Director(s): Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olsen, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy.
This review is spoiler free and reveals no more than what is seen in the trailers.
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.
So if you’re brand new to reading this blog, firstly hello and welcome! Secondly, you might not know just how much Finding Nemo means to me, so the short story is that it is everything to me. I have adored that movie since I saw it in cinemas. It tops my favourite Pixar movies list, it comes very high up in my favourite films ever list, and this sequel topped my list of most anticipated films in 2016!
To say I had high expectations is a little bit of an understatement! In my most anticipated films of 2016 article I said, “…whilst I’m not expecting this sequel to be as good, I’m hoping it is still great!” Little did I know when I wrote that back in January that that would be a pretty accurate summary of my thoughts on Finding Dory having now seen it! So no, it is not as good as Finding Nemo, but for me, not much is! However it is undeniably great, excellent even, and has made this very apprehensive and very obsessive Nemo fan, very happy indeed!
I started crying approximately 5 minutes in, but not because it wrenched my heart out like the opening of Nemo did, but because I was so, so happy to see these characters again! 13 years is a long time to wait for this sequel, but yet for the movie, only a year has passed since the events of the first film. Immediately I felt, as Dory says, “I’m home”!
The animation is stunning as usual, and I loved the slightly ethereal and dreamy look the flashbacks had; baby Dory is absolutely adorable as well. Once again it shows different parts of the ocean, from the vibrant coral reef to a murky harbour, each with their own hue and feel. We have some new environments as well, most noticeably an aquarium type facility, all of which looks great and adds an interesting new layer.
Perhaps even more so than the first film, Finding Dory is very, very funny! This is thanks in large part to the new character, Hank the Octopus. He was undoubtedly my favourite of the new characters, with the sea lions a close second! This film doesn’t make the mistake that so many sequels do, which is to introduce a whole host of new characters for you to care about. Rather it still focuses on the main trio, but the new characters it does introduce are worthwhile and no one feels extraneous.
As is to be expected with a Pixar film, there is of course a lovely message within Finding Dory, and plenty of bits to make you cry. It continues the message of family which was so strong in the first film, but introduces other aspects such as surrogate families. It also has a lot of stuff about memories, finding yourself, acceptance and some really nice subtle stuff around the stigma of a disability. Of course it’s cute enough to keep the kids happy, but there’s absolutely tons for the adults as well! I won’t spoil the bit that will make you cry, just have some tissues ready!!
Thankfully not too much to talk about in this section! I fully understand this is a kids films, but there were some pretty big leaps in the story at times where I felt like we needed to see how the characters got to a certain place. In the first film we follow the journey pretty much start to finish, and as it takes up most of the film we really get the sense of how long the journey was. In Finding Dory there is a moment quite near the beginning where they get from A to B far too quickly and it was a little jarring.
As I predicted from the trailers there are moments which feel like they’ve frame for frame been taken from the first film; most probably wouldn’t notice this, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the first film, so of course I’d notice! There is however a great tie-in with a scene directly from the first film, which works very well.
These are very minor gripes, but I have to try and find something otherwise I’d just be accused of being biased!
I saw this movie and you should too. Of course you should see this movie, and I am so, so happy that it has this verdict! Finding Dory is simply adorable, very funny, and with plenty for kids and adults alike. It was never going to be the first film and that’s ok, but in terms of Pixar sequels, it is more of a Toy Story 2 than a Cars 2*! Absolutely go and see this film, and remember, “what would Dory do”!
Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below!
*I hate Cars 2 more than I hate most things. It is an abomination which doesn’t deserve to have the name of Pixar attached to it.