Finding Nemo is certainly one of PIXAR’s best. I will never forget the very first time seeing it in theaters back in 2003. Being blown away by the gorgeous underwater scenery, the loveable characters and their designs, I would go back to revisit it on my VCR (before putting the VHS tape away in the attic) or on television. And loving it more with each viewing. Everybody has been desperately waiting for a sequel featuring Dory. Thirteen years later, it finally swims to the silver screen.
Is it worth the wait? You betcha!
We follow our favorite Blue Tang fish (Ellen DeGeneres) with short-term memory loss who has remembered being separated from her parents—Jenny and Charlie—(Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) when she was very young. Along with the clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (Hayden Rolance; replacing Alexander Gould), she sets out on an adventure to find them. Dory goes a little too far out in the open sea, which leads her to be captured and brought to the Marine Life Institute in California. While there, she makes companions with a camouflaged red octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill)—which ranks among PIXAR’s best sidekicks. Together, they try to swim closer to her family while encountering some other animals along the way including two sea lions (Idris Elba and Dominic West), a near-sighted whale shark (Kaitlin Olson), a beluga whale (Ty Burrell) and some of the cutest baby otters I’ve ever seen.
The means of having a disability is a tough subject to explore in the film world. When a movie gets it right, it gets it right! This is the case with both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Not only is it funny, it also has its heart in the right place (*ahem* The Good Dinosaur). There are some genuinely heart-wrenching moments, but it hardly comes as close as last year’s Inside Out or even its predecessor when it comes to the emotional appeal. Nevertheless, this is one beautifully animated and provides a message both kids and adults will appreciate. One question to ask is what would Dory do? Go see for yourself.