Tag Archives: Finding Nemo

Film Friday #210

Finding Nemo (2003)

After his wife is eaten, clown fish Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) vows never to let his son, Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) come to any harm. But when Nemo is captured by divers on his first day of school Marlin must overcome his own fear of the unknown and undertake a daring mission to find him. As Nemo attempts to make friends with the somewhat unhinged inhabitants of a tank in a dentist’s office, Nemo takes on sharks, jellyfish, whales and more all accompanied by an amnesiac regal blue tang fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres). Finding Nemo is one of my other great exceptions to general dislike of Disney. Maybe it’s the lack of princess love story or maybe it’s my fascination with the ocean but there’s something about this Pixar classic that just gels. The characters are dead on, the dialogue is hilarious and the rich marine setting makes for a spellbindingly beautiful animation experience. While there is a fun story for kids to enjoy some of the humour is definitely aimed at adults, which stops it from becoming too saccharine and the message of learning to take risks and letting your children spread their wings is heartwarming and not too heavy handed. A delight. 5/5

Did you ever get that feeling like there was a shark behind you?

Did you ever get that feeling like there was a shark behind you?

Home Alone (1990)

After Kevin McAlister (Macauley Culkin) argues with his large, rambunctious family he wishes they would disappear, which is exactly what happens when they accidentally leave him behind on a Christmas trip to Paris. Initially Kevin is thrilled with his new found freedom but when he realises a pair of burglars are targeting his house and living alone is actually pretty boring, he changes his tune. But not before he has to come up with a daring and ingenious plan to thwart the would-be intruders. There’s no question that Home Alone has some serious charm and Culkin makes up for having virtually no acting talent by being really, really cute… probably the reason his career tanked when he turned twelve. Other things are less good. The whole burglar element is quite weird and the level of violence and threat towards the end is pretty disturbing for a lighthearted kids film. Kevin’s family are also absolutely awful and their behaviour borders on child abuse. I think it might have been better for Kevin if they never came home and he was taken into care instead. Not John Hughes’ best but still good fun if you don’t take it too seriously. 3/5

Kevin had seen the future and it wasn't pretty

Kevin had seen the future and it wasn’t pretty

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Ticket collector, Lucy (Sandra Bullock) has lived a lonely life since her father died, with only her cat and her amorous neighbour for company. When a handsome stranger (Peter Gallagher) is pushed in front of the train tracks, Lucy rushes to save him. He is rushed to the hospital where he falls into a coma but Lucy’s not allowed to see him until she’s mistaken for his fiancee. The confusion continues when Peter’s family arrives and immediately embraces Lucy as one of their own. After so many years of feeling alone, Lucy finds it hard to resist the temptation to go alone with the lie, especially when she finds herself falling for Peter’s brother, Jack (Bill Pullman) but what will happen when Peter wakes  up? The premise of While You Were Sleeping is pretty standard, predictable romcom fare but somehow it really works. Quite possibly it’s because Sandra Bullock is just so charming as Lucy that you can’t help but totally fall for her. Peter’s family is also sweet and hilarious and even for someone like me who doesn’t really do romcoms it’s totally heartwarming and lovely. A bit of a forgotten classic. 3.5/5

Lucy's conversation about Twilight had bored Peter into a complete coma

Lucy’s conversation about Twilight had bored Peter into a complete coma

Just Friends (2005)

After facing a devastating rejection at the hands of his best friend and high school crush, Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart), dorky overweight, Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds) leaves his home town vowing never to come back. In LA he reinvents himself, losing weight, building a career as a successful music manager and becoming a ferocious womaniser. En route to Paris with his mental client, Samantha James (Anna Faris) Chris’ plane crashes just outside his home town, just before Christmas. Initially Chris can’t wait to leave but when he discovers Jamie is still single he decides to make another play for her. Will Chris make it out of the friendzone? Will his new skillz impress Jamie? And what’s up with the return of Jamie’s other high school suitor Dusty Dinkleman (Chris Klein)? I remember liking this the first time I saw it but on a second viewing it was hard to remember why. The one absolutely vital requirement of a romcom is that you want the couple to end up together but Chris is such a complete penis that it’s hard not to spend the whole film hoping that Jamie, who is actuallly very sweet, manages to escape him. On the plus side Anna Faris is hilarious as the totally self-absorbed Samantha and Chris Marquette is pretty funny as Chris’ younger brother but overall this is ultimately very skippable. 2/5


My top 10 movies for kids

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a great one for kids’ movies. I don’t like the cheesy happy endings, the lousy way the female characters are dealt with (for the most part) or the heavy handed morals and I particularly don’t like Disney… however… I do have exceptions, and these are them. (Please note for this blog I am focusing on films predominantly made for preteen audiences, which is why things like Harry Potter haven’t been included.)

alice-with-caterpillar-2Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Starring (voices): Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn
Why?: It’s like one giant acid trip, which really captures the essence of the novel (let’s just pretend it wasn’t written by a a dodgy older man for the underage object of his affection).
Best character: The Cheshire Cat
“Cheshire Cat: If I were looking for a white rabbit, I’d ask the Mad Hatter
Alice: The Mad Hatter? Oh, no no no…
Cheshire Cat: Or, you could ask the March Hare, in that direction.
Alice: Oh, thank you. I think I’ll see him…
Cheshire Cat: Of course, he’s mad, too.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here.
[laughs maniacally; starts to disappear]
Cheshire Cat: You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.”

snowflakeThe Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Starring (voices): Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Why?: Because it’s really creepy and dark and kids love dark, creepy stuff. They’re macabre little buggers.
Best characters: Lock, Shock and Barrel
“Santa: [from in the bag] Me on vacation? On Christmas Eve?
Barrel: Where are we taking him?
Shock: Where?
Lock: [removes his mask] to Oogie Boogie, of course. There’s no where in the whole world more comfortable than *that*. And Jack *said* to make him comfortable, didn’t he?
Barrel, Shock: Yes, he did.
Santa: Haven’t you heard of peace on earth, and goodwill towards men?
Barrel: NO!”

my-neighbor-totoro1My Neighbour Tortoro (1998)
Starring (voices): Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Toshiyuki Amagasa
Why?: Because it brings the imaginary friends so common to small children to life.
Best character: Catbus!
“Mei Kusakabe: To-to-ro? You’re Totoro!… I bet you’re Totoro…

Matilda-matilda-4452227-640-480Matilda (1996)
Starring: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidz
Why?: it’s a great intepretation of a great story, plus it glorifies reading which is always a good thing.
Best character: Mrs Trunchbull
“Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: To read.
Harry Wormwood: To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster.

How to Train Your Dragon movie imageHow To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Starring (voices): Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Why?: Because it’s really funny and it has a lot of heart
Best character: Snotlout
“Snotlout: Watch out babe, I’ll take care of this.
[Throws weapon at Deadly Nadder but misses; Astrid glares at him]
Snotlout: The *sun* was in my eyes, Astrid! What do you want me to do, block out the sun? I can do that, but I don’t have the time right now!

Horton-hears-a-who-pics-horton-hears-a-who-19717311-1109-529Horton Hears a Who (2008)
Starring (voices): Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett
Why?: Because music saves the day and because Jim Carrey is perfect as the utterly silly Horton
Best character: Katie
“Katie: In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies.”

despicable_me_1Despicable Me (2010)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Why?: Every little detail is just perfect. I have seen it countless times and it still cracks me up.
Best character: Agnes
“Agnes: [singing] Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. Uni uni unicorns, I love them. Uni unicorns, I could pet one if they were really real. And they are! So I bought one so I could pet it. Now it loves me, now I love it. La lala la la…

despicable-me-2-paradiseDespicable Me 2 (2013)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt
Why?: As funny, if not more funny, than the first one. Also more Minions and god knows I love Minions!
“Best character: Minions
Silas: I am the league’s director, Silas Ramsbottom.
Minion: [giggles] Bottom.
Silas: Hilarious”

booMonsters Inc (2001)
Starring (voices): Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Why?: The idea of seeing behind the scenes of the “monsters” under children’s beds is genius.
Best character: Boo
“Sulley: Mike, this isn’t Boo’s door.

Mike: Boo? What’s Boo?
Sulley: That’s… what I decided to call her. Is there a problem?
Mike: Sulley, you’re not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it. Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me…
[Mike pauses, realizing that they suddenly have the attention of the entire scare floor]
Mike: Oh, hey. We’re rehearsing a – a scene for the upcoming company play called uh, Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me. It’s a musical.
Mike: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me… so help me, so help me and cut. We’re still working on it, it’s a work in progress but, hey, we need ushers.”

673952-finding_nemo1Finding Nemo (2003)
Starring (voices): Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Why?: It’s like an aquarium come to life… and I love an aquarium.
Best character: Dory
“Dory: [about the humpback whale] Maybe he only speaks whale.
[slowly and deeply, imitating the whale]
Dory: Mooo… Weeee neeeed…
Marlin: Dory?
Dory: …tooo fiiind hiiis sooon.
Marlin: What are you doing? Are you sure you speak whale?
Dory: Caaaan yoooou giive uuuus direeeeectioooons?
Marlin: Dory! Heaven knows what you’re saying! See, he’s swimming away.
Dory: Cooome baaaaack.
Marlin: He’s not coming back. You offended him.
Dory: Maybe a different dialect. Mmmmoooooowaaaaah…