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Finding Dory: Movie Review

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Marlin, Nemo and Dory are back after a 13 year hiatus in Finding Dory the sequel to Pixar’s beloved underwater adventure, Finding Nemo.  Taking place one year after Dory and Marlin’s epic transoceanic adventure to save his son Nemo, Finding Dory takes us back to the tranquility of the coral reef that they call home.  All seems well in their underwater paradise until Dory starts remembering bits and pieces of a family and past that she had forgotten thanks to her constant and cyclical short term memory loss.  Though initially reluctant, Marlin eventually decides that he owes it to Dory to join her in her trek to find her family and the three set out to navigate open waters toward a new adventure.

Finding DoryFinding Dory is not as good as Finding Nemo.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  If the plot sounds similar to that of the original, that’s because it is.  It’s basically the same outline from the original story, only this time there’s not as much of a need to spend time building main characters from scratch because we already have relationships with them.  All that being said, Finding Dory is still a great movie.  We’re introduced to Hank, a cranky and reclusive octopus, who also happens to be a master at shapeshifting and camouflage.  His relationship with Dory throughout the film and the addition of other fun characters like Destiny, the vision impaired whale shark, and Bailey, the sonar challenged beluga whale, provide a refreshing sense of newness to the somewhat redundant narrative.

The most enjoyable thing about the film is gaining new insight into who Dory is and where she came from.  Her backstory is both endearing and heartbreaking.  Without giving too much away we get more of an understanding into how her memory loss has had devastating effects on her life and how she’s tried to overcome it. We love Dory, Nemo, and Marlin, because we already know them. But learning Dory’s backstory and the addition of charming new characters, breathes enough freshness into the film to make it fun.

Finding Dory 2Another strength of the film is the fantastically crafted visuals.  Pixar just gets better and better at what they do.  The graphics in Finding Dory are beautiful and very hyper realistically constructed.  I would highly recommend seeing this film in 3D.  I never say that and I’m generally not a fan of 3D, but in this case I’ll make an adamant exception.  The use of 3D in the submerged and shadowy waterscapes is seamless and aesthetically stunning.  The 3D effects work to enhance the visuals as opposed to drawing attention away from them and on to themselves. It’s one of the best examples that I have seen of the use of 3D in film.  Similarly, the opening short, Piper, is even more masterfully crafted, boasting some of the best computer animated work that I’ve ever seen.

Finding Dory 1Finding Dory delivers the egalitarian message that sometimes the differences that we view as weaknesses are really our strengths.   It asks us to consider the notion that just because someone views things in a different light than we do, does not necessarily make them wrong or any less capable. In a world that often seems conflicted and broken that’s the kind of message that we could use more of.

Finding Dory: Movie Review

 

Finding Dory (2016)
Director:  Andrew Stanton
Studio:  Disney & Pixar
Genre: Family, Comedy
MPAA:  PG
Release Date:  June 17th, 2016
Author:  Angela Colgan
Angela Colgan Angela Colgan is a San Diego native who recently graduated from college with a double major in Visual Arts Media with a film emphasis and History with an emphasis in war, revolution, and social change. She is currently employed at a local start up video production company, working on a few short online comedy series’ that will eventually launch on their own internet television website. A fan of movies since a very early age, Angela has been appreciating, arguing about, and reviewing films amongst family and friends her entire life, often much to their annoyance. A fan of all genres of film, she is particularly a fan of old movie classics, horror films in all of their different manifestations, and one-liner filled action romps from the late 1980’s and early 90’s. She hopes to work in the commercial film industry in the near future in either post-production editing, or sound design.

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