Flicks in Five: Finding Nemo

by Lynne Warfel, Minnesota Public Radio
August 20, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — This week's spotlight Pixar film is the 2003 release, Finding Nemo.

The film is a typical children's transgressive comedy wherein the title character, in defiance of his parents' warnings to the contrary, ventures beyond familiar waters only to be netted and subsequently plopped into an aquarium in a dentist's office. The major plotline involves Nemo's father's quest to be reunited with his son, and Nemo's concurrent plans to escape confinement and return to the waters of Sydney Harbour — and to his parents' loving arms . . . er, fins.

American composer Thomas Newman wrote the score for Finding Nemo. Newman's trajectory is an interesting one; he got his start composing for goofy '80s comedies like Revenge of the Nerds and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but in the '90s and noughts, he began progressively taking on more substantive fare, including such titles as The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty and Road to Perdition. Newman received Oscar nominations for his work on all three of those films.

Finding Nemo was Newman's first foray into scoring an animated feature, and he collaborated on the project with composer Andrew Stanton, whose credits include Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc.. Newman and Stanton would later collaborate on 2008's WALL-E.

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