Pixar has a long tradition of creating memorable computer animated films which have delighted audiences both young and old around the world. Although their last few releases haven’t been nearly as memorable as what others have, they still have their charm. It isn’t just the characters which have won fans over but also the storytelling and while Disney itself might often be focused more on modernized adaptations of classic fairy tales, Pixar has taken time to bring something new.
If Brave could be thought of as being something of a mother/daughter film than is stands to reason that back in 2003 Pixar delivered a movie which might be considered the father/son type of movie. Finding Nemo introduced us to Nemo, Marlin, Dory, and a host of fish friends and it isn’t just a story which seems to have an age limit associated to it. My daughter has added this into her long list of films that she loves even though often she asks to watch “Elmo” or even “emo” but I know what she means. The movie is also ideal of convert into the Disney Read-Along library of books.
Finding Nemo Read-Along Storybook is a loose adaptation of the film which focuses more on the essential highlights instead of every little detail. The abridged version picks up with Nemo and Marlin in their undersea world as Nemo begins school and is caught by a scuba diver where he ends up in an aquarium, soon to be a pet for a dentist’s niece who has an uncanny knack of killing her fish. Marlin sets out in search of his missing son where he meets Dory, a forgetful blue tang, who agrees to help him. Along the way they encounter a trio of sharks who have given up eating fish, Crush the turtle, and a few other aquatic folk. Of course anyone who has seen the movie knows exactly how the story turns out so there are no additional scenes which will leave young fans wondering why they didn’t see that in the movie.
The book stays faithful to the movie and uses music, sound effects, and dialog which are all taken from the film and worked in perfectly for a storybook adaptation. The book is narrated by Tino Insana who most recently can be heard as the voice of Mr. Grouper in the animated series Bubble Guppies but he’s also no stranger to Disney having done voice work for past animated series with the most notable being his role of Bushroot on Darkwing Duck. The other voices which are heard on the CD are the actual voices from the movie. The art style matches what is seen in the film but the book isn’t using any direct scenes. Most often the story requires multiple characters to be presented and often during Finding Nemo, it would be difficult to locate scenes which have exactly who is required to tell the story properly. As the case has almost always been with the Disney Read-Along library, the CD indicates to children when it is time to turn the page thanks to the chimes which once were designated as belonging to Tinker Bell but apparently this is no longer the case.
Children who love the Finding Nemo movie will discover the same joy within the pages of the book. It might not work as a replacement for some of them but as a parent who has seen the film more than enough times, having my daughter listen to an eight minute version of it instead of once again reluctantly sitting through the full 100-minutes is definitely a blessing although I don’t expect it will be long before once again the movie ends up making its way back into heavy rotation and I reach the point where I know every line of dialog by heart.
You can purchase the Finding Nemo Read-Along Storybook and CD for $5.85 from Amazon. Remember that prices are subject to change.
Mike is the resident reviewer for Couponing to Disney and his own site Underland Online. He has a toddler daughter and is obsessed with Haunted Mansion and all things Disney. You can read Mike’s complete bio here.