STARRING: Ellen DeGeneres, Sloane Murray, Lucia Geddes, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Idris Elba, Dominic West and Bob Peterson
The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish begins a search for her long-lost parents, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.
Finding Dory picks up one year after the events of Finding Nemo, where we see Dory is giving a helping hand in raising Nemo. One day during a lesson with Nemo’s class, Dory has a childhood flashback that she has a family. Deciding that she must venture out to find them, due to her short-term memory loss, she is helped on her quest with Marlin and Nemo by her side.
It’s been thirteen years in the making, but Pixar have finally released their sequel to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory. As much as I enjoy the films Pixar put out, their sequels as of late haven’t exactly set the world on fire (Cars 2, Monsters University). Also didn’t help my expectations either that any sequel that arrived 10+ years after the original turn out to be pretty bad too, particularly this year with Independence Day: Resurgence and Zoolander 2. Now I liked (didn’t love) Finding Nemo when it came out, but I was puzzled that the sequel would revolve around Dory this time around. How could Pixar make it work?
Once again from Pixar the animation is terrifically well done, particularly in showcasing the animation/special effects of when Dory, Marlin and Nemo reach the surface to look around their current surroundings, the water effects are incredibly well done and made an instant impression on me. The flashbacks of baby Dory with her parents, trying to overcome her short-term memory loss and how it affects her today is well handled and actually made me care for Dory this time in comparison to her role in the original in which I found her to be irritating. While we get some familiar faces returning for Finding Dory, we’re also introduced to new characters and thankfully they work well in this film, with Ed O’Neill’s seven-legged octopus named Hank being a particular highlight.
Oddly enough for the sequel, the comedic beats/jokes feel few and far between here in Finding Dory, though it does have a nice nod to Alien involving a beluga whale and a pipeline. While the film focuses on Dory looking to find her parents, the stakes just aren’t the same as say Marlin’s fear/plight trying to find Nemo in the original. It’s an enjoyable film but it plays it safe after a long absence from the big screen.
Definitely the best of the Pixar sequels so far outside of the Toy Story ones, with a story that made me care for a character that I originally didn’t like to begin with. Fun with gorgeous animation, the stakes are too safe for this sequel when compared to the original. 7/10