Did the world really need a sequel to “Finding Nemo?”
No, probably not.
That film, released in 2003, was a beautiful, funny, touching adventure about a father’s love for his son and the lengths that he would go to find him. It was pretty near perfect and remains incredibly moving 13 years later.
But if rampant sequels are the cinematic reality that we exist in, then “Finding Dory” is an unnecessary follow-up that is well worth your attention. It is a Pixar film, after all, and the studio has had pretty good success with sequels.
Set shortly after the first film, clown fish family Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Nemo (newcomer Hayden Rolence) are left to take care of the forgetful blue tang Dory (an unforgettable Ellen DeGeneres).
After Dory starts having flashes of memories of her childhood and parents, she sets out on her own to find her family.
Her quest leads her to a Marine Life Institute and a whole new cast of sea creatures, including Hank, a grumpy octopus voiced by Ed O’Neill who will be your new favorite Pixar character. He’s like a cynical inmate looking to escape, with the athletic acumen of a Spider-Man.
“Finding Dory” is a heart-tugger for sure, and words cannot even begin to describe the almost unbearable cuteness and sweetness of baby Dory, seen in flashbacks, who with her big innocent eyes apologizes for her lack of short-term memory. It can break your heart.
“Finding Dory” has a unique protagonist in that Dory has special needs. Her memory, which we all laughed at in “Finding Nemo,” here is treated very seriously and deftly, though the comedic moments certainly shine through.
There are some amazing Pixar films that are instant classics, and there are some that are quickly forgotten, like its last release, “The Good Dinosaur.” “Finding Dory” isn’t an instant classic, but it’s a film that is very easy to fall in love with. And for a sequel, that’s a success story.