After a 13-year-long gestation period, the sequel to the heartwarming maritime adventure Finding Nemo will finally swim into theaters this weekend. And it's high time we see if the fruits of Pixar's labor will pay off with the highly anticipated Finding Dory.
While it won't reach most theaters until Friday, critics' reviews have already started rolling in. So will Finding Dory be worth shelling out more than a few dollars to see in theaters? It's Pixar, so probably.
If, however, you're not wholly convinced Finding Dory is for you, I've collected some of the most insightful nuggets of information from all available reviews to help you make up your mind.
Have no fear, my fellow Pixar-loving friends, from what we can tell, Finding Dory does not disappoint. Currently boasting a 96 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, most critics don't have much to complain about!
Finding Dory Will Tug At Your Heartstrings
For those who find themselves frequently welling up in theaters, Finding Dory seems to carry the same emotional weight as many of its predecessors. While it may not leave you in a puddle of tears, like the opening montage in Up, Dory's origin story will still burrow its way into our hearts.
According to Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty, the beginning scenes will resonate with anyone who has ever felt lost and alone:
When baby Dory gets separated from her parents at the beginning of the film, with no clue about how to find her way back home, it feels like more than just the fuse for a fizzy PG adventure. There’s real emotion. You feel every ounce of Dory’s panic and her parents’ desperation.
Variety writer Owen Gleiberman goes on to compare Dory's enduring loneliness and confusion to Disney's Bambi losing his mother:
As surely as the death of Bambi’s mother, this primal set-up rips a small emotional hole in the audience, one that we’re desperate to see filled.
As a self-avowed serial movie crier, I'll be packing plenty of tissues in preparation.
With The Tears Come Plenty Of Laughs
A quintessential aspect of the Pixar catalogue, Finding Dory will also offer up some laughs to balance out the tears. In Alonso Duralde's review on The Wrap, he notes there are enough characters to keep us giggling throughout:
“Finding Dory” is rousingly entertaining, with side-jokes and supporting characters that will take their place in the pantheon alongside the “Mine! Mine!” seagulls and surfer-dude turtles (both factions turn up briefly here) from the original.
There Are Some Standout Characters
A number of new characters join old favorites Dory, Marlin and Nemo on their adventures, but some stand out more than others.
Unsurprisingly, Ellen DeGeneres — who voices the titular character — has earned her stripes once again as the flighty yet endearing Dory. Nashawaty commented that her portrayal is similar to another iconic animated character:
Like Robin Williams in Aladdin, DeGeneres has a stand-up comedian’s gift for being able to keep the film moving and speeding along, especially when the script hits some of its saggier stretches.
It's Breathtakingly Beautiful
Gleiberman took a few sentences to describe the stunning visuals of the film, without giving too much away:
Under the sea, 13 year later, proves to be an even more ravishing place than it was in “Finding Nemo.” The swaying stalks of kelp are as majestic as the trees in “The Lord of the Rings.”
Anna King from Time Out takes things a step further by referencing specific character qualities and recalling similar sequences of wonder from Finding Nemo:
The CGI rendering of Hank’s chameleon-like abilities as he blends in with his surroundings is spectacular, and it recalls the transparent wonders of Marlin’s jellyfish encounter in Nemo. Pixar’s wizardry is baked into every detail, from the sun-dappled ocean surfaces to the underwater visuals that border on photorealism. It’s unforgettable stuff.
It Has A Pertinent Message
One thing that many of these top reviewers commended was Finding Dory's ability to highlight a germane social subject. As a whole, it was done in a largely palatable way, but for those who choose to see it, the movie has a much deeper meaning than it initially lets on. Scott Mendelson of Forbes wrote:
By taking what was mostly a comedic character trait last time out and this time playing it for keeps, Finding Dory exists as an occasionally moving fable regarding the challenges and pleasures found in raising “special needs” children. As such, the film not only (mostly) works as entertainment but also has social value beyond obvious monetary rewards.
While there's no question that Finding Dory is going to make a mint, as all Pixar movies do, there's a strong social angle to it.
I don't know about you guys, but I will definitely be buying my ticket to see Finding Dory this weekend.
And have no fear, my sea-loving friends. Although not totally perfect, it sounds like Pixar's latest venture does not disappoint. In short, if you love Pixar, you'll likely find Finding Dory is much more than a catch and release.
Finding Dory will reach theaters, starting Friday.