Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nemo in the Third Dimension

Yes, that's right. Finding Nemo is worth re-experiencing on the big screen in 3D. The wizards at Pixar have delivered a good post-conversion 3D job, proving that animation is born for 3D more so than any CGI-sprinkled live action film. It also continues Disney's plans to re-release their classics and Pixar's films to theaters, just like Walt Disney himself, even though I could do without the 3D conversions.

Finding Nemo's 3D boasted some great effects, particularly how they used it for depth. I'm no expert on 3D, but it was great how you felt as if you were under the sea during the film. At times, I felt as if the underwater characters were closer to the eye. At other times, no effects are as noticeable. It's never distracting, nor is it done poorly. You won't be missing anything if you don't see it in 3D, though. But the 3D is a nice touch, and the conversion gets my stamp of approval.

What was really good though was re-experiencing this film on the big screen. I first saw Finding Nemo on opening weekend when I was ten years old, and I actually saw it two more times in theaters after that. I rented the DVD nonstop until I finally got it for Christmas, and watched it religiously after that while dissecting every shot and watching all the bonus features. I loved it back then in a different way, but as I got older (and learned about the tricks of the trade in film and storytelling), I gave it a good re-watch and was blown away by the emotional side of the story. That's the last time I saw it, and that was back in 2009.

This viewing, it again reminds me of why I have such respect for Pixar and why lots of other people do to. This happens every time I watch a Pixar film (with the exception of you-know-what), and it's such a satisfying feeling. It really is, a special feeling you get. Pixar knows how to deliver that magic, while several big blockbusters can't: They just come and ago, even a good chunk of the recent animated films can't ever deliver that despite how good some of them can be.

Our theater experience wasn't perfect. The screen and image quality could've been, we had some annoying teenagers babbling from time to time. (Seriously, movie theaters need to enforce stricter rules. A "no talking" message before movies is NOT helping) At times the sound quality was off, as the theater boomed, as if something was wrong with our speakers. But I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I was excited during the action scenes... If a film can do that on a lesser-quality screen, lesser-quality audio and the occasional annoyance from an audience member, then that film is really something special. Do I need anymore reasons to explain the greatness of the Pixar films?

Oh... What about Partysaurus Rex? The third Toy Story Toon, Partysaurus Rex was once again a fun little short film with some genuinely hilarious moments. I actually found it funnier than the previous two shorts, while it was still talky. As long as they do this and not do a fourth film, I'll be happy, because these shorts are amusing. Pixar Canada keeps proving that their work can equal that of their Emeryville friends, as this short looks no different from what we saw in Toy Story 3. It definitely appeals more to the teenagers too, as Rex rocks out to club music of today. It works because it's all set up nicely, and the various partier toys in the bathtub are also a hoot. It's ultra-colorful too (that image alone sums it all up nicely), and I wonder: Will this also show up on the second collection of Pixar short films? Or will it show up on the Blu-ray release of Finding Nemo. I'm guessing it will be the latter, but it could appear on Volume 2 as well. What do you think?

Trailers? Oh yes, as always, I do a rundown of the trailers. Most importantly, we got Wreck-It Ralph, but since the audience was incredibly small (went to a very late showing), there was not much of a reaction except from me and my stepfather (who grew up during the early 80s when most of those games were being released), but alas... We also got a trailer for To The Arctic, an IMAX 3D nature documentary that opened up way back in April. I guess it's another one of those IMAX releases that's always going to be playing, since it's a documentary. Still, attaching it to this was not necessary. We also got the trailer for the 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. along with Blue Sky's Epic and Illumination's Despicable Me 2. But then we got a trailer for a film called Dino Time, which looks like it was produced ten years ago and it actually came out two years ago in Europe. The animation was subpar, but that's only the beginning. I often remind people of what animated films are family films and what films are only for kids. This fits the latter, with terrible kid-friendly dialogue and awful attempts at comedy. It looked like a Lunchables commercial. The moment in the theater where I have a strong look of disapproval on my face. If you see this trailer in the theater... Oh boy, my condolences...

All of that aside, Finding Nemo is certainly a classic. What can I say that hasn't been said about it many times before? Excellent writing that fires on all cylinders, great heart, an atmospheric score by Thomas Newman, fantastic voice acting from a well-chosen cast and elaborate animation that still holds up today despite a few little things (i.e. the human animation). It's worth seeing again in theaters, and Partysaurus Rex is a lot of fun. Don't miss out.

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