‘Finding Nemo 3D’ Review

Published 3 years ago by , Updated November 26th, 2014 at 6:42 pm,

Dory Marlin Finding Nemo 3D Finding Nemo 3D Review

Finding Nemo 3D is another example of post-conversion done right and, paired with the especially humorous Partysaurus Rex short, is well worth another trip to your local box office.

Three years before Disney officially purchased Pixar Studios, the animation house released one of their most beloved and critically lauded films to date. Finding Nemo opened May 30, 2003 and delivered over $800 million in worldwide ticket sales –  on a $94 million budget. Since that time, the film has become a fan-favorite home entertainment choice for families and animation fans – not to mention positioned characters like Nemo, Marlin, and Dory as long-term merchandising platforms.

Now that 3D has managed to take hold both at the box office and home theaters, Disney has been digging in the Pixar archives and rereleasing certain films with new 3D visuals – including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and soon Monsters Inc. Given the critical and commercial success of the film, there’s no debating that the Finding Nemo story is a must see for movie fans. However, with ten years of availability on DVD (and now Blu-ray), does Finding Nemo 3D, coupled with Mark Walsh’s Toy Story short, Partysaurus Rex, offer enough payoff to make it worth another viewing  - this time in 3D?

NOTE: As with previous 3D rerelease reviews, the purpose of our Finding Nemo 3D review is to help our readers make an informed decision about the 3D rerelease, not spend time revisiting any overarching problems that might have been evident in the original movie – since readers are likely well acquainted with the quality and overwhelmingly positive critical reception of the 2003 film. In a time when movie studios are quick to shove unnecessary post-conversion rereleases into theaters, moviegoers need to know which movies have enjoyed a rigorous as well as artistic 3D treatment and which ones are simply revisited for the purpose of studio double-dipping – made even more enticing by 3D upcharges and eventual 3D blu-ray sales.

Nemo and Ray Finding Nemo 3D Finding Nemo 3D Review

Nemo and Mr. Ray in ‘Finding Nemo 3D’

Fortunately, while Disney is sure to net a solid return on their 3D investment, Pixar’s 3D conversion process is much more involved than typical “post-conversions” (the Pixar 3D team likens it more to “recreation”) – resulting in an experience that is absolutely enhanced by the added depth. Unlike film conversions, Pixar can actually revisit the original digital Finding Nemo files and, as they  convert each scene into 3D, are able to manually address glitches or areas of discomfort that might occur as a result of moving the images from a 2D to 3D plane. In some cases the 3D team even fixed problems that slipped through the cracks the first time the film was released – details that will no doubt be the subject of a special feature on the inevitable 3D Blu-ray.

Anyone who is immediately put off by the idea of the conversion team fiddling with the original movie can rest easy – the changes represent only minor cosmetic alterations (removing elements that might be distracting in a 3D foreground) or addressing oversights that slipped through in the original version (fixing a stationary shadow that didn’t move after a character exited the shot). The film doesn’t contain any new scenes, extended takes, or new easter eggs – it’s the same Finding Nemo, except optimized for 3D viewing.

In general, the Pixar conversion approach is in line with 3D guru James Cameron – who keeps the audience’s emotional focus at the screen and enhances the experience with subtle elements positioned in the foreground or background. Prioritizing immersion over gimmicky projectiles, might be underwhelming for audience members who routinely “test” 3D by removing their glasses (a very limited measure in the first place) but the colorful and vibrant Finding Nemo setting should provide discerning moviegoers with plenty of fan-favorite moments that are successfully enhanced by the added dimension. On their own, few of the scenes are likely to offer outright memorable 3D visual set pieces (this is still a post-conversion); however, as an overall experience, viewers should notice a stronger association with the underwater environment as well as a number of shots that are especially striking this round – thanks to the added dimension (i.e. the Jellyfish forest and East Australian Current).

Partysaurus Rex Toy Story Short Finding Nemo 3D Review

Rex (Wallace Shawn) in the ‘Partysaurus Rex’ Toy Story Short

Additionally, the Toy Story short, Partysaurus Rex, from director Mark Walsh is paired with Finding Nemo 3D and is easily the most enjoyable franchise spin-off to date. The short film follows Wallace Shawn’s beloved dinosaur character, as the typical “party pooper” of the group attempts to, instead, become the life of a bathtub (foam) party. Considering its abbreviated short film runtime, Partysaurus Rex alone wouldn’t be enough reason to pay for a subpar 3D rerelease but, attached to a well-crafted offering like Finding Nemo 3D, the toon serves as an exceptionally entertaining lead-in. While Toy Story 3 put a smart end cap on the feature franchise, the short spin-offs continue to deliver worthwhile adventures with Buzz, Woody, and the gang (especially if Pixar never attempts a Toy Story 4).

Finding Nemo 3D is a quality post-conversion experience that successfully enhances the 2003 film’s original standout visuals. While it might not offer the eye-popping gimmickry some moviegoers crave in 3D features, it’s easy to recommend the rerelease to fans who count Finding Nemo among their favorite animated features as well as anyone (young or old) who has never experienced the film in theaters. Finding Nemo 3D is another example of post-conversion done right and, paired with the especially humorous Partysaurus Rex short, is well worth another trip to your local box office.

If you’re still on the fence about Finding Nemo 3D, check out the trailer below:


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Let us know what you thought of the film and its 3D visuals in the comment section below.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Finding Nemo 3D is Rated G. Now playing in 3D theaters.

Our Rating:

4.5 out of 5

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  1. I’m sure this won’t be a popular opinion, but I really don’t like Finding Nemo.

    • explain why…

      • It doesn’t engage me on any level, sure there are some fun parts, the sharks for example, but compared to say Monsters Inc or Toy Story, it simply does nothing for me.

    • I don’t either not that its bad but weaker than the other installments except cars 1 & 2

    • Same here, dude.

      Up, Monsters Inc for example are far superior.

    • When was the last time you saw it?

      One reason why I love re-releases is because they provide a great excuse to revisit the movie, maybe you’ll change your mind after a new viewing?

      • Maybe I’m sure ill see this viewing

    • I’ve always liked it as a kid growing up, but it was never one of my favorite animation films (in comparison to stuff like Toy Story or The Incredibles) and I’m still not really “in love” with the movie like most people are.

      Still, it’s a very good flick. I do think it’s slightly overrated, and I’m not sure I’ll be seeing the 3D re-release in theaters, but I do have fond memories of the movie…

      • Pardon me? Growing up as a Kid? Nemo Came out in 2003, Which means, you are either a well articulate child, or…You are an alien?


        • I’m 17 now… Finding Nemo came out 9 years ago, so I was a kid when it first came out.

          • I would not have guessed The Avenger was 17?! I read his comments all the time. Im impressed

    • forget you nemo is freaking awesome.

  2. Very excited for this to be back out. I loved this movie. Bruce was by far my favorite (doesn’t help that I love sharks) and I can’t wait to see him in 3D.

  3. If you want to test whether a movie is a descent one or not, simply put it on mute and watch it. If you still can tell whats going on, it’s a good movie.

    Finding Nemo is hilarious and heartfelt on mute for me. Cars 1+2 are neither of which with the sound ON.

  4. Since you don’t use cameras, 3D or otherwise, when “filming” digital animation what make this “post-conversion”? Aren’t all movies made without 3D cameras post conversion? It seems to me that they would go though the same digital 3D processing whether they did it 10 years ago or last week.

  5. I think that “post” is referring specifically to when it was made 3-D though, by definition. ;) Originally, when it was finished, it wasn’t made to be a “3-D movie.” They’ve gone back, to convert it “post” – which IS a ton of work. Cameron himself detailed some of the process inside of the Titanic refit (thta was extraordinary, by the way – if you missed it in theaters it really was a treat). I can’t wait to get tickets tonite for this one.

  6. I have always hated this movie, and now it returns

  7. WOOHOO! Can’t wait, not really a fan of 3-d but it’s nemo!!! :D

  8. Finding Nemo!!!???? I just watched it!!!!!!! EPIC!!!!

  9. forget you nemo is freaking awesome

  10. Has there ever been a better-looking feature-length animated film than `Finding Nemo’? We doubt it. With its shimmering underwater landscapes – be they in the vast immensity of a limitless ocean or the cramped confines of a dentist office aquarium – the film sports a look unlike anything we have ever seen before. The fish tank setting, in particular, is a veritable wonderland of eye-popping, many-hued visual splendor.

    Although the script by Andrew Stanton doesn’t scale the comedic heights of, say, `Aladdin,’ `Shrek’ or `Toy Story 2,’ it still sparkles with enough wit and inventiveness to entrance youngsters and beguile the grownups who will be joining them in their viewing. I hasten to point out that the screenplay is blessedly free of all the double entendres and off-color humor that have blighted so much alleged `kiddie’ fare in recent years. This is a film on e can watch with one’s children and grandchildren and not once have to blush or turn away in embarrassment while doing so. Creators of children’s films please take note (and take note, too, of its phenomenal box office take).

    Like many tales designed for the junior set (`Dumbo,’ `Bambi’ etc.), `Finding Nemo’ taps into the fear all children have of being separated from their parents – and the concomitant fear all parents have of being separated from their children. It is upon this common ground that members of both generations will meet in their emotional response to this film. In this case, it is little Nemo, an adorable clownfish, who is plucked out of the ocean and plunked down into the saltwater aquarium of a dentist in Sydney, Australia. The subject of the film’s title is Marlin, Nemo’s overprotective, worrywart dad who swims his way towards the continent to find and rescue his little tyke. Along the way, this Nervous Nellie parent learns a little something about giving his son the freedom a boy needs to grow up and become a man, and Nemo, himself, learns a thing or two about just what kind of a fish his dad really is.

    Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres are brilliant as Marlin and Dory, respectively, the latter a befuddled, daffy and utterly good-natured fish who helps Marlin in his epic quest not only for his lost son but his own definition of filial love. Those familiar with these two fine comedic talents in their live-action performances will actually be able to see many of their distinctive inflections and facial expressions reflected in the animated characters they are portraying.

    As directed by Stanton and Lee Unkrich, and executed by an army of wonder-working animators and technicians, `Finding Nemo’ takes PIXAR technology to its ultimate, final level of perfection – till the studio’s next release, that is.