When she suddenly remembers some information from her past, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and her friends Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) set out to find the family that Dory has all but forgotten. Their adventure takes them across the seas with some old friends, and into a world that is safe and scary at the same time.
Ah 2016, the year of unnecessary seeming sequels; so far this year we have had sequels to Independence Day, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Now You See Me, and we have Bridget Jones’ Baby and Bad Santa 2 still to come. The good news is that while Finding Dory may seem to be a sequel to Finding Nemo that we didn’t really need, the film is as fun and funny as the first one, with a whole lot of heart.
Many of the cast have returned to this sequel; Albert Brooks reprises Marlin, Ellen DeGeneres returns to Dory and Alexander Gould – the original voice of Nemo – has a nice little cameo as Passenger Carl. New additions to the cast include Kaitlin Olson as a short sighted whale shark named Destiny, Ed O’Neill as an octopus named Hank, Idris Elba as a sea lion named Fluke and Ty Burrell as a beluga whale named Bailey. They are joined by Sigourney Weaver in a role mined for comedy, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton as Dory’s parents, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon and Sloane Murray as the adorable baby Dory.
The story, written by Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse is not actually that dissimilar to Finding Nemo, but it is the characters created for the film and the performances from the voice cast that make the film work as well as it does. There are plenty of gags – as one would expect from a Pixar movie – and the film relies on slapstick and sight jokes that work incredibly well. There is also a warm heart at the centre of Finding Dory, as one would expect from a Pixar film, with the message of acceptance and finding your own family winning out again.]
Veteran Pixar director Andrew Stanton is joined by experienced Pixar shorts director Angus MacLane for this film, and the two do well with the project. The film is as beautiful and magical as Finding Nemo, and the comedic timing of the cast is fantastic. There are issues with the pacing throughout the film however, as well as a feeling that Dory’s parents are maybe not quite as accepting of their adult daughter as they could be. That said, the new characters in the film are delightful, there are plenty of laughs throughout the film and baby Dory is perhaps the cutest thing you will see on screen this year, just some tighter editing and kinder dialogue was perhaps needed.
In all, Finding Dory is a charming, warm and funny adventure that wasn’t necessarily needed, but is a lot of fun. The Voice cast are wonderful, the gags land and the animation – as always – is beautiful. There are just some issues with sluggish pacing and the slight feeling that we have seen some of this before.