There’s nothing left to say at this point, Pixar films are as likely to succeed as the Yankees or the New England Patriots, and the trophies as well as tradition speak for themselves. With Pixar taking on sequels to a few of their most acclaimed films, Cars not included, they seem to moving like a well oiled machine when it comes to their story-telling as we embark on a continuation of one of their best films, Finding Nemo. As you may have figured out, they found Nemo, and Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory has been given her own story and origin of sorts that spans parts of the ocean and even newer territory.
Not including the young voice of Nemo from the original, Albert Brooks’ Marlin and DeGeneres return to their characters like it was only yesterday, and they brought friends. With voice cameos from Idris Elba, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Ed O’Neil, and Kaitlin Olsen, the cast produced range and depth across the boards, but it’s the two original voices that take the cake. The warmth of the characters breathes new life into the film and sets a newer tone to the story of Dory. When we all saw Finding Nemo for the first time, there was urgency, peril, heartbreak, and a continuous jolt of adventure, but with Finding Dory, the tone shifts like the oceans they swim in.
While kinetic and adventurous, Finding Dory is as unique as it’s lead when it comes to themes of it’s story, and like how the first film hit home for single parents (especially fathers), there is going to be a wave crash of emotion for the parents and guardians who have children with special needs. Before this film released to a record setting opening weekend for animated picture, we knew Dory, but we didn’t know nearly as much as we originally conceived. Instead of her character being watered down – no pun intended – she was given depth – still no pun intended – and a backstory that features one of the cutest little fish you will ever see. If there’s one thing Pixar seems to do, it is finding only the cutest voices for their child age characters.
The side characters are abundant and definitely funny and they bring a level of humor we may not have seen in the first film which goes back to the comment about tone. This had more wit and yucks, which all seem to hit for this 20 something, and it’s all in part to the timing and talent they brought on to deliver the lines. The charm is endless and the heart is very much beating in this sequel and I have no doubts families will find something more than Dory to treasure and adore. Pixar’s ability to deliver a message through natural story progression is uncanny and they may have brought something just as topical as they did with their recent hit Inside Out.
If there is something worth getting out the film and this review, it’s that nothing should hold you back. Nothing should hold you back from bringing your parents, siblings, children, friends, or whomever to see this movie, and if your experience is anything like mine was, you will hear the collective laughs and oohs and awes of the people around you to an extend that makes you realize what a treat you are giving. A compassionate film sequel that may not live up exactly to it’s predecessor, but is living proof that if there is a rich story to tell then it must be told with care and love and that’s exactly what we got.