I had already seen Finding Nemo, and was hoping that I would be able to pay minimal attention to it while watching it again. I was under the impression that I would be able to get some homework done while it was playing, and that giving it occasional glances would still allow me to enjoy myself. I was wrong in this assumption. I tried this strategy for about 5 minutes before closing my laptop screen and directing my attention solely on the television.

Finding Nemo almost forced me to do this. I knew it was good, having previously seen it, but I wasn’t aware of how good it actually was. The world we are brought into, the characters we meet, the animation and design, everything was top-notch. Of course, this is to be expected from Pixar, a company who has made success after success, both critically and with its audience.

The key thing that Pixar has going for it is the fact that, while its target audience is children, they put in enough good work to appeal to everyone. Their films can be enjoyed by the younger generation, but also by their parents and grandparents. This is the main reason that Pixar succeeds; it crafts pictures where everyone can take something out of it.

Let’s use Finding Nemo as an example. It has enough humor that will go over the heads of many children, yet tells a story simple enough and with enough action to keep them entertained. While it may not seem as funny to them as it will to adults, it will give those characters that they can look up to, as well as beautiful scenery for them to admire.

This is the first thing that is noticed, at least, it was by me. The design team at Pixar created a beautiful world, one which ends up getting fully explored by the end of the picture. From the fish, jellyfish, sea turtles, and even the background setting where all of these creatures interact, everything looks incredible. The animations are also great, staying as fluid as they should be, as well as looking almost exactly how you would imagine they would look if done in live action.

However, the one thing that struggles in this department is the design of the humans. While not appearing often, they seem off when they do show up. They’re not badly animated or drawn, but they don’t have the same type of charm that the sea-life does. They look fine when they are divers in the water, but outside of it, you can tell that they were less of a focus for the animators.

Thankfully, the majority of the film takes place in one body of water or another. We begin with Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) preparing for Nemo’s first day of school. Marlin lost his wife and the majority of his offspring due to Barracuda attack, and is therefore quite the worrying father. Nemo, who quickly becomes tired of his overprotective father, decides to swim close to a boat, (humorously called a “butt” by one of Nemo’s classmates), and is quickly caught by a human diver.

The rest of the story is split in two. One follows Marlin’s quest to find and save his son, while the other revolves around Nemo, who ends up being stuck in a fish tank inside a dentist’s office in Sydney. He is told that he is going to be a present for the dentist’s niece, and must attempt to escape before that happens. It’s a race against time for both characters, each trying to accomplish similar goals.

The thing that Finding Nemo does better than many other movies, animated or not, is give us relatable, sympathetic characters. Nemo’s father is looking to prove himself to the world, taking on things that he was previously frightened of. He is looking to gain his son’s forgiveness and respect, after the last words he received were “I hate you”. Nemo is a fish who doesn’t seem to know any better, and is a character that children can easily relate to themselves. Adults on the other hand can relate him to their own children, or how they were at the time they were his age. He can’t help himself, as he doesn’t have the capacity to do so yet. The lead characters we get are deep enough to stand out, as well as likable enough to root for.

The side characters we meet are also all quite interesting. Marlin is met by a fish with a poor short-term memory, Dori (Ellen DeGeneres). Together, they come across sharks that don’t eat fish, laid-back sea turtles, and seagulls who have the defining quality of saying one word: “Mine”. Nemo meets fewer creatures, but they get more time on-screen. The other fish in the aquarium are trapped too, and have been affected mentally by this trapping. One fish thinks her reflection is her sister, while another has an odd fixation with bubbles.

While its target audience is children, Finding Nemo stays fresh and entertaining for people of all ages. It has a large range of characters, humor and environments, all of which keep the film exciting. It doesn’t get dull, the characters are deep, and the world that the film takes place in is expertly crafted. It’s another film by Pixar, and stays true to their formula in making movies that everyone can take something from.