In the name of Family Bonding, parents will endure children's movies apparently designed as sadistic punishment for adults that must accompany their little tykes. While the kiddies giggle, the hapless grown up squirms, trying to block out the excruciatingly inane images burning themselves into his or her brain. I could list a few, but the mere mention might induce painful flashbacks in some readers, so I'll spare you the torment. The good news is that "Finding Nemo" is not one of those films. It's a palatable children's movie, entertaining enough for adults, and rife with the required positive "Family Values" lessons. Here's what your young ones will learn from this film:
There's still value in this film for the child-free set. Let's be honest; Disney movies are hands-down the best cinema for viewing under the influence of mind-altering substances (think "Fantasia"). Sure, the vibrant colors and talking fish are amusing enough while sober, but are practically a religious experience when "enhanced." I don't partake (well, I drink when I see kids' movies in the theater, it makes being around so many children tolerable), and I'm certainly not advocating the use of recreational pharmaceuticals, I'm just saying that if a group of friends consumed something mellowing and/or mildly hallucinogenic when popping in the DVD, they might decide "Finding Nemo" is the cinematic equivalent of Pink Floyd music. More importantly, they will share a bonding experience that brings them closer, and isn't that what Family Values are all about?
- To have any adventure in your life, Mom's gotta go. I don't completely understand it, but birth mothers in Disney movies drop faster than red-shirt security officers on the Enterprise. Someday we're going to have a hundredth-monkey wave of matricide as an entire generation decides that their lives are boring because Mom's still alive. Just remember that you read it here first.
- Humans aren't evil, but they'll harm you out of ignorance, so avoid them. Generous, but accurate.
- Family is Good, friends are Good, growing up is Good, helping others is Good, overcoming disabilities is Good, letting your kids experience Life is Good, blah, blah, blah. I'm not saying they're WRONG, it's just all right out of the After-School-Special Book of Virtues, and presented with the delicacy of a fish-slap to the face. This is really the only downside to this movie.
- Inter-species dating is OK. This one surprised me, as the typical "Family Values" doctrine would seem to discourage this, but perhaps I'm reading too much into the metaphor. Maybe they were all "just friends." Maybe it's only a green-light for interracial dating, which I have no problem with, but I can't go along with humans dating outside the species. I bet Disney would deny they are quietly promoting a secret inter-species-relationship agenda, so there are some mixed messages here. (Unlike "Shrek", which was quite blatant with that whole donkey-dragon thing.)
If you liked the movies below, you'll probably like this one (and visa versa):
Overall Rating: 8 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)
- Toy Story
- Little Mermaid
Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):