I glanced over to my husband to the left of me and then over to the right to my daughter. All three of us had tears streaming, STREAMING down our cheeks. What’s going on Disney/Pixar! You’re making us cry. We’ve been waiting 13 long years for the sequel to the hit film Finding Nemo (released in 2003) and Finding Dory didn’t disappoint! It’s funny and emotive. It’s warm and meaningful. It’s beautiful and richly animated. We cried, but we also laughed – a lot. I think for me, as a parent, Finding Dory hit me in a soft spot, and that is how I found myself watching a kids movie with watery eyes. Was it as a good as Finding Nemo? That is often the question I’m asked. In a nutshell, Finding Dory continues the story telling from the previous story, and yet certainly holds its own. I thought the story wonderful, however I don’t think the story telling was quite as seamless as in compared with Finding Nemo, and no doubt a fabulous watch. Big thumbs up from me.
Finding Dory follows the story of the forgetful and sweet blue tang fish Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres) on a journey to find her parents. The movie starts in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, one year after the conclusion of Finding Nemo. Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks), Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence) and Dory are living happily in the reef when Dory suddenly has memory flashes of her mum and dad. The trio travel to the Marine Life Institute in California to find Dory’s mum (voice of Diane Keaton) and dad (voice of Eugene Levy). Along the way, they meet fresh fun characters like Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cranky octopus, Bailey (voice of Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is unsure about his echolocation skills and Destiny (voice of Kaitlin Olson), and a whale shark who can’t see very well.
Dory & Mum and Dad (Charlie & Jenny): Pacific Blue Tang
This is baby Dory – who is the cutest thing in the entire movie – with her parents Charlie and Jenny. Finding Dory explores the lovely and moving back story which gives the story and characters a new depth.
Nemo and Marlin: Percula Clownfish
Marlin and Nemo are BACK!
Hank: Giant Pacific Octopus
Hank is a bit of reluctant hero in the film. Like Dory does best, she lightens up this cantankerous “septopus” (he only has 7 tentacles).
Bailey: Beluga Whale
Meet Dory’s new friend! Bailey is a Beluga whale who has trouble with his echolocation. He lives at the Marine Life Institute.
Destiny: Whale Shark
Destiny is Bailey’s neighbour in the Marine Life Institute. She has a bit of trouble with her eyesight. She has a connection with Dory as a baby.
Crush: Green Sea Turtle
Crush makes an appearance.
Becky: Common Loon
Becky is a bit wacky but she has an important role to play.
Fluke and Rudder: California Sea Lions
Fluke and Rudder are kings of this rock. Or are they?
Mr. Ray: Spotted Eagle Ray
Mr Ray is still teaching in the reef.
Otters: Sea Otters
Watch out for the adorable appearance of the sea otters.
If I had to describe the animation in one word: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. And I wouldn’t expect anything less from Pixar. I recently snorkelled myself in the Great Barrier Reef off Hamilton Island and it’s amazing to see how the animators captured the water in the ocean, and how it’s different in lights/depths etc. Just incredible.
It’s the message of Finding Dory that brought me to tears! I won’t spoil it, but there an undercurrent to the movie about family, friendship, unconditional love and the beauty of embracing difference. I’ll just say this: Jenny and Charlie are my new parenting heroes!
I would say children (and adults) of all ages would enjoy the movie. It’s rated G in Australia, although it does have a warning about scary scenes potentially frightening small children. However, I would say it’s on par with Finding Nemo in terms of the scariness factor (none of my children 8-14 thought it scary).
It was just right. I loved it.
Finding Dory is a funny, warm movie, and as a massive Finding Nemo fan myself, it didn’t disappoint.