Finding Dory Reviewed
Finding Dory starts with Dory as a child. Her parents are teaching how to cope with her short-term memory loss in order to function safely in the world. Inevitably she gets separated from her family and her condition gets the better of her until she runs into Marlin, or rather he swims into her. Once we see their meet cute from the original the movie fades to a year later. It is at this point that the sequel finds awkward footing. The stakes to the original story were set up much better. Here everything happened too quickly. And then suddenly there's an action sequence involving a squid that seems out of place. Albert Brooks' Marlin and Ellen DeGeneres' Dory become separated and from there the story is divided between the main characters. This is a tough blow to Marlin, as he is considerably less interesting without Dory. But we already knew that, given his character's personality trait as the constant worrier. The nerves I felt walking into the movie were growing.
But once we meet Hank the octopus, played by Ed O'Neill, business starts to pick up. O’Neil plays the curmudgeon that made him famous and compliments Dory’s whimsical personality perfectly. With this new pair traveling together, Finding Dory starts to become the kind of Pixar movie we have grown accustomed to.
It wouldn’t be a Pixar movie if the story didn't get emotional. There is one scene that had me sobbing. My suggestion is while the movie builds towards its climax put down the candy, especially if the theater’s air conditioner isn’t working properly. I was eating Whoppers and some of the melted chocolate got on my fingers during this crucial scene. It’s at that point I tried wiping my eyes which only led to more tragedy. Moral of the story: don't get chocolate on your fingers during a Pixar movie. Or at the very least use a tissue.
So was it worth the 13 year wait? How does it compare to Pixar’s other sequels? How does it compare to Finding Nemo? I would say Finding Dory has more emotional heft than the original. Finding Nemo is a funnier movie, and is strong throughout the entire film while Dory gets better as it goes. One thing I can say for sure is that Finding Dory lives up to the original and to the standard that Pixar has set up for itself. Which is a roundabout way of saying: worth it. A-