FINDING DORY – Film Review

The long-awaited sequel to the beloved children’s animated film Finding Nemo is finally here, and is exceptionally charming and even better than the 2003 original.

Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a fish living in the ocean, suffers from short-term memory loss, and has been separated from her family for a long time. Now, she must team up with her fellow friends including Nemo (Hayden Rolence) to find her parents.

The 2003 film Finding Nemo is an extremely special film to me – maybe it actually is the most special film of all time to me. The reason why is because it was the first film I ever saw in a movie theatre, which is now practically my second home. I do actually remember a little bit of that theatre-going experience back in 2003, and being transfixed by everything that transpired in the film. I had also been blown away by the 3D in the film, which is funny, considering I do not like 3D these days.

So when I heard that a sequel to that film was being released, I was eager to see if it could be better than the original, or end up being nothing more than a bland nostalgia trip for kids born in the early 2000s. Fortunately, it was an excellent time, and I actually think Finding Dory is a better film than Finding Nemo.

Finding Dory (2016)

This animated picture’s humor is really well done and lighthearted. I was consistently laughing at a plethora of jokes throughout the film’s entire running time. There are several times in which the filmmakers ensure that viewers are paying close attention to the dialogue in order to understand certain jokes which I appreciate so much. When you watch a film, you should be paying attention, and taking notice of things, and if you do that while watching Finding Dory, you will find a lot of the humor to be extremely well-timed and clever.

I also loved the touching story of Dory attempting to find her parents, which lead to emotional moments for the characters involved. I was always rooting for Dory the entire film, and it proves that the Disney-Pixar films still know how to make extremely emotional films even for grown-ups.

Finding Dory (2016)

Additionally, the animation present is beautiful and so well done. I cannot praise the animation team enough here, as everything looks so well crafted, and you can just tell by watching the film that countless hours went into the film to ensure everything looked as could as it could and more.

Also, the new characters that are introduced in Finding Dory are charming and likeable. Before walking in to see the film, I was worried that the characters would not be as strong as the characters in Finding Nemo but they were all great, and well-developed throughout. Each character has something important to do in the story, which was great to see. Easily the best new character introduced in Finding Dory is the octopus Hank (Ed O’Neill) who steals many scenes with his humor. However, some jokes can be recycled which does get a bit repetitive from time to time, which was unfortunate.

Finding Dory is an exceptionally charming film about family and has good messages for kids, even if some of the humor can be repetitive.

Overall Grade: A

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements

Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Running Time: 97 minutes


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