up emotion and thinking 'I-miss-you, I-miss-you,' but I spent the whole walk going, 'Don't touch that. Don't do that. You're gonna fall in there.' And there was this third-party voice in my head saying 'You're completely wasting the entire moment that you've got with your son right now.' I became obsessed with this premise that fear can deny a good father from being one. With that revelation, all the pieces fell into place and we ended up with our story.''
A fishy tale
'Even though Nemo is a complete fantasy, it's based on things that are familiar to audiences. The father-son relationship, going to school for the first time — these are things everyone understands, yet this film is about fish on a coral reef.
''Technically, we've pushed things beyond anything Pixar [the production company] has done before. Just animating fish was difficult, but our technical team created an underwater environment that is graceful and beautiful. Our challenge was to let the audience know that our ocean is caricatured. We wanted them to know that this wonderful world doesn't exist, but then using the amazing tools that we have in computer animation make it look totally believable. Our goal is always to make things believable, not realistic.''
Finding Nemo provides a spectacular showcase for all the members of Pixar's technical and creative teams. They had to discover new and improved ways for animating underwater imagery on the computer. Extensive research and development was done to study water properties and new tools were created to provide the full range of possibilities required by the script. Supervising technical director Oren Jacob led an incredible effort to capture the look and feel of an organic coral reef and a vast ocean that would respond in a realistic way to the action of the characters.
New school cool
Review by Kong Rithdee
Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) is an overprotective single parent who has to deal with his only son's childish rebelliousness — a family fable in the great Disney tradition, with a warm-hearted message that encompasses both the father's worries and the child's precocious impulse. Nemo (Alexander Gould) is transported to a fish tank in a dentist's office in Sydney, and Marlin, learning the clues from the diver's mask, teams up with the forgetful Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) to embark on one of the most memorable journeys in contemporary cinema.
There are so many good scenes that it's impossible to describe them all. Marlin's encounter with the supposedly vegetarian [shark] Bruce is as exhilarating as the clownfish's race through the jellyfish's minefield is riveting. A conservative father finds himself in a kind of surfers' extreme challenge when he rides the vortex of E.A.C., East Australian Currents, which warps him to the Sydney coast. The film also borrows a classic peril when Marlin and Dory must find their way out of a *blue whale's sloshy bowels.
Instead of focusing solely on the father's escapade, the story intersplices scenes of the dentist's aquarium from which the captives, Nemo and Gill (Willem Dafoe) among them, are determined to escape. Such a seemingly impossible lam feels even more urgent because of the imminent arrival of the dentist's freaky metal-toothed daughter. She has a history of violence against all finned creatures. No wonder the fish are ready to take the risk.
What Pixar always achieves is a double viewing experience with its seemingly child-oriented amusement. Youngsters will certainly enjoy the characters and their non-stop escapades, while adults will grin at the offbeat humour that adds a wry dimension to the story.
Much has already been said about the marvel of the film's animation techniques, about how computer graphics can stunningly simulate the bleary yet incredibly colourful undersea photography, complete with ripples, reflections of light and shadows, and that feeling of ethereal lightness. I can only confirm that what you'll see on screen is worth all the praise. Pixar's animation has taken us far beyond the sea and deep under the water, and drowning in such delight we wish we didn't have to come back up again.
*This is a reference to the Biblical story of Jonah who was swallowed by a huge fish, but escaped from its stomach.