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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo (2003)

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Released 13-Jan-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Introduction-Director And Co-Director
THX Optimizer
THX Trailer-Moo
Audio-Visual Commentary-Filmmakers, With Index
Featurette-Virtual Aquariums (7 + 4)
Featurette-Exploring The Reef
Short Film-Knick Knack, With/without Commentary
Game-Mr Ray's Encyclopedia
Featurette-Making Of
Gallery-Design Galleries (4), Print Gallery (4)
Featurette-Studio Tour
Teaser Trailer
Trailer-3 + Fishy Facts
Easter Egg
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 96:26
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:17)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Andrew Stanton
Lee Unkrich

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Albert Brooks
Ellen DeGeneres
Alexander Gould
Willem Dafoe
Brad Garrett
Allison Janney
Austin Pendleton
Stephen Root
Vicki Lewis
Joe Ranft
Geoffrey Rush
Andrew Stanton
Elizabeth Perkins
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $44.95 Music Thomas Newman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, keep watching! both the film, and the commentary!

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Finding Nemo has been in development since 1997. The people who made Toy Story and Monsters Inc have made this their best, and most technically challenging, film.

    This is a marvellous story. The very beginning is sad, but is important to providing motivation. It is easy to see why this package is marked G, with the caveat that "some scenes may frighten young children".

    Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) is a clown fish, which means that he's bright orange and white, and lives in an anemone on a reef (probably part of the Great Barrier Reef). Marlin has one son, Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould), who has a bad fin — this is one of the reasons that Marlin is quite protective of him. Nemo is starting school. Due to a series of circumstances, including a disagreement with his dad, he goes missing. Marlin is determined to find him. The first fish Marlin meets on his quest is Dory (voiced distinctively, and brilliantly, by Ellen DeGeneres), who falls in with the quest despite her problems with short term memory. Marlin and Dory have an awesome set of adventures, and meet a huge variety of characters, on their way to finding Nemo.

    Trust me, you do not want to know any more than that. This movie is a delight, with a lot of excellent casting decisions (Barry Humphries, Bruce Spence, and Eric Bana as sharks? Wonderful!), including the main characters — Ellen DeGeneres comes close to stealing the show, but Albert Brooks is up to the challenge.

    This story does have a moral, but it is not shoved down your throat (which is a pleasant change!). I don't think anyone will be offended by it, either.

    This is an entertaining story, featuring interesting characters, and told with gorgeous animation.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1, so this is quite close.

    Everything that is meant to be sharp is sharp; ocean water has a lot of particulate matter floating in it, and things blur rapidly with distance — this effect is emulated very well. There is no film grain (because this was transferred digitally — no film was involved). There is no low-level noise.

    Colour is one of the most important feature of this film. Colour is used to convey many things, including contrasting the bright and colourful world of the reef with the grime and dirt of Sydney Harbour. Colour has been faithfully rendered in this transfer, and there are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts, because this is a pure digital transfer. There is no aliasing of any significance on a progressive system. Aliasing is visible, but not troubling, on an interlaced system. There is no moiré. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles and captions in English. I watched the captions. They are well-timed to the dialogue, and only slightly abbreviated. They are easy to read.

    The disc is single-sided (with a nice label) and dual-layered (RSDL-formatted). When watching the movie alone, the layer change comes at 55:17, and is almost invisible. When watching with the visual commentary (see Extras below), the layer change comes at 76:47, and it is a bit more obvious, but not troubling.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The soundtrack is provided in English, in both Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps) and dts (768kbps). The third audio track is the commentary.

    The Dolby Digital track is really good, but the dts demonstrates a little more clarity, and a somewhat wider dynamic range. Be warned: the bass of the whale's voice, and the tapping on the fish tank, will test the performance of your subwoofer, especially on the dts track.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand (except for the few lines that are meant to sound muffled). There are no audio sync issues.

    The score comes from Thomas Newman. It's a nicely written score, and good at supporting the on-screen action.

    Both soundtracks make good use of the surround speakers for ambience, score, and directional sound effects. The subwoofer gets a decent amount of work on the Dolby Digital soundtrack, and more than enough on the dts soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menus are animated with music and some interesting sound. Every menu has a special feature: if you click on a fish icon you can wipe off the menu text and have the menu background as a virtual fish tank — it's quite a pretty feature.


Introduction (1:16)

    An introduction to the DVD from the director and co-director.

Visual Commentary: director Andrew Stanton, co-director Lee Unkrich, writer Bob Peterson

    This is something very special. The movie is 96:26 long. This special visual commentary version is 132:01. That's because they stop the film every so often to show us stuff. Some of it is deleted scenes, or alternate versions. Some of it is behind-the-scenes footage showing how different effects were produced. Some of it is outtakes from voice recording sessions. The whole is one of the most interesting commentary experiences ever made. It ends with a nice, touching, piece that explains the dedication of this film to Glenn McQueen.

    If you want to access some of these special bits separately, there is a detailed index to them — so we get the marvellous visual commentary that puts everything in context, but we still have direct access to them (so you can show them off to your friends). Oh, and there's an Easter egg on the visual commentary index page, too.

Virtual Aquariums

    This is just a quick index to all the virtual aquaria. You can get to all the aquariums separately, but this is a neat index to them — there are 7 of them on this disc.


    Note that the disc 2 of the Region 4 version does not contain a full-screen version of the movie, unlike the Region 1 version. This disc is full of extras.

Introduction (1:09)

    The director and co-director introducing this disc.

Featurette: Exploring the Reef (7:00)

    A nice piece that has Jean-Michel Cousteau (yup, son of Jacques) talking about reefs and ecology, hindered by Marlin, Nemo, and Dory.

Short Film: Knick Knack (3:37)

    This short film was screened before Finding Nemo in cinemas. You can watch it with or without commentary. This is a lot of fun.

Mr Ray's Encyclopaedia

    This is a series of short pieces, introducing many of the real species of fish modelled in this film. You can select them individually, or hit Play All. There's a short Easter Egg on this page, too.

Game: Fisharades

    A simple game, hosted by Crush — you can let your kids play this one as practice in using the arrow keys on the remote.

Read-along: Storytime

    You can read this one to yourself, but that's the very plain way to read it. It's a whole lot more fun when you choose the read along option. As well as having the words animated, you get extra options, and extra pieces to play with — try it!

Featurette: Making Nemo (25:35)

    This is a nicely made making of, and it would normally be one of the bigger extras, but the visual commentary makes this so much less important.

    I was amused to hear that their first modelling was too realistic, so they had to simplify it.

Featurette: Art Review (8:34)

    A rolling montage of art, available with or without commentary. Please, watch it with the commentary: it's a lot of fun.

Gallery: Characters (6:31)

    A montage displaying white models for each of 23 characters.

Gallery: Environments

    A series of connected galleries, showing Reef, Ocean, and Harbour artwork

Gallery: Colour Script

    This is a long gallery: it consists of hundreds of images. It did the job of showing what colour to use for the elements of each scene in the film, but it also works as a primitive storyboard.

Featurette: Studio Tour (5:13)

    This is a fairly silly piece, with the voice actor for Nemo exploring the departments of the production team.

    Strangely, at the end of this piece my player simply stalled. I had to hit the Menu key to return to the menu. No biggie.

Character Interviews (2:29)

    An enthusiastic reporter interviewing the main characters.


    Mostly trailers, but also posters:

Virtual Aquariums

    You can get to all the aquariums separately, but this is a neat index to them — there are 4 of them on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc was released a few months earlier. It is quite similar to this one, but there are a few differences — my guess is that there wasn't quite enough space on the Region 4 disc, because the PAL version of the film takes up more room. Both versions are on two discs in an Amaray case (the R4 case is transparent, the R1 is a black Amaray). Both have an attractive holographic slip cover (the R4 version has a small cutout where the security blob may be inserted). Both have a brilliant transfer (there's a lot to be said for a direct digital transfer).

    The Region 4 version is missing:

    The Region 1 version is missing:

    Note that some of the extras appear on disc 1 of the Region 1 package, but are on disc 2 of the Region 4 package: the behind-the-scenes documentary Making Nemo, and the Design Gallery.

    Early copies of the Region 4 edition will include a slip for a holiday competition, and a sticker book.

    If you have to have a full-screen version of the film, then the Region 1 version is your only choice. If a full-screen version is not high on your list, then maybe the dts soundtrack will be the decider? It certainly is an impressive dts soundtrack. I like it so much that I'm giving the win (barely) to the Region 4.


    A sweet little story that's superbly animated, and presented in a brilliantly comprehensive two-disc edition.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent, in both Dolby Digital and dts formats.

    The extras are comprehensive — it's difficult to think what else they might have included.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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