Saturday, July 2, 2016

Finding Dory

"Finding Nemo" is possibly my favorite Pixar movie, so I was skeptical when "Finding Dory" was announced. "Finding Nemo" needed nothing more. A sequel would only dilute its power. But the more I heard about the film, the more I believed that this wasn't just a cash grab, that Pixar might just have a good story to tell.  I wasn't disappointed. Though "Finding Nemo" remains a perfect film in and of itself, "Finding Dory" adds a new angle that enriches the story in ways I'd never considered.

The plot is simple: A year after the first movie, Dory is living happily with Marlin and Nemo, when her faulty memory suddenly allows her to remember the parents she lost years ago. The three fish cross the ocean and search for her parents in the Marine Life Institute, a fish hospital in California. They meet new characters and run into several mishaps along the way, all of which are very amusing, leading to a glorious, over-the-top climax that still fills me with glee.

But the best thing about this movie, the reason that I'm glad it exists, is the focus on Dory. In the first film, Dory's memory loss is just a running gag. This movie examines the true cost of such a disability, all the problems and fears it brings Dory and the loving parents who struggle to help Dory navigate the world. The devotion of Dory's parents is so heartwarming and life-affirming, and wonderfully highlights the struggles and joys of raising a special needs child. I've seen this movie twice now, and there's a part of this plot line that made me cry both times.

Overall, Finding Dory is not on the same level of Finding Nemo--the characters and situations just aren't as memorable. However, few movies could best Finding Nemo for me, so this is in no way a condemnation--and I will point out that it was better the second time, so this movie could very well become just as iconic with a few years of hindsight. It's a very worthy sequel to the original, with some very funny moments and a wonderful message and a great, crazy ending. Very much recommended.

Bonus: The short before the movie is gorgeous.

Just look at this:

This picture doesn't do the animation justice. The detail is stunning--you can see individual feathers and grains of sand. Plus, the story is so adorable you might just die of the cuteness before the main feature starts.


  1. I kind of want to see this, and I kind of don't -- like you, I think Finding Nemo is pretty darn perfect, and... I think I'll wait for this one to come to DVD. Unless it's still in theaters in a couple weeks, when I'll have time to see it.

  2. I think it's worth seeing in theaters. It's definitely got some wonderful scenery. If nothing else, "Piper" deserves to have it seen on the big screen in full, glorious detail.

    1. Well, the next two weekends are out, but if it's still around before Jason Bourne claims my attention, I'll probably give it a whirl!