With so many different entertainment options out there for your children, we at PopcornBiz thought we'd take a moment each week to dissect one piece of family entertainment strictly from a parent's perspective, so that you know what parts are appropriate for your loved ones, and which are not. This week's COVER YOUR EYES subject: “Finding Nemo.”
The Academy Award nominations went out today, and it may not surprise you to learn that Pixar, darling of the animation world, was finally shut out of the Best Animated Feature category. Pixar won this category for four straight years, and has won this category six out of the ten years it has existed. But "Cars 2" was lousy enough to put an end to that hot streak. However, I thought that now might be a good time to look back at one of the studio's Oscar-winning features, "Finding Nemo." And loogit that! "Nemo" stars Albert Brooks, who was just snubbed by the Academy for his work in "Drive." It's all coming full circle, gang. Is Pixar's smash fish movie okay to show your little ones? Let's consider a few factors.
The “Will Parents Be Able To Tolerate It?” Factor: Yes. "Finding Nemo" is one of the most beautiful animated movies ever made. Pixar spent a lot of time making sure the light and shadows underwater looked just right, and their efforts paid off. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this is probably the least adult-friendly Pixar film of them all. The humor is exceedingly gentle (lots of fish puns), and I hated that stupid surfer dude turtle. There's not a lot of sophistication to be had in this script. But hey, it's a talking fish movie. It's not supposed to be Tarantino.
The Dead Parent Factor: Only THE BIGGEST MOST DEPRESSING HORRIBLE DEAD MOM FACTOR EVER. That opening sequence is just... guhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I mean really, did Nemo's mom have to be eaten by a barracuda? That's like Bambi's mom getting got times ten. It's awful. I can't bear to watch. I think I took it much harder than my child did. I was weeping over in the corner and she was like, "Did the mom die?" And I was like, "HOW COULD YOU BE SO BLUNT AT A TIME LIKE THIS?!"
The Sexy Sex Sex Factor: None, though it is Troy McClure's favorite soft-core film.
The Scare Factor: Did you see the part about the mom-eating barracuda? Not cool, man. Not cool at all. There are also toothy sharks, phosphorescent deep-sea fish with big fangs, and other creepy sea creatures. But of course, the biggest scares here are emotional. Nemo may never get back to his father, and that's the scariest part of all. Here comes those tears again! Gahhhhhh!
Age Range: 4 and up. Skip the dead mom if you must.