“Finding Dory” reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way. The all-new big-screen adventure dives into theaters in 2016, taking moviegoers back to the extraordinary underwater world from the original film.
Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements)
Directed By: Andrew Stanton , Angus MacLane
Written By: Andrew Stanton , Victoria Strouse
In Theaters: Jun 17, 2016 wide
Box Office: $20817949
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures/PIXAR
Pixar’s sequel to its animated 2003 smash “Finding Nemo” repeats that film’s plot: a challenging under-the-sea trek that ends with the reuniting of a family. This time, it’s the memory-challenged Dory, the scene-stealer from the previous film (voiced, with impeccable timing, by Ellen DeGeneres) who’s out to find her long-lost parents. The action includes a trip through an ocean filled with wisecracking fish, a raucous adventure in a marine facility where life lessons are learned, and, of course, a happy ending. While not as visually dazzling as its predecessor, the film is still colorful and immersive; the script, while predictable, puts an engaging spin on the issues of home and identity. The filmmakers Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane play it safe with the tried-and-true formula to create a lighthearted diversion that should play like comfort food for viewers who are fond of the original. Ed O’Neill, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Idris Elba, and many others provide the eager-to-please voice work.
Finding Dory is perhaps the most conventional movie Pixar has made. It’s a film that does everything well but nothing spectacularly, like a greatest hits of Pixar’s ample strengths and occasional weaknesses. It’s a sequel that’s a continuation of the original film rather than an expansion of it, and while doesn’t have near the ambition of the original Finding Nemo, let alone the grand achievement of Wall-E, it is still a success, thought not a triumph.
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Pixar has provided us unusually intelligent and emotional all-ages entertainment nearly every year for more than two decades. Even their worst movie, widely considered to be Cars 2—though I’ll make the case for it—has light years more going on than Minions. Finding Dory gets dinged for being a traditional sequel, but no one does a traditional sequel as well as Pixar does. The film is charming, funny, and exciting, which is more than enough to make up for its lack of transcendence. Finding Dory is still Pixar, and it’ll still get to you.