“Finding Dory” Review: A Whale of a Tale!
Finally! Dory is back! In 2003, when Finding Nemo was released, I can’t tell you how many times I saw that movie both in the theaters and then on video. It was my favorite movie for a very long time and had everyone in my family watch it. You can imagine how excited I was to hear that they were finally going to release a sequel thirteen years later. Was it worth the wait?
Finding Dory is the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo starring Albert Brooks as Marlin, Hayden Rolance as Nemo and the wonderful Ellen Degeneres as Dory. Dory finally remembers something from her past and must go on another very long journey across the oceans to find her parents. Along the way, they face many dangers, and Dory, Marlin and Nemo must work together to help Dory find her family. They get help along the way from some truly great characters as they make their way to The Jewel of Morro Bay California.
In Finding Dory we get to see a lot of the same characters back in action with the return of Dory, Marlin, Nemo and the fish that live near them, plus Mr. Ray. Briefly we encounter Crush the surf loving sea turtle, but many of the characters from the prior film do not return, which was slightly disappointing. The new characters that we get to meet are pretty great, such as Destiny a short-sighted whale, Bailey (Ty Burrell), a Beluga whale, Hank (Ed O’Neill) the octopus, and of course Dory’s parents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy).
In addition to those characters, there are some pretty funny side characters with a bird named Becky who doesn’t say anything but has some great moments in the film. There are also three, seals Gerald, Rudder and Fluke who help the story along with some funny commentary along the way. One problem I see is with the seal named Gerald. They portray Gerald as very stupid and some would even argue that he is portrayed as mentally challenged, and the two other seals use and make fun of him. I can see some people getting offended by that, so I did want to point that one out.
In the film, they feature a young Dory, who is beyond adorable. She is this little fish with big giant eyes just being so adorably confused. I think those were some of my favorite moments in the film. Dory’s relationship with the paranoid and anti-social octopus, Hank is rather amusing as well. Her bright-eyed optimism is in total contrast with his anti-social pessimist demeanor. At one point he says that he just wants to live in a glass box and be left alone. I sympathize with Hank. Sometimes I want to live in a glass box and be left alone. Bailey and Destiny are two other really great new characters that are a lot of fun and add a great level of humor and heart to the film.
The story of the film is pretty straight forward: Dory is looking for her family and they must go an adventure to find them. Along the way she encounters new fish and friends and some old ones as well. The story has a lot of moments where Dory is having a flash back or starts remembering something from her childhood. Those moments are handled very well and are balanced with the rest of the film. Sometimes in films where there are flashbacks, they go too much back and forth and it gets confusing, but Finding Dory handles it well.
Overall, the story, characters and animation weave a wonderful tale. Dory and her friends are back, and they just keep swimming and swimming their way into your heart. The film is an instant classic for families and children of all ages. Finding Dory is the heartwarming story of family and friendship and believing in yourself that brings happiness to all.