Directed by Andrew Stanton
Written by Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse
Starring by Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, and Sigourney Weaver
After 13 years Pixar brings to the world the sequel to its 2003 movie “Finding Nemo.” “Finding Dory” is a worthy sequel to “Finding Nemo” because the movie is just about as strong and well-made as its predecessor. “Finding Dory” has everything that you have come to expect from a film from Pixar Animation Studios: fantastic animation, a multilevel narrative, and a talented voice cast. Just because “Finding Dory” is one of the rare sequels that match its predecessor does not mean that it avoided the pitfalls that face the majority of sequels.
First and foremost, the animation in “Finding Dory,” like with pretty much anything Pixar does, is top notch. What they were able to accomplish with the water and the environment in this movie was incredible. Even the character animation has come a long way from where it was 13 years ago. Aside from the animation, the voice talent involved in “Finding Dory” were outstanding. Ellen DeGeneres reprises her movie-stealing role of Dory from “Finding Nemo.” Again DeGeneres delivers comic gold as Dory because let’s face it DeGeneres’ delivery is made for a character like Dory. The rest of the voice cast includes an excellent performance from Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, and of course Kaitlin Olson from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” because nothing says Disney/Pixar like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
On one level the narrative of “Finding Dory” gives you a heavy dose of “Finding Nemo” déjà vu, on another level “Finding Dory” is a movie about overcoming adversity and accomplishing your goals regardless of what obstacles stand in your way. I do not just mean in the context of those with special needs; I am talking about people having to achieve their goals through any adversity, as seen in Dory’s famous line “just keep swimming.” “Finding Dory” very effectively showed how Dory was able to overcome her short term memory issues, which is the obstacle that Dory needs to overcome, and find her way home.
While “Finding Dory” does have a sense of déjà vu regarding basic plot and tone of the movie – as is the case with many sequels – where “Finding Dory” succeeds is that the finding Dory in “Finding Dory” is a more metaphoric finding than it was in “Finding Nemo.” There is never need to find Dory, but what the movie is about is about Dory finding out who she is and where she comes from; taking this finding from something that is literal to something more metaphoric kept “Finding Dory” from a “The Hangover Part II” situation. That is when the movie crosses the threshold from déjà vu to being a carbon copy of the original.