Adorable in every sense of the word. Finding Dory, like most Pixar sequels, begs the question of whether or not it will be a retread of its predecessor or whether it will be a worthy sequel. Films like the Toy Story sequels or Monsters University proved that Pixar is able of making worthy successors, even if they don't quite match up to the first (excluding Toy Story 3 obviously). Finding Nemo was a simple tale of a father trying to find his lost son at sea. It was a film that was definitely not begging for a sequel. That being said, the first film is such a great film that it would still be nice to see the characters one more time. While Finding Dory is no Finding Nemo, it is definitely one of Pixar's best sequels to date.
Beginning about one year after the events of the first, we find that Dory has been living with Marlin and Nemo ever since. When things begin to trigger her memory of her family she lost as a child, she desperately wants to go searching for them. Bringing Marlin and Nemo along, with the introduction of a few great new characters, this becomes another adventure worth taking. Although Finding Nemo is the better film, what I believe Finding Dory improved upon was it's emotional core. Sure, in the original film Marlin was after his son due to the fact that he was all he had left in his life, but the sheer notion of having instant memory loss and having it all come back to you is something else entirely.
Hitting home in all the right places, Finding Dory is much more than a cash grab sequel for Pixar. Yes, they are certainly banking off the title, but they also put an incredible amount of detail in it as well. The voice acting is terrific once again and the animation leaps off the screen and almost feels photorealistic at times. From cute flashbacks to gaspingly real emotions throughout, this is a ride that I cannot recommend taking enough, and as soon as you can if you enjoyed the first film. Now for a few negatives.
While it has all of the amazing elements that are present in almost every Pixar film, for some reason the character of Dory got pretty repetitive at times. The fact that she suffers from short term memory loss was brought avidly into the forefront of the film and was mentioned far too often. Yes, she forgets everything she says instantly, but that specific line of dialogue is spoken far too much throughout this film. To me, that was the most annoying aspect of this film. The climax needs to be taken with an incredible grain of salt, because it is absolutely impossible, unlike the events in Finding Nemo that felt slightly more believable.
Aside from a few little annoying things like that sprinkled throughout this film, it is a fantastic sequel that works incredibly well on it's own; However, watching the first again before watching this is highly recommended for the full emotional impact. My eyes welled up quite a few times, and yes, I realize that I was watching a movie about talking fish, but it was very well written and well timed. By the end of the film, you will feel a huge sense of calm. I do not want to tell you how you will feel walking out of Finding Dory, but I truly believe that if you are a fan of the first, you will at least like this film. Finding Dory is a great sequel and a terrific film on it's own.
P.S. Stay after the credits. Fans of the original film will be glad I said that.
Review By: KJ Proulx