Directed by Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill
Released June 17th, 2016
Finding Dory is Pixar’s best sequel since Toy Story 2.
Set one year after the ocean-spanning events of 2003’s Finding Nemo, the story focuses on Dory’s search for her parents. As you’ll remember, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) suffers from short-term memory loss, which was played mostly for laughs in Finding Nemo, but tugs at the heartstrings something fierce in this sequel.
We meet Dory when she’s just a baby, with huge eyes and a voice that breaks your heart as she apologizes to her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) for her forgetfulness.
Perhaps no studio is able to manipulate their audience’s emotions as easily as Pixar, and Finding Dory finds them at the height of their powers.
I openly cried in the theater as baby Dory is separated from her parents and spends her life trying to find them. Yes, I was a blubbering mess throughout these opening scenes. Ok, I was a blubbering mess throughout most of the movie.
Albert Brooks is back as doting father Marlin, but Alexander Gould, the original voice of Nemo, has grown up, so he voices a few background characters. Hayden Rolence does a fine job in his place as the little Clownfish.
Perhaps no studio is able to manipulate their audience’s emotions as easily as Pixar, and “Finding Dory” finds them at the height of their powers.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Kaitlin Olsen voices Destiny, a near-sighted whale shark, and Ty Burrell is her beluga pal Bailey. These two are hilarious together, and I love Destiny’s connection to Dory.
If Dory was the breakout character of Finding Nemo, the breakout character here is Hank, a surly octopus with seven legs (a septopus?) voiced by Ed O’Neill. Director/Writer Andrew Stanton wisely chooses to keep Hank on the up-and-up, instead of making him yet another Pixar character you think is good but turns out to be a baddie (I’m looking at you, Lotso Bear).
Finding Dory is a very funny film, with a running gag involving Sigourney Weaver that made me chuckle every single time, and characters that instantly join the ranks of your Pixar favorites. I found Finding Dory to be a much more rewarding, involving experience than Finding Nemo.
It’s easy to gush about the visuals of Finding Dory (and you should!) but I must point out how wonderful the music is as well. Thomas Newman’s delicate score keeps you serenely submerged with the coral, shells, and fish, and while you wait for the post-credits scene you’ll be treated to Sia’s fine version of “Unforgettable.”
Legendary guitarist Adrian Belew provides surprisingly gentle music for PIPER, the excellent short that proceeds Finding Dory.
Finding Nemo was a feast for your eyes, while Finding Dory aims straight for your heart.