Hollywood's one bona fide popular smash of summer 2003 has been this little number from Pixar studios - the CGI animators behind Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. As that list suggests, environment may be the key creative determinant for a Pixar film, and so it is with Finding Nemo, a sentimental fable that surely wouldn't stand up on dry land, but it plays like a dream in its marine milieu.
Marlin (voiced by Brooks) is a queer fish, an over-protective parent and a neurotic, self-absorbed widower who's terrified of letting young Nemo out of sight. No sooner has small fry started school than he gets himself hooked and whisked off to a dentist's fishtank in Sydney. Will cowardly Marlin find the gumption to cross the Great Barrier Reef and rescue his son? And if he does, will this spineless vertebrate ever let Nemo grow up and be his own fish?
This is overlong, a bit wet and quite probably sexist, but I was swept up in its dazzling stream of rainbow corals, amused by the stoner turtles going with the flow, sharks battling their own regressive instincts and DeGeneres' scatterbrained Dory. Even coasting, Pixar's a sure thing.