Why it took until 2012 for Disney to release Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” on Blu-ray is inexplicable – until viewing it in 3D. Waiting for good 3D technology to permeate the home market was a smart move as “Finding Nemo” is one of the finest looking presentations of an animated film ever released in the format.
An outstanding film to begin with, this fish story is no tall tale. It’s a family-driven movie that’s filled with comedy, drama, and action, all while exploring the vast big blue world under the sea. And with memorable characters like Marlin, Dory, Crush, Squirt, Mr. Ray, and Bruce, “Finding Nemo” has gone on to become an important part of Disney’s decades of animated film history.
Now presented on Blu-ray for the first time, “Finding Nemo” looks its best. The film’s vibrant colors are gorgeous, from the tiniest underwater particle to the biggest coral reef. Animation is smooth, crisp, and clear. And the 7.1 surround soundtrack is filled with whooshing, gurgling noises that immerse viewers into the undersea adventure.
But the real “wow” moment for this release is firing it up in 3D. The underwater world is perfect for the format, with layers of interesting visuals adding to the never-ending depth, drawing the eye into the screen. Characters seen to float in real space while tiny bits of seaweed and plankton flow amidst bubbles throughout the presentation. This is one of those releases that will forever be used to show off the capabilities of a 3D system.
Bonus features are almost equally enthralling as the film itself. Virtual aquariums borrowed from the previous DVD release are now rendered in 3D HD, and while the clips are noticeably too short, frequently dissolving to restart, they are no less mesmerizing. “CineExplore” is a brilliant take on a commentary track, not only featuring audible insight from filmmakers, but also on-screen concept art and video clips to accompany the entire film. Other extras dive deeper into the making-of this film, including an interesting roundtable discussion. For theme park fans, no special feature will top “ReInventing The Submarine Voyage,” an in-depth look at the creation of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride at Disneyland featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Imagineers such as Tony Baxter, Kevin Rafferty, Kathy Mangum, Tom Fitzgerald, and Disney Legend Bob Gurr.
“Finding Nemo” is a must-own on Blu-ray, particularly in the 3D format, as one of the most complete, best looking releases to come from Disney and Pixar.
“Finding Nemo” Ultimate Collector’s Edition is available now from Amazon and other major retailers.