Saturday, July 17, 2010

Deep Blue Sea

I missed the boat when this originally came out, but Finding Nemo deserves praise even seven years after release. Marlin teaches Nemo early on that “The ocean is dangerous,” and he isn’t kidding. I don’t think I’ve ever gasped in that “Omigodthey’reinsomuchTROUBLE!” way so many times in one sitting since I was, well, a kid. Besides the tremendous effort that went into making sure every element in the film works exactly as intended, I think a big reason for all that open-mouthed suspense is the movie’s first scene, which would be traumatic even in an “adult” film, and is downright shocking in a kids’ flick. But damn if it doesn’t put the stakes right up front. Louis Fantasia defines drama as “expectation mixed with uncertainty,” and Pixar have consistently proven themselves the celluloid champions thereof. I just wish I had gotten over my moody/rebellious/edgy teenage ‘I’m too old for this stuff’ attitude when most of their previous movies were still in theaters. Luckily, Toy Story 3 is still making the rounds, and I may be able to continue my penance yet.

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