The colorful characters found in the jungle have often provided fodder for movie makers. Only a few have let their imagination loose with creatures that live in or in close proximity to the earth's waterways. This weekend, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" will open in theatres. For an example of characters based even more strongly on maritime life, take a look at 2003's "Finding Nemo."
In "Finding Nemo," Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), a clownfish, and his wife, Coral (voiced by Elizabeth Perkins), have recently started a nuclear fish family. Unfortunately, a barracuda attacks, and the only survivors are Marlin and one of his children, Nemo. Not surprisingly, Marlin becomes a very nervous parent, worrying about threats from far and near. On Nemo's first day of school, he and his classmates take a fieldtrip, and Marlin is very uneasy. He follows his son and sees him swim near a boat. Here, Nemo gets captured by divers and ends up in a fish tank at a dentist's office. As he tries to find his son, Marlin is assisted by Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), a blue tang fish with short-term memory loss. On their adventure, they meet several sea creatures, including a group of turtles. Meanwhile, as Nemo is in the fish tank, the other fish, such as Bloat (voiced by Brad Garrett), Peach (voiced by Allison Janney), and Gill (voiced by Willem Dafoe) try to help him escape.
"Finding Nemo" has amazing visuals. Each of the fish is uniquely and intricately designed. This is particularly true with a group of sharks that Marlin and Dory encounter.
Albert Brooks is excellent as Marlin. He is neurotic and overly-protective. Ellen DeGeneres is equally good as Dory, who is determined to help him, despite her handicap. They make a great team.
"Finding Nemo" is a great choice for animation fans, as well as those who enjoy good family stories.