When I first heard that Disney had selected Pixar’s Finding Nemo to be one of the movies retooled for Disney digital 3D, I thought back to when I first saw the film in the theaters. Even back then I thought it would make a great 3D film. Many of the scenes already felt like you were immersed in the film, and adding some 3D elements would have really completed the effect.
That is exactly how the 3D version of Finding Nemo works. When you’re in the ocean, in a space where the original animators added in levels of depth to make the 2D version appear to have more reality, the 3D really brings you into Nemo’s world. But when you’re in an enclosed space, or in close up on the characters (which happens a lot in this film), or out of the water, that extra 3D element just doesn’t add that much to the film.
There is nothing that jumps off the screen and floats in front of the audience, nothing that makes you say wow, but like in Avatar it’s the type of 3D makes you feel like you are there. A perfectly good use of 3D, just not very gimicky.
Finding Nemo still impresses me both from a technical stand point and with its story that has multiple character arcs and goes beyond the traditional buddy genre film, while still capitalizing on all that makes it so wonderful. Adding 3D didn’t improve the story at all, but when you’re in the ocean and want to feel like you’re surrounded by the big blue, the 3D is great.
The question, with all movies, comes down to how much is it worth paying to see this at a theater. And this is where it gets interesting, very few people own a TV capable of showing blu-ray in 3D. So if you’re going to see it, you probably will need to see it in a theater. Finding Nemo is made to be seen on the big screen, you lose some of the scope when watching it on a smaller screen. There is so much detail and an epic story, if you haven’t seen it on the big screen since it’s original release in 2003, it’s worth it to get yourself out to your local cinema just for that. Sure 3D tickets cost a bit more, but I think Finding Nemo is worth it.
Okay, if that didn’t convince you, how about these two words “Partysaurus Rex.” That’s the title of the Toy Story Toon that accompanies Finding Nemo 3D. In it, the great green dinosaur from the Toy Story films finally gets his moment in the sun. Once I sat back and realized there wouldn’t be much story here, I really enjoyed the short.
Finding Nemo 3D opens in theaters tonight.