Finding Dory (2016)

6:28 AM

She Just Kept Swimming...
This review contains Spoilers
 Finding Dory is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2003 beloved classic Finding Nemo. The film is directed by Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Finding Nemo) and Angus MacLane. Finding Dory features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Kaitlin Olson and many others. "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". It took 13 years for this sequel to be made and released - is that because there wasn't a story worth telling or was it worth the wait?

Finding Dory is definitely worth the 13 year wait! The film is an extremely fun ride with beautiful animation. I did become a little worried about the quality of Finding Dory as when reviews came out, they were positive but weren't raving about the film - however, this film is definitely worth raving about! Easily one of the best films of the year, Disney add to the list of their stellar 2016 releases - Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Civil War are all joined by Finding Dory (we'll forget about Alice 2 and The BFG). Finding Dory will appeal to everyone - there are jokes that adults will understand, characters that kids will love - this is one of those rare films that has something for everyone in it - fantastic!

Pixar continue to produce films that are perfectly animated - other than the cartoon humans and fish, Finding Dory could easily pass as a live action film - everything looks so real! From the water to the buildings, Pixar really have found a way to blur the boundary between what is real and what isn't with their animation. All of the characters were also well animated - their expressions and their appearances were fantastic. Baby Dory is definitely a standout - who knew Pixar would be able to create a character that is so cute? I wouldn't be surprised if Disney almost fills the best animation category at the Oscars - Finding Dory and Zootopia are sure entries and Moana will likely be a third entry. 

The story for Finding Dory is as heart-warming and satisfying as any Pixar flick. Admittedly, Finding Dory isn't the most original Pixar film (it's a sequel, it's as original as it can be) but the plot is still very entertaining with some emotional and comedic moments. I liked the use of flashbacks in the film - they created a parallel and helped to develop a sideline story; In this film, there are two ways of 'Finding Dory' - 1. When Dory went missing as a child, separated from her family 2. Dory going missing when the film takes place, separated from Nemo and Marlin. I thought this was really clever. One of the funniest moments in the film was from the use of Sigourney Weaver - this was very funny and a joke that was consistently hilarious throughout the film. I also liked seeing Dory as the teaching assistant and when she thought she was going to have to teach SexEd. Finding Dory was also packed full of emotion - some moments that will tug at your heart strings are when Dory is first separated from her family and also when Dory is reunited with her family - both of these moments did bring a tear to my eye. 

Dory has to be one of the best characters the film industry has ever created - she perfectly shows that it doesn't matter what is holding you back, there is always a way of doing what you desire. Dory wouldn't be Dory without Ellen DeGeneres who does an excellent job voicing the character - she brings a lot of humour to the character and shows how much this character is made for her! I can see why DeGeneres was so passionate about making a sequel, she really does a great job playing Dory. Finding Dory also adds a lot of development to the character of Dory which I thought was great - we get to find out where she grew up, how she was separated and what her relationship was like with other fish (mainly her parents and Destiny). Baby Dory has a much larger role in this film than I was expecting and I loved it! I will briefly mention my favourite character in the film - Destiny - who was voiced well by Kaitlin Olson - I liked how Dory and Destiny were pipe pals and how the word Destiny was used throughout the film. Pixar really have created a special character with Dory - her message is like no other - she is full of optimism; there is always another way and what would Dory do? are great messages that this small fish gives - brilliant! I found Dory hilarious in Finding Nemo but I love her much more as a character after watching Finding Dory - the character development, performance and message all boosted my appreciation of Dory. 

Another character I would like to spotlight is Hank (the octopus). Hank is voiced by Ed O'Neill who does a good job (it is worth noting that all of the voice cast are excellent in this film). In my opinion, Hank is the only problem with Finding Dory - the character is a small bruise on an almost perfect body. I just thought the skills of the character were a little far fetched - Hank can camouflage, travel around buildings and drive a truck!?! Pixar almost made the mistake they made with the Cars movies - making these beings too much like humans. I don't know how Pixar could have solved the issue with Hank but I do think the character was just a little too clever. This brings me on to the finale of the film which was admittedly one of the weakest moments - mainly because of how far-fetched it was - no way would an octopus be able to drive a truck whilst a fish with short term memory loss directs him. However, I do have to also admit that the climax of this finale was very well edited and very funny. Ultimately, Finding Dory is a family, comedy film about talking fish - it isn't going to be realistic at all so I suppose I shouldn't be as harsh on the finale and Hank. 

I think I prefer Finding Dory over the original - I don't know whether that's because I grew up with Finding Nemo so I majorly overplayed it or whether this is just a better film. I thought Finding Dory was much more light-hearted even though it doesn't have as much originality as the first film. There are a few cameos in the film from old favourites - Crush, Squirt, Mr Ray and the characters from the fish tank all make appearances. It is also important to note that Finding Dory isn't just a rehash of the first film - it is completely different - the only similarity is that a fish goes missing. 

I didn't just like Finding Dory, I loved it! The film is so fun and exciting, it was definitely worth the long wait. I liked the new characters but I do have problems with Hank due to the lack of realism involved with his character. Dory comes out of this film looking better than ever - the character development, voice work, animation and her message in this film really does show how great of a character she is. The animation is beautiful and the finale is a tad over the top but it is entertaining nonetheless. Finding Dory is unforgettable (as Dory herself would say).


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