Written By: Traves Bezenar
Like the title says, it’s been thirteen years since Disney/Pixar’s hit ‘Finding Nemo’ first swam into theaters and into our hearts. By the time it was done in theaters, ‘Finding Nemo’ had pulled in nearly a billion dollars in box office revenue and the sequel, which we will be discussing here today, is on par to top that impressive haul. However, the absolute most impressive thing about ‘Finding Nemo’ wasn’t the money it made but the endearing cast of characters. Whether you loved Nemo, Marlin, Crush or Squirt, every single character in the movie made a lasting impact, but none more so than Dory, the blue tang with short term memory issues. As you might expect ‘Finding Dory’ focuses on Dory’s origin story but it also includes cameos from all the other fan favorites I mentioned plus many more. With all that introduction information out of the way the question still remains, was it worth the thirteen year wait?
The jumping off point for this review has to be the cast. As mentioned in the introduction the majority of the original ‘Finding Nemo’ cast returns for at least a bit part in this movie. Most notable of the returns are Albert Brooks as Marlin who gives a stellar and heartfelt performance, Hayden Rolence as Nemo who’s just as innocent, brave, and endearing as ever, and of course Ellen Degeneres as the titular Dory. Ellen is spot on in her reprisal as Dory playing the character effortlessly while still managing to give her depth. New to the main cast this time around is Ed O’Neil as Hank the seven legged octopus (septopus). O’Neil’s performance here is a thing of beauty especially for people that grew up watching him as the father on ‘Married With Children’. His character, Hank, is a neurotic, angry, self serving jerk that you still can’t help but fall in love with. The other notable newcomers to the franchise are Kaitlin Olson as Destiny, Ty Burrell as Bailey, and the man that’s quickly becoming a Disney staple Idris Elba as Fluke.
The cast wasn’t the only thing to get an upgrade in this sequel, the computer generated characters, lighting effects, and music are also top notch. Pixar used an interesting technology to shoot ‘Finding Dory’ where the computer characters move around their environment like real actors would on set. Lighting effects and cameras can then be added and adjusted to capture the scene from multiple angles or perspectives. Suffice it to say, “Finding Dory’ is a beautifully shot movie with a world full of bright vibrant colors and interesting things to behold.
Lastly we have to touch on the plot. I promise, like always, not to spoil anything major for you. ‘Finding Dory’ picks up after the events of the first movie. Marlin, Nemo, and Dory are living happily back at the reef where Nemo and Marlin are from. The movie gets going rather quickly and makes sure to address Dory’s memory problems as they play a huge part in the film’s plot. In a flash of sense/memory revelation Dory remembers her parents and sets off on a quest across the ocean to find them. During the journey we get to see many familiar faces plus a host of new ones that are as endearing as anything from ‘Finding Nemo’.
In the end you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not ‘Finding Dory’ is worth seeing but in my opinion the answer is a resounding yes. I loved this movie and will hold fast in my opinion that it’s even better than the original. The cast is better and the characters more fleshed out, the visuals are amazing, and the story is a heartwarming epic that’s sure to be an instant classic. My recommendation is to drop what you’re doing and immediately see ‘Finding Dory’. Hell, see it twice, you know Dory would.