Finding Nemo came to theaters in 2003, when I was in high school, and now, thirteen years later, we have its sequel, Finding Dory. Although Nemo and his dad Marlin are still present in this film, the focus is on Dory – specifically, her past, and when she realizes that she does have a family; she’s just forgotten about them.
The movie starts when Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is a tiny fish, and being raised by her mom, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and dad, Charlie (Eugene Levy). They teach her to remember to say “I have short term memory loss” to anyone who asks, but they worry about how she will do on her own, when she’s an adult. One day, she gets swept away by the current, and although she tries to find her parents, eventually she forgets whom she is looking for. Years later, a memory gets sparked, and she remembers them; of course, now she must find them, and Marlin (reluctantly, again) agrees to swim cross-ocean with her and Nemo.
I haven’t seen Nemo in quite a while, but I remember it being very funny, with a few sad moments. For Dory, however, you will definitely need to bring tissue (and ladies, maybe not wear liquid eyeliner) because there are many sad moments mixed in with the happy. Dory as a baby fish is absolutely adorable, but when she gets separated from her parents, and later starts to remember all of these memories involving them, it’s very bittersweet. However, we do meet a new host of characters in this film, including Hank the Octopus (Ed O’Neill), or really, septipus, as Dory points out (he only has seven tentacles, not eight); and a slew of other animals, who are voiced by Dominic West, Idris Elba, Bill Hader, Ty Burrell, and more.
Yes, see this movie. I would say it’s a standalone movie but it does help if you’ve seen the first one, as a few jokes are made that reference it; one of which involves Dory speaking “Whale.” I saw this film in 3D, as well, and although it was a subtle 3D, there are a few scenes where it really shines; thus, I’d recommend seeing it in 3D if you can. There’s also, surprisingly, an extra scene after the credits (usually done by Marvel, never by Disney/Pixar), so make sure to stay for that, too. Finding Dory should appease fans of the original film, and also garner some new (younger) fans who haven’t seen the first movie – either way, it’s sure to be a hit at the box office, and will definitely be one that moviegoers want for their Pixar collections.
Finding Dory is in theaters today, June 17th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 97 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.