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Movie review: ‘Finding Nemo 3D’ (VIDEO)

Classic movie, not-so-great 3-D

The Oscar-winning animated feature “Finding Nemo” doesn’t need to fish for compliments: Newly rereleased in 3-D, the 9-year-old Disney/ Pixar marvel about a single-father clown fish searching for his son is a welcome sight on the big screen, where you can feel the undiminished immensity of the ocean and the bulk of a whale in a way TV can’t touch.

That alone could be reason to take the tykes, even without the third dimension or the gem of a new “Toy Story” short, “Partysaurus Rex.” And a parent may not even have much choice in the matter, once his or her kid gets wind of all this and begs to go. But since mom and dad are still the ones paying the premium for 3-D, is it worth the trip?

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The story itself and the vocal performances argue for yes. Albert Brooks makes the frantic dad’s anguished desperation visceral in a way kids may not immediately appreciate but remains a gut-punch to parents. Ellen DeGeneres as the dotty sidekick he acquires after a diver captures his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), gives seemingly offhand comments emotional soul.

The slight murkiness endemic to much 3-D isn’t a problem with the ocean scenes, where most of the film takes place.

But those are precisely the scenes in which the movie’s lovely, shaded palette often becomes solarized – burned and overexposed-looking. Removing the 3-D glasses reveals perfectly nice, smooth colors on-screen, so there’s the culprit.

Meanwhile, showing before “Nemo” is that marvelous 6 1/2-minute “Toy Story” short.

The nervous T. rex, Rex (Wallace Shawn), learns that while he may be a party pooper with his friends, he’s a party animal with the bathtub toys of young Bonnie, the little girl at the end of “Toy Story 3.” Briskly suspenseful, with great music and vocal characterizations, this third “Toy Story Toons” makes you hope Disney will change its mind and put a “Toy Story 4” on track.

“Finding Nemo 3D”
3 1/2 (for movie) 1 1/2 (for 3-D)
Who’s in it: Voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
What it’s about: After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clown fish sets out on a journey to bring him home.
Rated: G
Running time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

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