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Finding Dory

Pixar sequels haven’t generally worked out, bar the Toy Story trilogy, the sequels they’ve given us are Monster’s University and Cars 2; both have been step-downs from the originals. Finding Dory is the long-awaited sequel (13 years) to Finding Nemo, it is better than the Monster’s and Cars sequels, but it doesn’t live up to the standard set by the original.

Finding Dory picks up a year after the events of the first film. The forgetful Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is living happily with Marlon (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence). However, after triggering a memory from her past, Dory remembers that she lost her family, who lived in California. So Dory, Marlon, and Nemo, set off on an adventure to find Dory’s family.

I can see why the filmmakers felt reluctant making a sequel: the film would be carried by a main character with short-term memory loss, that’s extremely risky to rely on, however, I feel that screenwriters Andrew Stanton (who also directed) and Victoria Strouse do a great job in filling possible plot-holes with great creative ideas. All of the refreshing Pixar humor is here too, and when it’s paired with the great voice of Ellen DeGeneres, everything seems to work out. We are also introduced to a variety of new characters, one of which is Hank (voiced by Ed O’Neill), a seven legged octopus who wants nothing more than to go to an aquarium in Cleveland and have some quiet alone time in his tank. The thing about most sequels, though, is that they take the good aspects from the first film and they recycle them with a different look for the second and third and so on; Finding Dory certainly did that, but it is because of this that it stumbles down an unwanted path.

What made Toy Story 2 and 3 such great movies is that they took the characters from the original and told different and progressing stories with them. Finding Dory was, unfortunately, too similar to Finding Nemo, so that, as great as the dialogue might be, there’s isn’t that organic feeling that the Pixar films usually convey. If you have sequels that revolve around redundancy, it doesn’t matter how well you spin it, it’s going to seem forced.

But what I love so much about Pixar movies, and films in general, is the subtle messages hidden within. No doubt, many people will take different messages from Finding Dory, but the one that I took was about people of disability; it doesn’t matter if you’re a forgetful fish, a seven-legged octopus, or a whale shark who cant swim, if you set your mind to something, then you can do anything. It is these subtle lessons that make Pixar films so great for children to watch, and such an enlightening time for adults to experience.



About Young Critic

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I've been writing on different version of this website since February of 2013. I originally founded the website in a film-buff phase in high school, but it has since continued through college and into my adult life. Young Critic may be getting older, but the love and passion for film is forever young. 

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