(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Finding Dory had a lot of charm and emotion and was beautifully animated, but it wasn’t as funny as the first movie and the ending was a little too outrageous for my liking!!!
Rating: 4 Stars
I was a senior in high school when Finding Nemo came out. I was blown away by the animation. Every little detail of the ocean was created to give you a big cinematic experience like no other. Yes the story, comedy, and emotion in this movie was great, but it really was the animation that set the bar high for future animated movies. To me, this was when Pixar broke through and become legendary in their craft. This made animated movies try to step up their game, and honestly, I’m glad it did, cuz animated movies today look awesome at the very least. Though to be honest, when I heard a sequel to Finding Nemo was in development, I immediately had my doubts, because Pixar’s sequels don’t really have a good track record. How can they top Finding Nemo? As my theory goes, the more time you take to make a great movie sequel, the better it will be. In a way, this happened to Finding Dory.
What I Like: Director Andrew Stanton continued the great animation that Finding Nemo had. The detail of the ocean is beautifully jaw dropping. I saw it in 3D and it was like I was swimming with the fishes in this movie (not in a mafia sort of way). The story developed Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. In Finding Nemo she just showed up as the fun loving amnesiac fish that helped Marlin, voiced by Albert Brooks to find his son. It shows what Dory’s life was before, and it was a really sad character story. How she got lost as a small fish, and her short term memory loss was an obstacle to reuniting with her parents. I really enjoyed seeing Dory fighting through her disability and achieving her goal by finding her family. I also enjoyed seeing the chemistry between Marlin and Nemo, voiced by Hayden Rolence, in this movie. You see more of a father and son relationship where both of the characters learn from each other and their latest experience helping Dory. The character development for all three main characters was great to watch and relate to. There were many new characters in this film, but my favorite new character was the octopus named Hank, voiced by Ed O’Neill. He comes across as a selfish jerk at the beginning, but after meeting Dory which started off as a selfish favor, he found himself becoming a better person (or octopus). Again, it’s more great character development. Just like Finding Nemo (and really most Pixar movies), it packs an emotional punch for all people to relate and learn. Last, the short before the movie, Piper, was a cute short with probably some of the best animation I have seen.
The So So: I thought the comedy in this movie took a step back. I wasn’t laughing as much as before. There were some funny scenes like the sea lions lying on a rock barking at another sea lion trying to join them which had me chuckling. However, I wasn’t laughing as much as I should. Finding Dory didn’t have the thrilling dangerous close encounters with other sea creatures which made the first movie awesome. It only had the chase scene with the giant squid, and that’s it. The few thrilling moments were gold to watch. Same goes when Dory finally reunites with her parent. I thought it was a little underwhelming, and expected a better emotional punch. Don’t get me wrong, it is heartwarming, but not enough for me to almost shed a tear like other Pixar movies.
What I Didn’t Like: It is nitpicky of me, but there were some scenes that were too outrageous for me. One example is how can you move a stroller across the water park, and no human noticing that it is moving by itself? There were a lot of people in the park, and one should have noticed that. The ending of this movie however was just too outrageous for me. There really is no reason for all these fishes and other sea animals to pursue a truck on a highway, stop the truck, get in and rescue the animals, and have an octopus drive it around without crashing, and finally crashing it into the ocean (though I liked when they played the Louie Armstrong song while that scene was happening). First off, I feel sorry for the humans in losing that truck and all the animals. Those guys will get fired from their jobs all because Dory wants to save two fish. It was too outrageous for my liking, and lost a little of its sense of wonder and creativity. The ending makes this movie a little underwhelming.
Overall: The movie is good for the whole family to watch, but don’t expect it to be better than the first movie. When it comes to Pixar’s sequels, it is on Toy Story 2 status. Good enough, but not great enough to be on the upper pantheon of the legendary Pixar movies. You will have fun nonetheless, and look forward to what Pixar has next up its sleeve!!!
Rating: 4 Stars