Finding Dory (2016) Movie Review
Finding Dory is the follow-up to the hit animated film Finding Nemo, and we are once again reunited with our old fish friends. Dory finds herself recalling memories from her family who she lost many years ago, and goes on a journey with Marlin and Nemo to find her family and along the way encounter new friends and important discoveries about family and life.
When this film was first released as well as their upcoming projects, many people said that Pixar was losing originality as they turn to more sequel-related projects. More and more effort is now being put into films like Cars 3 and the Incredibles 2. However, knowing Pixar and the intelligent people behind these projects, we can hope that they turn out to be good and stand on their own well. Finding Dory does just that, it justifies it’s purpose as a sequel but also stands on it’s own. Lets hope Pixar’s upcoming films do just as this one did.
With the story of Dory’s family set in motion from the very first scene as well as knowing Dory from the first film, we naturally feel a strong emotion for Dory to find her parents. However, along the way, we are introduced to a new set of characters that are developed in a way where the audience should care about them too. This film is full of characters, but we care about all of them which is thanks to Pixar putting a lot of effort and thought into the script and to making this a realistic and fun feature. It’s not just Dory who we care about, there are other characters too. And that’s what really brings together Dory’s story.
First off, this is something we all know and expect going in, but it’s notable- the animation. It’s gorgeous. Every frame and scene looks so realistic visually. Just like the first film, we really feel like we are in the ocean. Every creature looks amazing and Pixar pulls it off again visually. Also, the film is technically good too. The sound feels realistic and mixes in well. For instance, if a character is farther away on screen, their voice would sound like it would in real life. It all adds to this film’s feeling of realism and makes this adventure even more fun when you feel like you are actually there with the characters.
This film has a lot of fans to please nostalgically, but thankfully it doesn’t go overboard with nostalgia. It uses it perfectly. There are new characters, old characters. Same with with a few of the settings. They blend really nicely with new and old elements, it doesn’t feel like this film is too much like the first film and stands on it’s own, but doesn’t let us forget the first fun-filled adventure.
Another notable thing about this movie is the voice acting. Every voice heard on this screen did a great job, the casting is completely perfect for their animated roles, especially Ellen DeGeneres. She is perfect as Dory and nails her funny and sad elements too. Ellen as Dory provides a lot of the laughs and a lot of the tears. There are several scenes with her that’ll have you dying of laughter, and some that will leave your eyes dripping in tears. It doesn’t matter really if you’ve seen the first film- this new film still makes us care too. Pixar has that taken care of.
Sound-wise to the project, the soundtrack is once again beautiful. It really fits the film and the certain scenes with different music. It does feel like the first film’s soundtrack but it is changed up a bit to fit this film more. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that the music is enough to make anyone cry.
One thing about this movie that may surprise you is it’s smaller scale. It definitely does feel a lot smaller than Finding Nemo, but it works. It doesn’t try to be more epic or in scale than the first film, but provides a second film that stands well in a smaller aspect. This film reminds us of why sequels don’t need to try and be bigger than what they are following up to, you can make just as worthy of a feature without adding in more subplots. This movie does stay very small and the overall quality and messages of the film benefit from it. Where the film may fall a bit may be a few times where it tries to be a bit more big, but nevertheless, the small scale of this adventure is great.
One last thing to mention about this film would be the messages- they’re all great. This movie has tons of great messages and thought-provoking ideas to bring home with your family to discuss. This is a great movie for parents to see with their kids, it’s a great family movie and tons of fun. This film has some really mature and terrific messages that really could benefit you and your kids (if you have any).
Overall, this movie doesn’t disappoint. It’s tons of fun and is exciting family fun. There may have been a few weak plot elements where the film may go in a bit of a weird direction, but the film is still great and is almost as good as the first film. See it, it’s an animated movie you should actually go see with your family. This movie has tons of laughs and tons of tears, from a great script and a resounding Pixar heart that has presence and makes this film so beautiful and enjoyable throughout. It’s not only a film to love, but to appreciate for many many different things.
CONSENSUS: Finding Dory serves not only as a worthy follow-up to it’s procedure, but as a film that can stand on its own with great new and old characters on screen, beautifully realistic animation and a very good script that keeps the film well-blended with it’s sad and funny elements and the movie doesn’t end up feeling messy at all.