One of Pixar’s most prominent films finds its way onto the printed page in the form of “Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue.” It is only the first issue, but many of the characters from the film show up on the printed page here: Marlin, Nemo (of course), Dory, Squirt, Mr. Ray, and many more of the sea creatures from Nemo’s big adventure show up in these pages. The characters here are given a more childish demeanor, appropriate for the intended, younger audience.
The story has mystery and adventure, and just enough excitement. Disturbed by the coral he saw on a field trip with Mr. Ray, Nemo asks his dad to check it out. Treating their initial investigation as the first step, Croall returns the characters to the coral reef the next day, this time with Dory (“I speak coral!”) in tow, to check out the scene in greater detail. The issue ends with a safe ending, neither wrapping things up completely nor leaving the reader dangling. If a younger reader — like Sophie, my seven-year-old — happened across this book and never saw the next issue, she wouldn’t stress out too much. Conversely, there’s enough of a story there where Sophie could lock in and carry it forward in her mind’s eye, or through markers and paper. Children — and older readers — may have a surprise or two upcoming as there is certain to be a lesson learned regarding the fate of the coral.
The art of this issue is a little more in depth than child’s markers and paper, but not to the point of being a printed equivalent of the Pixar animation. The choice to make these characters hand-drawn rather than computer generated gives the art a more innocent feel, conveying the emotions of the characters more succinctly.
This issue is another great offering from the folks at Boom! The creative talent and editorial staff truly know how to treat these licenses with respect while giving the readers enjoyable stories fit to be shared by all ages.