Pixar has given us some of the most magical animated classics of this generation. They have managed to create sequels to these classics without beating a dead horse. 13 years later Finding Dory is no exception.
Finding Dory is set one year after the events of Finding Nemo. Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) set off on another adventure across the ocean, this time to find Dory’s parents.
The film gets straight into the journey and seems to lack the magical set up of the original. The slow build and less drastic situation doesn’t match the emotional investment and connection to the plot that Finding Nemo managed to conjure in the first soul-wrenching ten minutes.
The film slowly builds and sets the scene with the first half mainly focusing on Dory’s flashbacks from her childhood up to meeting Marlin, filling the blanks the first film had. This sets up the introduction of new characters that are brilliantly voiced and uniquely fresh adding moments of hysterics and sadness. Highlights include Hank the octopus (Ed O’Neil), Destiny the whale shark (Kaitlin Olson), Dory’s father (Eugene Levy) and Fluke the sea lion (Idris Elba).
With these added characters and Dory as the new protagonist Marlin and Nemo are oddly mere side characters with a smaller side story that only adds depth and familiar emotions to Dory’s journey. At times Finding Dory feels like a spin-off based in the Finding Nemo world rather than a direct sequel to the original.
The second half of the film perfectly connects with the pre foreshadowed events giving an ending of total mayhem, hilarious absurdity and complete yet predictable satisfaction like any other Pixar animation.
Similar to Toy Story 3, Finding Dory offers emotional closure to the generations that grew up on this film. Perhaps watching Finding Dory thirteen years later as a fully-grown adult has resulted in some of the magic being lost. However, the packed cinema audience made up of mainly adults left with smiles on their faces and no complaints, just happy to see their favourite characters on screen one more time.
Reviewed by Thomas Jackson