Finding Dory Review

The Plot

The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish begins a search for her long-lost parents and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.

The Good

After famously campaigning for a sequel to the 2003 animated hit on her chat show for 10 years, Ellen DeGeneres has been rewarded with not only the sequel, but one centered entirely on her character! Finding Dory picks up one year after the events which united the forgetful fish with father and son clownfish Marlin and Nemo. This new chapter sees Dory on a quest to find her own parents and remember who she once was.

The long-awaited sequel manages to bring a host of entertaining new characters without having to rely too heavily on the ones which made the first such a hit (apart from of course the titular one…). Though a few do pop back up, they never seem too forced and are quickly discarded to make way for the newcomers. Of these newcomers is Hank, an octopus intent on escaping the Marine Life Institute where the majority of the film takes place. Desperate to take Dory’s place on a truck leaving in the morning, he teams up with her to help her find her parents with his often hilarious disguises and camouflages.

Meanwhile, outside the institute, Marlin and Nemo are trying to find a way in to find their friend and help her. With this comes one of the highlights of the film and a clear throwback to Finding Nemo’s seagulls in a pair of sealions named Fluke and Rudder voiced brilliantly by Idris Elba and Dominic West respectively.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the thirteen year wait between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory doesn’t seem to bring much new to the screen. Though the main bulk of the story takes place in a Marine Life Institute, it ultimately feels incredibly lacking in its exploration of the setting. In a post Blackfish world and with this being a Pixar film, it’s a real shame to see the potential for a heartbreaking plot not be taken advantage of fully. That’s not to say there aren’t any upsetting scenes in Finding Dory (it would be hard not to make the story of parents losing their child upsetting), it just never hits the Up style heart-breaking sequences and instead ends up a by the books film which just feels totally lacking everywhere.

The Ugly Truth

With some genuinely funny moments Finding Dory ultimately feels like it perhaps missed opportunities for more interesting or challenging story lines. Though naturally fans of the original and younger audiences will be particularly happy to simply see the lovely Blue Tang just keep swimming.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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