The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish begins a search for her long-lost parents, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.
Title :Finding Dory (2016)
Rating : 7.5/10
Release : 17 June 2016
Genre : Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Director:Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Stars :Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill
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Finding Dory (2016) trailer
Finding Dory (2016) review
Finding Dory was just delightful. I loved it. My biologist husband liked it although he kept whispering things like “That’s not really an Open Ocean Exhibit.” My tween daughter adored it (“A+!”). I did not consult with any smaller children, but the theater I sat in seemed to be a happy place. My reviewing duties were made even easier by a very young child who periodically and gleefully yelled out helpful things like, “This movie is Finding Dory!” and “That’s Dory!” Thank you, small child, for eliminating any possible confusion I might have had. It’s a complicated plot and without your help I might have missed something, you never know.
Finding Dory is, of course, the sequel to Finding Nemo, in which a clownfish named Marlin searched for his missing son, Nemo, with the help of Dory. Dory is a fish with short-term memory loss, which is mostly played for humor in Finding Nemo with the exception of one brief and heartbreaking scene. In Finding Dory, Dory remembers her parents and becomes determined to find them. With the help of a large ensemble including Marlin, Nemo, Hank (an octopus), a beluga whale, and a whale shark, Dory searches the ocean as well as a huge aquarium (loosely based on my favorite place, the Monterey Bay Aquarium) in hopes of reuniting with her family.
Anyone who knows Pixar knows the drill. The film is introduced with another, short film (the relentlessly adorable “Piper” which has gorgeous animation) and then we commence to laugh and cry for about 90 minutes and then we go home better people. One rates a Pixar movie not by whether you laugh and cry, since those are givens, but by the intensity of each. This movie had high intensity of feels.
Like most Pixar movies, the plot itself is based on a simple premise (Dory looks for her parents) with Rube Goldberg-esque complications along the way. It’s not a beautifully structured as Monsters Inc or Finding Nemo, but it gets the job of delivering feels done effectively. The scariness quotient is much the same as in Finding Nemo, so take that into account if you are viewing with kids.
This movie is beautifully, fabulously funny, with layers of funny that make it enjoyable for kids and for adults. I truly think this is one of the most consistently funny Pixar movies in ages, although I’m biased because one of the main characters is an octopus that camouflages himself and every time a new hiding place was revealed I became helpless with laughter. Why? What made that so funny? I could seriously spend a full day watching Hank (the octopus) disguise himself as things. It’s hard for me to believe that the whole world shares my obsession with playing “Where’s Hank” but the theater did seem awfully festive – lotta laughing in that audience.
There’s a moment in Finding Dory that filled a gap in my soul that I had not previously existed. Because of this scene my world is a better place. When beset by the many tragedies of the world, all I’ll have to think is, “Yes but, there was that scene in Finding Dory,” and I just know I’ll perk right up. I’m not going to spoil it for you but I will tell you that Hank the Octopus is involved, and so are otters. It may be the finest moment in all of cinema.
This movie is also a wonderful exploration of living with a disability. Dory’s memory loss is portrayed as something that has a huge impact on Dory and on the people around her. I kept expecting (and dreading) that she’d be magically cured, and it’s true that her memory loss seems inconsistent. But generally, instead of the movie being about Dory getting “fixed,” the movie is about Dory learning various strategies and using different methods to cope with her memory loss. She learns that she can meet her goals, but she can’t meet them by either giving up or by pretending that she doesn’t have a memory loss problem. She has to be creative.