Finding Dory – Film Review

Ever since the success of Finding Nemo, popular TV show host, Ellen DeGeneres, has expressed for years that she should get another opportunity to utilise her charm through voiceover acting. Recapping the amount of times throughout the years that she has asked for a second movie, she had included ad-libs like, “And now, it’s time for our new segment: How Come Every Animated Movie is Doing a Sequel Except Finding Nemo?”
Well finally, that time has come. When announcing the long-anticipated sequel, Finding Dory, DeGeneres shared her excitement with her live audience, stating, “When you’ve been waiting for something so long, it’s actually a little strange when it finally arrives. It’s like, I guess, when you’re waiting for your wedding day or results of a pregnancy test, only this is much more important.”
Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. However, because it makes sense that she must have come from somewhere, she does know that she has a family. Determined to reunite with her parents, she convinces her friends Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (Albert Brooks) to accompany her on her journey to find them; with her short-term memory loss, she does not believe that she can achieve this by herself.
Somehow Dory also gets lost and ends up at the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory intended to rehabilitate sickly aquatic life. Nemo and Marlin now have to find Dory, which seems almost impossible seeing as she is constantly on the move on her own mission to find her family.
First off, you can probably add this movie to the list of sequels that can never really top their predecessors. It probably has something to do with the fact that a major part of the movie is set on land, at an aquatic conservatory, versus the vast and magical marine world that we got to experience in the first movie. Finding Dory is as literal as it gets to your fish-out-of-water narrative, and I must say that seeing marine life navigating their way through a set that I could see any other day barely excites me as much as the scenes that were shown under the sea.
Nevertheless, the story successfully adopts many of the perks that it had from its predecessor, with the timeline being set only one year after Nemo was found. It is a bit of an adjustment having to get used to the fact that after 13 years in real life, the animated characters have barely aged. The story provides the usual kind of heartfelt entertainment that one would expect from a Disney Pixar production, but with the story’s main focus this time being Dory, it also brings an interesting dynamic.
The idea that you have no ability to recall anything that happened a mere ten seconds ago every single day surely leaves a life-long gap in your memory, and to not have a memory is to not have a history. Because of this, however, Dory is forced to live in the moment without it having to be a contrived effort. With her mental condition, she is the only one who is really able to move forward or, as she would put it, “just keep swimming” without putting too much thought into it.
Thus, we are presented with the crux of the story, a genial idea for its ability to keep us engaged while we discover parts of Dory’s lifelong journey through flashbacks that serve as leads in her pursuit to finding her long lost family.
On her show, DeGeneres also stated that there will be a finding Dory 2. She joked that even if she has to draw it herself, there will be one. Quite honestly, if there is a finding Dory 2, I am very interested to see how they can pull it off. Until then (whenever that will be, maybe another 13 years?), I would not mind watching Finding Dory again. I do recommend it.

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