Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Eugene Levy, Diane Keaton, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson, Idris Elba, Bill Hader, Dominic West, Sigourney Weaver
Written By: Andrew Stanton, Victoria Strouse
Directed By: Andrew Stanton
Studio: Disney / Buena Vista
Buy On Amazon.com
I was never much of a fan of Finding Nemo. It’s one of the Pixar movies that I generally don’t like as much as others. Finding Dory ended up being a lot better in my opinion, and Ellen DeGeneres isn’t annoying in this like she was in Finding Nemo.
The movie starts out with a flashback of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) as a child with her parents (Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy). She was always forgetful with short term memory loss, even as a kid. Dory ends up getting separated from her parents and eventually she just forgets about them. It’s not until one year after the reunion of Nemo with his Father, Marlin (Albert Brooks) that she suddenly remembers her family. She goes searching for them in California, since that’s the only thing she can remember. She gets some help from Marlin and Nemo of course, but also a grumpy octopus Hank (Ed O’Neill), a beluga whale Bailey (Ty Burrell), a whale shark Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) and many more creatures.
To me, Finding Dory is a much better story and less annoying than Finding Nemo. We don’t have an entire movie of Albert Brooks screaming “Nemo!” or Ellen being overly annoying. Thankfully, she toned down all that and Albert Brooks isn’t screaming every other line. I found the movie to be sweet, funny and beautifully done. I was genuinely laughing out loud for some scenes, especially with Idris Elba and Dominic West characters who were British sea lions (Hey! The Wire reunion!). The hand pool scene was another scene I was cracking up for. Definitely makes you want to second guess sticking your hand in that pool the next time you come across one. I also absolutely loved the sea otters in the movie and if Pixar is running out of ideas for their movies (I know they aren’t), a Sea Otter movie would be gold! Hey, what about a CGI version of Emmet Otter but without all the depressing storylines? On a serious note, I thought they handled short term memory loss well, so much that it made me want to cry seeing a young Dory with it. Damn Pixar always making me want to shed a tear.
The animation continues to impress me from Pixar. At one point, I was in the kitchen and looked up at the TV from far away and it was the end with the cars/trucks. I thought for a second it was real life; that’s how good their animation is getting! Unlike other studio animation films, Pixar always have recognizable characters and none of the characters blend in. You can tell that they put a lot of thinking into the character designs. After all, they have to think of merchandising and theme parks as well. Even though I didn’t like Finding Nemo as much as other Pixar movies, I could always appreciate the animation and how vibrant everything was. The same can be said for Finding Dory, but now the animation is ten times better. I also particularly like the story better. My only complaint is that the end kind of fizzles out a little but maybe I just need to re-watch it.
The extras include the animated short Piper, the animation and the acting, how Hank the octopus almost broke Pixar, deleted scenes, marine life interviews, and other stuff. The Piper animated short was really cute, like most of the animated shorts from Pixar. There’s an amusing extra where director Andrew Stanton is driving all the male actors to work and carpooling. It’s a few minutes long but it’s fun; almost wish it was longer. There’s a good featurette on the actors doing their thing in the booth, and I loved the featurette on how Hank almost broke Pixar. I guess the character was one of the most difficult things they ever animated. The way an octopus moves and all that is extremely difficult to animate. I bet a few of the animators that worked on the character were happy when this was movie was done. The marine life interviews was funny but felt a little short.
At this point, you should know what to expect from a Pixar movie. If you’ve seen Finding Nemo, be prepared to watch this a million times over and over parents. Good thing I like Pixar movies and don’t mind watching them. I thought Finding Dory was better than Finding Nemo, but it also gives some depth to Dory in Finding Nemo now.
All New Mini Short: Marine Life Interviews MLI Residents Remember our Favorite Blue Tang.
Piper Short Film: A Sandpiper Hatching Digs for Food in the Sand and Encounters Scary Waves
Animation and Acting – A look at the Art of Creating a Deep and Profound Connection Between and Audience and a Fish.
The Octopus That Nearly Broke Pixar: Unravel the Challenge and Rewards of Bringing to Life Pixar’s Crankiest, Most Technically Challenging Character Ever.
Deep in The Kelp – See How Far the Crew Went to Make Dory’s World Believable.
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS-HD 5.1
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color
Bottom Line: I liked Finding Dory more than Finding Nemo. There I said it!
Running Time: 97 mins