Finding Nemo won the 2003 Academy Award® for best animated feature and nominated for three additional Oscars®. In 2008 the American Film Institute named it among the Top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, the film was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. With accolades to boot and notoriety such as this, you see why Finding Dory was the next logical step for the franchise.
Everyone’s favorite blue tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), is on a semi-forgettable quest to find her parents. Like a glorious, colorful ancestry dot-com commercial, she’s in search of her past and where she came from. But before I could embrace everyone’s favorite sea-bunch from a decade ago, Disney decided to treat audiences to a surprise.
Piper (shown above) is an animated short that greets audiences before Finding Dory. Disney-Pixar successfully sucker punched everyone in that IMAX screening in-the-feels (so many feelings) and immediately triggered a reaction from parents and children alike.
Now that you’ve been warmed-over with emotions, you’re prepared to tag along with Dory on her quest with true friends Marlon (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence). Together, the trio find themselves on a journey that spans across the ocean. We see cameos from old favorites like the sea turtles Squirt (the baby) and Crush, the surf jargon expert (Righteous! Righteous!).
The adventure to find her family is one that many in reality take in finding themselves. It’s as much an adventure in self discovery as it is in dealing with disability. Having dealt with STML (Short Term Memory Loss) her entire life, we see flashbacks of how her parents nurtured her and treated her disability. We see both the happy and frustrating moments of caring for Dory.
Another friend Dory haphazardly comes across is Hank (Ed O’Neill) the octopus, who she immediately refers to as the septopus since he has seven tentacles. The odd pair become friends after her adventures take her to a Research Institute for Sea Animals that’s run by Sigourney Weaver (it’s the best surprise). This is where humans keep animals that are injured or sick and once they’re healed are released back into the wild.
The institute (which looks a lot like the Monterey Bay Aquarium) holds a whale shark with terrible vision (Destiny, voiced by Kaitlin Olsen) and a beluga whale with faulty sonar (Bailey, voiced by Ty Burrell). The hijinks continue as all of the characters find themselves in precarious situations, hopping through water fountains, traveling through pipes, and utilizing ninja skilled cephalopods.
I give Finding Dory a 9 out of 10. The film’s comedy will satisfy parents while the kids enjoy the craziness of the characters. As it stands, I’m in search of knowing which will be greater: the thousands upon millions of people relishing in this heartwarming classic or knowing that an entire generation of children will be introduced to Sigourney Weaver for the first time?