Finding Dory – animated film review

"Finding Dory" theatrical teaser seaweed poster.
“Finding Dory” theatrical teaser seaweed poster.

Sequels like Finding Dory are always a hard thing, especially if the original film is as popular and beloved as Finding Nemo. So many things can go wrong. The story may not be as entertaining or interesting. Fortunately, those were not a problem for this film.

After having a series of flashbacks, Dory enlists Marlin and Nemo to help her find her parents. Along the way, they are separated. The rest of the movie is spent with Dory trying to find her parents and the clown fish, and Nemo and his dad trying to find Dory. The story is not at all the same as in the first film, however.

Finding Dory deals with some sensitive topics: children getting lost, trying to find missing parents, and whether the parents want to find the child. These issues may cause concern for some children. On the other hand, they offer a great opportunity to discuss such issues with a child (or children) because most children will go through such questions in their minds even if they haven’t been adopted, or ever gotten lost. The film deals with them head on and handles them very well.

The animation has certainly improved in the 13 years since Finding Nemo. The details are more realistic, and the animation is generally more fluid. Everything just feels real (outside of the exaggerated features to make the characters more lovable or funny). And Dory makes a fantastic main character this time around. She is interesting (even more so than originally) and I found myself rooting for her every step of the way.

And Hank. Hank was just wonderful.

Screen shot from "Piper", a short film by Pixar.
Now, if you tend to be slightly late to the theater (in the hopes of missing all the ads they now place before films), do not do that with Finding Dory. Piper is a brand new short featuring an adorable baby sandpiper learning to grab clams before they can escape into the sand between the waves. Outside of the adorable baby bird, I was most impressed with the animated sand. It was so real I almost checked my shoes for sand after watching it. Wow. Simply wow.

I loved Finding Dory. I had a few really minor quibbles here and there, but they barely even registered when compared to how much I enjoyed all the characters and the story. Kids will love it. Adults will love it. There’s truly something for everyone. Go see it in theaters before it’s gone!

Release Date: June 17, 2016 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point five stars
Family Friendliness: 100%


Alcohol/Drugs: 0
Language: 0
Nudity: 0 (though all the fish are naked)
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 1 (some scary moments)

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