Finding Dory Review

Sometimes you just have to go with it and just keep swimming.

Finding Dory, a Pixar film directed by Andrew Stanton, is the belated sequel to the 2003 Pixar hit, Finding Nemo. Bringing back much loved characters and introducing a whole host of new, lovable sea-creatures, Finding Dory is the perfect film for Disney and Pixar fans of all ages.

As its name suggests, Finding Dory follows a similar plot to its prequel, Finding Nemo, and follows the main characters, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his son, Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould), as they search for their good friend, Dory (voiced by the affable Ellen DeGeneres), who goes missing in her attempt to locate her family.

The film begins with the heartwarming scene of a young Dory and her parents as they teach her about the condition in which she suffers from, short term memory loss, and attempt to provide her with songs to help her remember the dangers of the underwater world. We are then presented with the present time, where Dory is a fully grown fish, who lives and shares her life with Marlin and Nemo, two clownfish who are extremely important to her. It is in this present timeline that Dory’s memories are triggered and she rushes off in search for her family.

True to the Pixar brand and style, disabilities, illnesses and less than desirable traits are treated as completely natural and is largely accepted. Dory’s short term memory loss is well known within her community and whilst this proves challenging to some of her peers, many are accepting of her regardless and even go so far as to help her, like Nemo does. The only one with the inability to truly grasp Dory’s condition and considers it strange behaviour is Marlin, however the thought of losing Dory forever teaches him about individuality and that life isn’t always about plans and structure; sometimes, you just have to go with your gut. In this way, Finding Dory provides viewers with the very important lesson of accepting others for who they are and to not judge others based on one’s own yardstick. It was also refreshing to see just how caring the other fish were when Dory turned to them for help.

Accepting others and trusting one’s gut instincts were not the only lessons within Finding Dory. It melted my heart to see just how determined Dory was to find her parents and equally how motivated the other characters were in helping her achieve her goal. The messaging within the film showed the importance of community, family and friendships and that true love does not necessarily only exist between a man and woman; it could also be the incredible bond that good friends share and/or the love parents have for their children and vice-versa.

While the majority of the film is touching and gave me the warm fuzzies, Finding Dory is also incredibly funny. I found myself grinning and chuckling throughout the film. Ellen DeGeneres truly does Dory justice and her style of humour is catching. The introduction of new characters, Hank the Octopus (voiced by Ed O’Neill) , Destiny the Whale Shark (voiced by Kaitlin Olson), Bailey the Beluga Whale (voiced by the ever witty Ty Burrell of Modern Family fame) and the two seals (voiced by Idris Elba – seriously this guy’s voice is EVERYWHERE- and Dominic West) added charm, heart and tear inducing, laugh out loud, laughter. It gave me a good feeling to hear the laughter of others watching the film too.

Each of the characters, both old and new, have their own personalities and added something unique to the film. If not for these characters and their interactions with Dory, Finding Dory would not have been as appealing. What I found rather cool and quite interesting for an animated film was the use of a real world person within the animated world, in this case, Sigourney Weaver. I’ll leave this information as that so as to not spoil the film.

The plot of Finding Dory was captivating. Unlike its predecessor, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory made full use of the emotional bonds between family and drove the story with this as its core. However, plot alone does not make a film fantastic. In my opinion, art style, graphics and soundtrack add much more to a film’s story and carries the story forward. The art and graphics of Finding Dory is aesthetically pleasing. Pixar does a fantastic job at creating animated films that look realistic and bright, alluding to pleasant, happy and relaxed feelings, which Finding Dory certainly does well.  It is also important to note just how extremely cute some of the characters are. Well done Pixar team, you won my heart with the cuteness overload.

Despite the art being memorable, the musical soundtrack used in Finding Dory was less so. I don’t recall disliking it but I certainly did not focus on it while watching the film. As a fan of film soundtracks, this was the only aspect of the film that was less than satisfactory, in my opinion. However, the use of incredible dialogue managed to overcome this issue for me. The dialogue in Finding Dory certainly is on point and I have to praise the writing team behind this film for their amazing work.

Finding Dory is truly a Pixar film with incredible heart, great humour, and important life lessons for all ages to enjoy. As a film, this is one that can be watched numerous times and with the entire family. Be prepared to feel a LOT and have your cheeks hurt from smiling throughout the film. I certainly recommend Finding Dory and would love to hear your thoughts.

Comment below or on my Facebook page and/or tweet me your favourite who your favourite character is and why. I look forward to it.


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