Title: Finding Dory
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Studio: Pixar, Disney
Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Release Format: Theatrical
In 2003, Finding Nemo released to critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. 13 years have passed and now we have another adventure starring the forgetful fish Dory, the cautious Marlin, and adorable Nemo. Finding Dory could have become a victim similar to other sequels, such as Zoolander 2 and Sin City, which lost steam because of how long it took for them to hit the screen. Fortunately, Finding Dory doesn’t have that problem at all. Both children and adults will have much to enjoy in a film that is just as good as the first one.
The events of Finding Dory pick up roughly a year after Finding Nemo. The forgetful Dory starts having dreams about her parents and she decides to go on a mission to find them. With the help of Marlin and Nemo, Dory sets off to sunny California. The story is what you should expect from a typical Pixar film. That isn’t a bad thing however as Finding Dory is better than other Pixar sequels (here is looking at you Cars 2) despite being a slight rehash of Finding Nemo. The only downside to Finding Dory is that it drags out a bit towards the end.
If, like me, you were one of those who are on the fence of a sequel to a movie you grew up with, fear not. There is a nostalgic feel to it and my heart warmed up when hearing the audience laugh and enjoy meeting Dory and her plight. However don’t go and see the movie because of the nostalgia feel. Go and see it because it is actually a good animated film.
Speaking of animation, Finding Dory, like any other Pixar film, is beautifully animated. Last year’s The Good Dinosaur had amazing animation, but Finding Nemo and now Finding Dory feels old school Pixar. Everything is well animated from the depth of the ocean, the detail in the characters, as well as both animals and humans. Lighter tones work better in Pixar than the dark ones found in The Good Dinosaur, so it comes as no surprise that we already have a contender for possible Best Animated Film of 2016. The 3D also didn’t feel forced yet natural to the overall film. The ocean feels deeper and more vast if seen in 3D. It is an aesthetic choice in Finding Dory, not just a gag.
Another thing that is so great about Finding Dory is the character development. Characters are always a staple of Pixar films such as last year’s Inside Out and the popular Toy Story franchise. Dory is just as lovable, Marlin is just as cautious, and Nemo is just as adorable as ever. There isn’t much character development with Marlin and Nemo though because they really don’t have anywhere else to go in their story. That is fine because the movie focuses on Dory and the new friends she meets along the way. Hank the Octopus (Septapus?), Destiny the Tiger Shark, and Bailey the Dolphin are lovable though they have only supporting roles. Pixar really knows how to make people care about not just main characters but little ones as well.
Pixar brings these characters to life with a stellar voice cast. Ellen DeGeneres is hilarious as Dory. With her real life personality, in addition to the similarities to Dory, DeGeneres seemed born for the role. Other cast members return such as Albert Brooks as Marlin while newer characters have great voice acting. If you are a fan of the TV show Modern Family you might recognize that quite a few of the characters are voiced by the cast of the show. Ed O’Niell voices Hank the Octopus (Septapus?) and Ty Burrell voices Bailey the Dolphin. You should also expect some big name cameos as both human and animal characters. Sigourney Weaver has one little gag that never got old that seems to be even a little nod to her role in Alien while Idris Elba voices a seal that just wants to lay on his rock.
It is just a shame that Finding Dory does drag a bit towards the end. I almost walked out of the theater a few times thinking it was over because of a few false endings. Even with that said, I cannot wait to see what Pixar does next with November’s Moana.
Finding Dory is a great, fun family film that everyone can enjoy. From the animation to the acting or even the nostalgic feel in the story; you will have a reason to see one of Pixar’s best films (I would put in my top 5). Even dish out the additional few dollars to see it in 3D, which is something I rarely ever suggest. Best animated film of 2016 contender? I think so!
As with most animated Disney films, there is a nice little animated short before Finding Dory. Piper is adorable and worth the watch so get to the theater early!
- Characters: It is great to see that Dory isn’t just the comic relief like in Finding Nemo. Dory is still one of Pixar’s best-written characters. Marlin and Nemo don’t take just a back seat either. New characters are just as fun to watch as well.
- Cinematography: Finding Dory is beautifully animated. 3D does add some depth to the film and might be worth the additional price of admission. I rarely suggest seeing a movie in 3D so that should come off as a plus.
- Story: Picking up roughly a year after the events of the first film, the story focuses on Dory. The story seems typical Pixar, but it is great non-the-less. Can go under the category of one of Pixar’s best sequels.
- Acting: Ellen Degeneres is phenomenal as Dory, with more development in tow. Albert Brooke as Marlin is just as good as the first film. Sigourney Weaver, Idris Elba, and a few other big names make a few unexpected cameos. As with any Disney film, the voice acting is top notch.
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Fun story
- Beautifully animated
- Drags out towards end