What it’s about:
Dory, Marlin and Nemo’s forgetful friend, remembers that she has a family and immediately misses them. There’s only one solution: she must find them, but where are they and….wait no never mind she forgot (again).
What we thought:
It’s always hard to make the sequel to something as wildly popular as Finding Nemo was. Even when you’re Pixar, the animation studio which is now a part of the Disney Juggernaut, but started off as a company of young upstarts who had once had a counter-establishment understanding of what was possible in the world beyond anything we had seen before.
That being said, Andrew Stanton – who also directed Finding Nemo – and co-director Angus MacLane (Monsters Inc.) make a good run at beating the family driven blockbuster from 2003. There are lots of great moments that give the character of Dory a backstory that warms the heart and had a few folks in tears at the cinema.
For instance, the protagonist –that is voiced by Ellen DeGeneres – coming to understand the quality that makes her life difficult sometimes and frustrates her is actually makes her an amazing friend and family member. I, for one, think that that message is a powerful thing for children and young people.
There’s also a running joke with Sigourney Weaver that I found immensely pleasurable. Modern Family stars Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill give voice two characters that I also loved and found to be great foils for DeGeneres’ Dory.
Where I think that it might fall short are the quieter moments that seem to be lacking the kind of gravitas that Finding Nemo had. There’s just that little bit of spark missing but if I were to watch this movie as a stand-alone feature with no point of reference it would be sufficiently charming.
Should you go watch this film? Yes definitely, for all its faults I think that Finding Dory is the best animated feature of the year thus far.
Now I eagerly await a sequel to Brave.
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