Finding Nemo

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I don’t watch cartoons. I’m an adult, see. I do review them however.

Finding Nemo was the first animated representation of underwater life to make use of the conventions and sensibility of the kitchen sink genre. Previously, most people had taken the words of the singing crab in The Little Mermaid at face value: to wit, that ‘it’s better where it is wetter’. This film peeled away the crustacean deceit to reveal that it is in fact grimmer, bleaker and more working-class where it is wetter. Faded are the visions of moistened opulence, of Neptune’s scaly seraglios and enticing mollusc-women bestrewn with pearls. In their place are sub-aquatic bingo halls and floating fag ends that once hung forlornly in the heavy-hearted lips of the fishy underclass, and now sink slowly into the soiled seabed of oblivion.

Nemo is a young cod who during the week works in a factory making high quality fashion items for narwhals. At the week-end however, Nemo is a different fish, who aspires to no pastime more lofty than ‘supping t’brine’ and ‘fucking t’seahorses’. His masculinity is raw and salty. ‘Nowthen Nemo’, say his parents in their charming North Sea dialect, ‘when are thou going to start living proper like?’ But Nemo looks at them as if they belonged in the fishmonger’s bargain basket, and replies ‘Never, thou old gimmers!’, and propels himself away with a defiant and manly flourish of his fins.

But, alas, Nemo’s life as cock-of-the-swim is soon to end. For, as any simpleton marine biologist will tell you, it is not the female but the male seahorse who bears the seahorse babies, and the same applies should a male of any species (including human) engage in congress with a seahorse (this actually happened to Bill Clinton). And so, bunned-up in a pre-natal spawn-lodge, Nemo has no choice but to abandon his roving ways and embrace motherhood. This part of the film is less interesting than the earlier part so I’ll just pass over it. The film ends with a thousand stringy seahorses bursting from Nemo’s improvised womb-bladder while he screams comically. ‘Well’, he chuckles maternally as the credits roll, ‘’appen I’d been better off fucking t’jellyfishes’. It is a moving moment.

This film offers food for thought and makes you think about your food. It is a testament to the high moral seriousness and polemical power of this movie that I felt a twinge of guilt upon chowing down on a ruddy great pike a few hours after seeing it. Although it might equally have been indigestion.

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8 Responses to “Finding Nemo”

  1. Banjo Fett Says:

    ‘I’m an adult’ – BWAHHHAHHAHAHAHHA!!

    Great review, apart from that. Although I did do a tiny bit of sick in my gob when I read your description of Nemo’s stringy seahorses.

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    If anything I played down the gruesomeness of that bit. It was visceral in the literalest sense of the word.

  3. Banjo Fett Says:

    Lummee. The BBFC will pass anything these days.

  4. johnlebaptiste Says:

    They love it. The dirty slags. To paraphrase Mary Whitehouse.

  5. oldrope Says:

    I don’t watch cartoons. And I’m an adult. But I see the two things as unconnected and unrelated particles of information in the cacophany of my life.

    I would watch cartoons other than for the fact that
    a) I have never heard of a cartoon, what is one?
    b) I heard that if I watched ‘one’ for too long my brain would melt

  6. johnlebaptiste Says:

    You’re an adult? Then what were you doing when I caught you sticking your head through the school railings the other day?

  7. Banjo Fett Says:

    I saw oldrope down the A&E yesterday with a saucepan stuck on his head. His mum looked furious.

  8. John Le Baptiste Says:

    I see his spaghetti hoop addiction is getting out of hand. How do you answer Old Rope?

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