Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene, Levy, Sloane Murray, Idris Elba, and more.
Directed by: Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane Original Story by: Andrew Stanton Screenplay by: Andrew Stanton, Victoria Strouse, and Bob Peterson Cinematography by: Jeremy Lasky Music by: Thomas Newman
Premise: Dori has issues with her short term memory. A small accident causes her to remember things she’d forgotten from her childhood – like her parents. For a brief moment, she actually remembers where she came from. And Nemo keeps the name for her. Dori helped Marlin find his son when he was lost. Now Marlin and Nemo will help Dori to find her forgotten family. (Rated PG)
1) Voice Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Though it’s been 13 years since “Finding Nemo” hit the theaters, you wouldn’t know it from watching the sequel. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks reprise their roles as Dori and Marlin as if they’d never been away. Some of the characters from the first film make an appearance, but we’re also introduced to a slew of new and memorable characters. Ed O’Neill was a ton of fun as the octopus named Hank. The kids will get a blast from his awesome chameleon powers. 🙂 (They can also try to spot him during the first part of the end credits!)
2) Artwork/Animation – Total Thumbs Up: “Piper” is the name of the short film that plays before the main feature of “Finding Dori”. It is beyond adorable! And the animation for it was fantastic. The water, the bubbles, the sand and more were super detailed – the beach looked real. The birds, too. And Piper was so cute!
Here’s a taste!
“Finding Dori” itself also had superb animation. Some lovely transitions between the ocean and surface worlds. Some ‘jaw-dropping’ moments as well. The art was phenomenal in several places. Did some fabulous work with textures, too. From Hank’s pitted, semi-slimy skin to the hard tortoises shells, you could visually feel the textures. Great work!
The end credits (stay all the way to the end!) have the algae filled water in the middle section and it is populated with all manner of species of fish who swim lazily by as the names roll past. The variety of fish represented was amazing. It was like going to the aquarium without ever leaving your seat. Kudos guys!
And Becky was one weird, but fun bird. lol. (So was the third seal – even with those creepy, shifty eyes of his. Heh heh.)
3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: When I heard they were doing a sequel to “Finding Nemo” and that it would center around Dori, I had my doubts as to what we would get. But my worry, much like Marlin’s, was unnecessary. By introducing flashes of Dori’s returning memories as events moved along, they got the audience invested in the quest and finding more about Dori. And we got a chance to see a side of Dori we’d not seen before. (She was also the cutest baby fish EVER!)
As in the original, the film dives to different depths to explore themes and emotions during the story. There were some quite poignant moments which get revealed during the tale without being heavy handed. It also gave us a true taste of what it would feel like to have Dori’s condition, and how strong and determined she truly is.
A range of themes are woven through the film as well. The meaning of family, of belonging, perseverance, trust, friendship, and more.
There are also all sorts of gags through the movie. Watching Hank moving through the MLI was a ton of fun. They even build on a few of the jokes in tiny bits – stay till the end of the credits for the final one. 🙂
Conclusion: “Finding Dori” is a great sequel to “Finding Nemo”. The animation is fabulous and there are lots of fun characters to fall in love with. You’ll probably also find yourself thinking: “What would Dori do?” 🙂
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)