Written By Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse
Composed By Thomas Newman
Produced By Lindsey Collins
Edited By Axel Geddes
Directed By Andrew Stanton
Just finished watching 'Finding Dory' via a link to the entire movie and...being someone who loved 'Finding Nemo' and after seeing Ellen DeGeneres pester Pixar for thirteen years to make this movie as well as seeing so many people going ga-ga over it, does it live up to the hype or are we hyping this film up way too much? The answer is...it lives up to the hype.
When it comes to the story, it may feel like a lazy re-hash of 'Finding Nemo' when it comes to the bare structure since they do copy a lot of the elements from the first film...but there is actually a big difference between the two if you really take the time to analyze it. While 'Finding Nemo' was more about the adventure of a father swimming oceans to find his son, 'Finding Dory' looks into Dory's origins by showing flashbacks of her as a child as she remembers the small things that ultimately led to her getting separated from her parents-if anything, this movie can be described as literally a trip down memory lane for the audience while at the same time also supplying what made the first movie so great in terms of the sense of new adventure to the humor to the heart as well as the theme of family. What's also surprising is that 'Finding Dory' looks into the subject of living with a disability by using your strengths and what you can do best in order to achieve your goals with the help of your friends and family-something that I think everyone who has a disability can relate whether you have autism or are handicapped.
Much like the first movie, one of the strongest and most memorable things about 'Finding Dory' is its animation as Pixar has shown once again how they can go above and beyond in the world of 3-D animation by giving us something truly phenomenal to look at as the ocean itself. Due to the improvements that Pixar makes from the previous movie due to how much more technologically advanced they’ve become, it allows them to make the characters and the environment that they're in look more realistic than ever before from the textures to the new locations to the character animation that looks so believable. But the shining star of the animation in the film is hands…I mean, ‘tentacles down’ Hank the septopus. Sure we’ve seen animated octopuses before, but Hank truly stands out from the rest in terms of all the creative camouflage possibilities and results that the team at Pixar came up-heck, they even turn the end credits into a game of ‘Where’s Waldo’ with Hank’s camouflage abilities!
And when it comes to the characters, Dory is easily the strongest character of the cast as she has risen from comic relief to becoming fully developed and rather complex from her trying to cooperate with her short-term memory loss to finding out where things from the first movie came from like the ‘Just Keep Swimming’ song or speaking whale. As for Marlin and Nemo, I was afraid that they were just gonna be along for the ride and they wouldn't have a significant role...but I'm so thankful that they did and they actually had a reason to be in the movie-not only that, but Nemo has changed quite a bit in terms of his personality from being rebellious and afraid to being more assertive and sarcastic. As for the new characters, Destiny and Bailey supply some fresh comedy and Hank made for quite the perfect foil for Dory as he tried to use Dory for his own goals and benefits. But as for the returning characters, don’t expect them all to come back as the only ones that appeared and had a role with Mr. Ray and his school as well as Crush and Squirt.
Overall, for a sequel that I originally didn't ask for and thought was gonna suck, I’m not gonna be able to look at ‘Finding Nemo’ the same way again as ‘Finding Dory’ is a surprisingly well-crafted sequel that captures the fun and heart that the first movie gave us…but I think it just barely missed the mark that ‘Finding Nemo’ hit thirteen years ago. But regardless, ‘Finding Nemo’ gets an overall rating of 9.5 out of 10…and always remember: just keep swimming.