Direction: Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane
Voices: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks
The bright-blue, big-eyed tang who played second fiddle to the titular orange-and-white clownfish in Finding Nemo (2003) washes up on the big screen again in this eye-popping animated sequel.
Belatedly getting her own spin-off, Dory (voiced in endearing tones by the celebrated talk show host DeGeneres) sets off on an all-new deep-sea adventure.
Read More: 5 fascinating Finding Dory facts
This time around, the famously forgetful fish embarks on a dangerous mission to reconnect with her long-lost parents (Diane Keaton-Eugene Levy).
Accompanied by the now-grown-up Nemo (Hayden Rolence, replacing the first film’s Alexander Gould) and his father (Brooks, reprising his voice role), the trio ‘just keep swimming’ until they reach the Marine Life Institute on California’s coastline.
Captured and tagged for shipment to Cleveland, Dory also finds unlikely allies in an irascible octopus (Ed O’Neill), a near-sighted whale shark (Kaitlin Olson) and a couple of territorial sea lions (Idris Elba-Dominic West, the film’s comic highlights).
Co-director and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton (A Bug’s Life, WALL-E) creates a colourful underwater world that is a joy to behold. A variety of oceanic plants and shoals of fish are rendered vividly tangible by three-dimensional computer-generated imagery.
Besides dazzling visual design, the film is replete with clever sight gags and exciting action set pieces. All the sea creatures are animated expressively.
Thinly veiled life lessons about loyalty to family and friends are sought to be imparted for the sprats. The recurring use of Sigourney Weaver’s voice in the bay/aquarium sequences is a nod to old timers in the audience who may however experience some restlessness as slapstick chases seep in towards the climax.
This fishy tale may not be as lively as its popular predecessor. Still, Finding Dory strikes gold anew for a new generation of family filmgoers.
As a bonus, a wonderful, wordless animated short titled Piper precedes the feature. So, do get to the multiplex in time.