Blu-ray Review: Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Walt Disney Studios | DIRECTOR: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich | CAST: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 12/4/2012 | PRICE: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99, Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo $49.99, High-Definition Download $19.50, 3D Download $25
BONUSES: featurettes, Cine-Explore, deleted scenes, short film, virtual aquariums
SPECS: G | 100 min. | Animated Family | 1.78:1 aspect ratio | 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio | English, French, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Finding NemoLittle Nemo is found all over again in glorious high-definition video and sound in this Blu-ray release.

Pixar’s family movie transfers beautifully onto high-def. The digitally animated picture looks crisp, but most stunning are the colors, which pop off the screen. The fish really shimmer, and the bits floating in the ever-moving water are clearer than ever.

And the 7.1 sound is equally grand, with the rushing waves pulling us along for the ride.

On the special features side, the Blu-ray Finding Nemo has a mix of old and new extras. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack has three discs, two Blu-ray and one DVD. The DVD has the film in standard-definition, a roundtable discussion with co-director Andrew Stanton (John Carter) and other filmmakers and the fun short film Knick Knack, which ran in theaters when the movie was originally screened. In the roundtable, the filmmakers look back on their movie 10 years later, remembering the funny times and the challenges.

The first Blu-ray disc has all those plus other new bonuses. In the featurette “A Lesson In Flashbacks,” Stanton reveals his original plan for the way the film’s story would unroll and that, after many tries, he finally realized it wouldn’t work. After much advice, he adopted a more conventional approach that gave us the movie we love today. It’s an interesting look at storytelling that fans, especially filmmakers, will enjoy.

The disc also offers CineExplore, a commentary with pop-up pictures of the film’s storyboards and others; sketches of the original opening of the movie and the featurette “Reinventing the Submarine Voyage.” The latter is about how engineers and designers created the Finding Nemo ride at Disneyland, transforming the original 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride to what’s available now. The cynical part of me recognizes the piece as promotional for Disney’s theme park, but the truth is that “Reinventing” is actually an interesting look at the work, including how colored broken glass was used to create the underwater reefs.

The second Blu-ray disc has special features from the original DVD of Finding Nemo, which is out of print although some copies are still available. Among the bonuses are fun outtakes, deleted scenes, Art Review, Progression Reels, “Making Nemo” and two featurettes that will appeal more to the younger viewers: In the “Studio Tour,” a young Alexander Gould, who was the voice of Nemo long before he grew up on TV’s Weeds, gets a tour of how the movie is put together, and we get to tag along. And “Exploring the Reef” shows underwater guru Jean-Michel Cousteau telling us about fish, with a few interruptions from Finding Nemo‘s Dori.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.