“I remember it like it was yesterday. Of course, I don't really remember yesterday all that well” -Dory *
In 2003 Disney Pixar released a quaint little film about a timid clownfish called Marlin whose world is turned upside down when son Nemo is captured by a diver on the Great Barrier Reef. Cue an epic adventure involving sharks, sea turtles, oh and a little Blue Tang fish named Dory.
Finding Nemo was a massive success with characters that melt your heart and a fantastic storyline outlining the power of parental love and the tenacity and the resilience of youth. But what was surprising about the film was just how much the character Dory would permeate into our psyche with her “just keep swimming” motto and ability to speak “whale”. It therefore made sense that the sequel would revolve round her.
Finding Dory answers the questions from the first film, what exactly was Dory doing before she bumped into Marlin and embarked on her adventure to find Nemo? Why doesn’t Dory have any family? And where on earth did she learn to speak “whale?”
Not only does the film answer these questions, it gives us an insight on just how difficult and frightening it is for Dory who has to live with her short term memory loss. As we’ve established from the first movie, Dory may be forgetful but she certainly isn’t stupid, a point that Nemo keeps having to reiterate to his father. The film tackles some rather heavy subject matter in a way that tugs on the heart strings of viewers young and old without being traumatic. Comedy is interspersed throughout and the film juggles the subject matter nicely without going down either the too depressing or too cheesy route that some animations aimed at children take.
This movie has every quality that is desired to take you on a journey of discovery cinematically. As with all Pixar movies, the animation is visually stunning. Ellen DeGeneres (voice of Dory) and Albert Brookes (voice of Marlin) give yet again, impressive vocal performances that seamlessly make you believe that little fish have personalities and can talk. Oh and did I mention, the film’s heart-warming storyline?
My only complaint about the film, isn’t really a complaint, I just miss “Bruce the shark” but not to worry as lead writer Andrew Stanton has given us new characters such as Hank, the octopus (voiced by Ed O’Neill) to fill that big shark shaped hole that Bruce has left.
All in all, this is Disney Pixar at its best, considering sequels don’t usually have the same wow factor that originals do. As a child I remember such Disney sequels as “The Return of Jafar” and how disappointing it was to realise that the most loved character was not being voiced by the same lead actor and also how little attention was paid to a good solid storyline. Finding Dory certainly does not fall into that trap, in fact the film holds its own in every way.
I wouldn’t have cared less if this film had bombed at the box office (it didn’t, it is one of the top films of 2016), I loved it! I recommend every parent to sit with their children and watch this film, actually, even if you don’t have children, this film stands on its own fins and you should watch it anyway.
Finding Dory is inspirational, funny, warm and contains the type of message I would want my children to absorb. A huge “job well done” to everyone who made this film happen. Disney has worked its magic on me yet again and I aint complaining about it.
10 out of 10 stars