‘Finding Dory’ movie review
By Lauren Paulsen, Senior Columnist
Thirteen years after the iconic Disney/Pixar movie, Finding Nemo, fans finally get their beloved fishes back in a sequel this summer. Finding Dory is something fans won’t want to miss.
As the title suggests, Finding Dory focuses on the endearing blue tang with short-term memory loss. We learn more about her past, as one day, she remembers what it was she has been looking for all these years; her parents. Clownfish friends Nemo and Marlin join Dory to travel across the ocean in search of her family.
Separated from Marlin and Nemo in an accident, Dory ends up in a California aquarium, the “Jewel of Morro Bay,” where she strikes a deal with Hank, an escaped octopus. As they search for Dory’s parents, she starts to remember more and more about her past. Meanwhile, Nemo and Marlin’s familial bonds are put to the test as they try to find Dory before she forgets them.
Although the plot might seem a little silly, and perhaps somewhat predictable, Pixar manages to execute the sequel quite well. Finding Dory stands up solidly against its predecessor, delivering great humour to the audience and tugging on your sappy heartstrings without ever becoming schmaltzy or preachy.
The interesting thing about Finding Dory is that there is no villain character; the main conflict is “character versus self,” dealing foremost with Dory’s personal struggle against her own disability. Arguably, the film is much stronger for it. Making such dramatic concepts accessible to kids without talking down to them is what Pixar does best; they aren’t quite at the top of their form this time around, but it’s a great effort nonetheless.
The film is, unfortunately, lacking in the pacing department. It takes a bit too long to get going, and the suspense is drawn a little too thin by the numerous false finishes in the film’s climax. However, there are some truly touching moments on offer, including a hard-hitting emotional reveal that kicks off the third act. The final chase is truly something to behold, boasting perhaps the greatest comedic use of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” in film history.
Grownups who remember Finding Nemo from their childhoods will enjoy seeing the old cast of characters mixed with the new, and the younger generation of kids will find much to marvel at in Pixar’s wonderfully designed underwater world. If you enjoyed the first movie, you’ll have a laugh with Finding Dory.