Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burell
There is a lot riding on the shoulders of Finding Dory considering a whole decade has passed since the first, Finding Nemo.
In the intermediate 13 years, Pixar didn’t let our tears dry with its string of excellent movies (Up, Inside Out, Toy Story 3, Brave and so on). Which meant Finding Dory not only needed to be a good sequel but also needed to fit the tempo Pixar built. Finding Dory wins on only one of these accounts though.
Unlike most Pixar movies, the film does not brim with sob-worthy moments. Dory, perfectly voiced by Ellen, is still her same dorky self, who even with her forgetfulness and incessant questions never gets irritating. At a few moments, the turn of events does get too convenient for the story to be believable. But hey, there is no way for three fish to swim across an entire ocean without getting eaten alive or befriending a whale or coming across truck-driving octopuses.
The new characters, including Dory’s whale friend from her childhood, a beluga whale who hasn’t discovered his true powers yet, two sea lions with thick Aussie accents and a Becky with the weird hair promise more than a few bouts of hearty laughter.
Continuing its trend (think Inside Out and Brave), Pixar doesn’t introduce any negative characters in this one. A charming movie on emotions and friendship, these fish do hurt each other with mean words but no one is actually here to cause harm.
Ed O’Neill, who voices Hank, the introverted octopus (more suitably, a septopus), is the only slightly grey character in the film. He is the Nick Wilde to Dory’s Judy Hopps (Whaddup! Zootopia reference).
Sequels tend to always go bigger than the first part and Finding Dory follows suits too. The swimming across the ocean part is done in mere five minutes and the actual adventure begins and ends in a marine life institute, a stark, and bigger, contrast to the dentist’s office from the first part.
Packed with adventures from the word go without much breathing space, the movie appears much shorter than its 1 hour 45 minutes.
But even with all the laughs and giggles, I doubt if I will carry Finding Dory in my heart as I carry Up or Inside Out or Toy Story 3. Those movies touched souls, crushed hearts and paved way for a slew of animated movies across studios where more than the quality of animation or the complexity of adventures, the power to move you -- mostly to tears -- was held paramount. Big Hero 6 (Disney) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Dream Works) are case in point.
All said and done, Finding Dory is a good and safe bet for your weekend movie cravings, but that’s about it. You can try to tell yourself that it teaches you to use your shortcomings to your advantage and other motivational stuff but nobody will truly believe that when the story is convenient. Be sure, you will laugh, your kids will laugh but be also sure, you will not cry.
Watch trailer here:
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