While far from the obvious candidate for a Pixar sequel, Finding Dory delivers a worthy follow-up around Dory and her oceanic friends in endearing and swimmingly form. 

A conglomerated studio acclaimed for its original material and unique levels of storytelling now aim to reach the confines of your wallets, wondrously allowing audiences to revisit their most adored childhood characters and friends.

Pixar’s latest stream of former, current and upcoming sequels may annoy, aggravate and disrupt the current state of original storytelling for some. For others, the simple mutter of the phrase “just keep swimming” will have audiences burst into tears of excitement and sheer nostalgia.

Set a year after the events of Finding Nemo, charismatic Dory and her short term memory suddenly recalls her lost family and the place she once called home. Journeying onto the bays of California, Dory, Marlin and Nemo head north to the Monetary Marine Life Institute. Along with some old and new friends, Dory discovers the true meaning of family and friends in yet another glorious win for Pixar Studios.

As local cinemas this weekend crowd themselves with eager children and families, one can not help but notice the fellow early twenty-something year olds paying their hard earned money to a trip down memory lane. Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) finds to the wonderment of our audience, yet another worthwhile tale amongst the sea of witty and scaly characters he brought to cinematic life thirteen years earlier.

Excellently, Stanton and fellow co-writer Victoria Strouse strike wonders with their latest sequel in its cleverly paced narrative. Rarely a drop in its screenplay, Finding Dory differentiates itself from its predecessor in its execution and character arcs that comparisons between the two are almost unjust.


finding dory review

Shifting the focus onto a supporting character for a follow-up is indeed a tough feat, a tactic failed in one of Pixar’s own lesser quality sequels (Cars 2). However, Ellen DeGeneres‘ charismatically bright voice work and excitably loveable qualities of Dory are enough to stand the film’s one hundred minute run time.

Dory’s short term memory loss becomes a crucial element in Dory’s quest to find her family and never becomes a hindrance to the overall impact of the story. While its writers never aim the sequel to be the studio’s most original material, the Pixar charm delivers Finding Dory to its most endearing and purely sweet message.

Where its predecessor scoped the open world of the gorgeous and unpredictable ocean, Stanton’s sequel opts for a much more personal and enclosed tale, cleverly creating reminiscent emotions that evoke same sentiments we as an audience fell in love with thirteen years ago.

Marlin and Nemo return once again for the franchise’s relatable and wholeheartedly sweet father-son duo. Out on display once again, Marlin’s continuous pessimism for his family and friends is hilariously charming while Nemo’s particular cuteness and adventurous tenacity will earn his noteworthy “awww”s once more.

With any sequel however is its introduction to fresh faces and new characters. Most notably the introduction to Hank, a wise septopus (an octopus with a missing tentacle) whose simple need is to leave the sanctuary institute results in one of Pixar’s most memorable characters to date.

With a back story and character profile enough for his own movie (Finding Hank, anyone?), Hank’s bitter yet glimpses of empathy mirrors that of Carl Fredricksen of Up only made to wonders thanks to the vocal workings of Ed O’Neill.

baby dory

As with Pixar’s finest work, Finding Dory finds its peak at its most emotional moments. Flashing to and from memories of Dory’s adorable youth, Stanton never simply relies on these minuscule scenes to elicit tears, but in usual Pixar form delves into the emotional centre point of these characters and stories – a success in delivering a truly memorable Pixar experience.

To reiterate, while its narrative remains far from the studio’s original material, the charm is as strong as it was twenty years ago since Pixar first debuted Toy Story. The film’s final act feels oddly reminiscent of the 1995 classic effort and so, feels familiar and predictable.

But as Dory’s forgettable tendencies and sheer loveable takes over the screen, one can’t help but feel eight years old once again, witnessing these characters brought to life for another memorable adventure.

Published originally on Blogspot