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Old June 26th, 2016, 08:17 PM
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Default Finding Dory

My friend and I saw Finding Dory at the Ward Theater on Saturday afternoon (6/25/16).

The movie is set one year after the events of Finding Nemo with Dory remembering how she got separated from her family on the other side of the ocean. Marlin and Nemo also join in the adventure as well as other sea creatures that help either Dory or Marlin and Nemo to find one another.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Finding Dory

Finding Dory (2016)
Voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed OíNeill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, and Sigourney Weaver. Written by Victoria Strouse and Andrew Stanton. Directed by Andrew Stanton.

I canít decide if Iím a tough audience or an easy audience for Finding Dory, Pixarís sequel to Finding Nemo. I have an enormous bias in Pixarís favor, but I consider the 2003 original to be the animation studioís best work. Would my predilection predict that I would like it, or would my super-high expectations predict that Iíd be disappointed?

It doesnít matter much now, because I freaking love this movie. Itís got just about everything the first movie had. The sequel doesnít wow me quite as much as the predecessor, but it makes up for that with an emotional punch I didnít see coming. Thereís one amazing gasp-inducing emotional payoff that comes close to the lanterns scene in Tangled or even the library scene in Beauty and the Beast. This is rarefied air Iím talking about here, a comparison I donít make lightly.

A year after Dory helps Marlin find Nemo, sheís become something of a helper in raising the young clownfish. But with her memory problems, sheís almost as much maintenance as Nemo, Ďthough she remains beloved by her community on the Great Barrier Reef. Something triggers in Dory a memory she didnít know she had, of parents and a home. Sheís determined to find her family, but she knows that without help from her friends, she canít hope to make it any more than she can hope to remember what sheís looking for.

You would think Marlin, after everything Dory has done for him and Nemo, would be completely on board, but heís still psychotically risk-averse, and Dory wants to go to California, so for much of her adventure, she depends on the kindness of others, mostly a seven-armed octopus who agrees to assist in exchange for something Dory can do for him.

The animation is again fantastic, although since youíve seen a lot of it before, youíll have to look a little harder to see where the budget went. Water is a strange, beautiful thing that behaves differently from anything else I can think of. The way it moves, the way it changes in different kinds of light, and the way other things interact with it seem impossible to represent well, so thereís a good place to start. I suspect itís a movie that rewards multiple viewings, and I look forward to discovering more.

One of the most rewarding things about Finding Dory is how elements in this story explain some things in Finding Nemo, stuff that didnít really need explaining but makes that movie more interesting too. This isnít just a spin-off, continuation, or rehash, although the general story structure is very close (almost disappointingly close) to the first filmís. Itís more like the ocean is an enormous place with a million stories, and some of them have interlocking pieces which complete each otherís pictures.

Iíve never heard of a voice actor getting nominated for an acting award, and that makes all kinds of sense, but if I were part of the nominating process, Iíd be tempted at least to consider Ellen Degeneres for a best actress nod. This picture could have been animated by five-year-olds, and she would have made it worth watching. This was not animated by five-year-olds, and itís an excellent film Iíd put in the lower part of Pixarís upper tier.

9/10 (IMDb rating)
91/100 (Criticker rating)
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