Finding Dory Review

After 13 years of swimming, “Finding Dory” is finally here and it’s a mega-hit.  “Finding Dory” is the sequel to one of Pixar’s most beloved films, “Finding Nemo.”  The film is directed once again by Andrew Stanton and co-director Angus MacLane.  “Finding Dory” tells the story of forgetful fish Dory, as she crosses the Ocean to find her family, leading her to the Marine Life Institute.  Guided by sheer will and the faith of her friends, Dory learns the true meaning of love, friendship and the determination to overcome all of life’s obstacles.  “Finding Dory” features the voice talents of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Bill Hader and Sigourney Weaver.

Pixar is the best animated company out there.  There is no arguing that.  Their films have revolutionized the movie industry and they have given us some of the most tear jerking and heartfelt stories ever to hit the big screen.  However it is no secret that Pixar has had a lot of trouble over the last few years to give audiences a wholly unique and original film that comparatively comes close to it’s early films.  Pixar also is known for turning out mediocre sequels to hit films like “Monsters University” and “Cars.”  With the exception of the “Toy Story” franchise, Pixar’s sequels have been schlock, and extreme yawners that most people don’t care about.  So when “Finding Dory” was announced at Comic Con last year, most people, myself included were not that interested to see the adventures of Dory, Marlin and Nemo.  However, people forget that besides “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” is Pixar’s most profitable film and most popular.  A lot of hardcore movie lovers and Pixar fans were worried that “Finding Dory” would be another mediocre sequel and they were dead wrong.  Besides “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3,” “Finding Dory” is the best Pixar sequel and one of the best Pixar films in recent memory.  This is a unique and heartfelt sequel, that follows the same story beats as the first film while also giving us brand new things that we haven’t seen.

The plot is pretty basic, with forgetful fish Dory trying to find her lost parents.  It’s up to Dory, Nemo and Marlin to take on this new adventure which leads them to the Marine Life Institute, narrated beautifully by Sigourney Weaver in an ongoing running joke throughout.  It was the setting of the Marine Life Institute that garnered some fresh laughs and memorable moments, while also giving us brand new characters to cheer and root for.  The incorporation of Destiny the talking whale shark and Baily the damaged blue Beluga whale were nice new characters that added so much depth to the story.  But the character that stole the movie was Hank the octopus.  Hank is one of the best characters in a Pixar film to date and he was absolutely comical and unique to this film.  But the star here really goes to Ellen DeGeneres as she has been championing this film for over ten years.  She is the reason that “Finding Dory” was made and the amount of time and energy spent between her and the writers at Pixar have helped secure this as one of Pixar’s best.

The look of the film is absolutely gorgeous.  Watching “Finding Nemo” recently and then “Finding Dory,” you can easily see the advancements of technology between the two movies.  In “Finding Dory,” every little detail of the ocean is present when looking at the grains of sand or the gills on all the fishes.  “Finding Dory” is a beautiful looking film and the short film that played in front of it, “Piper,” showcases the photo-realistic technology that Pixar is starting to incorporate into their pictures.  It feels realistic but at the same time has that beautiful Pixar look that Disney is now utilizing with their films, like “Tangled,” Zootopia,” and “Big Hero 6.”  The animated team here along with director Andrew Stanton have given fans a magnificent movie to behold, a sequel that will go down in Pixar ages.

What really surprised me about “Finding Dory” was the message that it had for kids.  Dory basically has a memory problem which classifies her as a special needs sort of fish.  A lot of the other characters in this film also have special needs and the message going out to kids is simple:  It doesn’t matter what gifts or talents you have, or even disabilities, anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  Hence the phrase, “just keep swimming.”  I have heard that “Finding Dory” is really geared towards a special needs audience and I think it’s really special and touching that Pixar made a film geared towards not just adults and other kids but the select few who have certain disabilities.  To me that was very touching and Dory is a a great spokesperson and example for kids of all shapes and sizes to follow, which makes her a great character.  I am glad that “Finding Dory” got made and I think the 13 long years was definitely worth the wait.

“Finding Dory” isn’t just a great sequel but it is a great movie.  The message is touching and heartfelt and the characters are fun and loving, making this film a feel-good time at the movies this summer.  “Finding Dory” was quite delightful and was the biggest surprise for me this year.  This is an exceptional film that people of all ages can enjoy and this movie is bound to make a gargantuan sum of money at the box-office this weekend.  “Finding Dory” touched me, and I haven’t felt that Pixar magic in many years and I gladly welcome its return.  This is the standout film so far this summer and I implore you to swim to the movies this holiday weekend.

Grade:  A+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *