Finding Nemo: What Christian Reviewers Are Saying
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 05/29/03
That's the question that drives
Film Forum will feature an in-depth review of the film next week and link to reviews from several religious press film critics. For now, let me assure you that I think
The distinct talent of Pixar's artists is that while they achieve remarkable realism in some aspects of their design, realism is not their highest priority. They instead focus on making every frame of their film such an exquisite work of art that any particular cel would be suitable for framing. And once again, they've found perfect voice matches for their characters, especially in the selection of Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres.
If writer/director Andrew Stanton can be faulted at all, it is for packing too many adrenalin rushes into the film. The crisis-every-minute narrative hurts the pacing so much that the big finale feels like just another big obstacle to overcome. You'll find yourself reaching for the remote control so you can slow things down and drift through these gorgeous underwater environments.
So buckle up. The storytellers also take on heavier issues than they have in their previous releases.
Parents, please note: While this is a movie for all-ages, there are some surprisingly scary moments as the little heroes bump into some particularly monstrous sea beasties.
Next week, Film Forum will focus on the story and its admirable themes in addition to the responses of other religious press critics. In the meantime, check out the responses of
mainstream film critics.
from Film Forum, 06/05/03
The good news is that
After the movie, parents and children alike may find themselves pondering some unexpected issues.
The image that startled me above all came early in the film. We see Marlin, the proud father, assuring his son that everything will be all right while Nemo is still in an embryonic state, curled and quivering in his translucent egg. It's a beautiful image. It is also underlines the idea that life is beautiful and significant even before a baby "hatches" into the world.
Religious press critics are all raving about the film.
David DiCerto (
Catholic News Service) calls it "an enchanting fable about courage, self-sacrifice and the power of love to overcome insurmountable odds."
Michael Elliott (
Movie Parables) agrees, saying that
Holly McClure (
Crosswalk) writes, "Not only are the underwater scenes brilliant and fascinating, but the adventures on dry land prove to be challenging and intense as well."
Ted Baehr (
Movieguide) says the movie "captures your heart, your mind and your soul and will hold viewers breathless until the fantastic 'fin-ish.'" He says the script "should become required reading for any hopeful scriptwriters. The story and characters are also filled with lots of family-friendly humor. Best of all, the movie is full of great moral values. It … could cause the most hard-hearted father to lighten up and cry."
Steven Isaac (
Focus on the Family) says he's seen what "may well be the most lavish animation seen to date on the big screen. There's very little wrong with
Mike Parnell (
Ethics Daily) raves, "Children will love this movie. My 6-year-old was enraptured by it, and my 12-year-old was not bored in the least. Parents, however—and fathers specifically—should truly enjoy this movie."
Mainstream press critics know a good thing when they see it. They are celebrating
Rotten Tomatoes and
from Film Forum, 06/19/03
Elsewhere, Christian critics are continuing to celebrate the virtues of Pixar's latest box-office champion
Hollywood Jesus) praises
And Josh Hurst (
The Rebel Base) refuses to apologize for his rave review of a family film. "This review might be nauseatingly positive, but I can't help it.