Happy Sunday MMT Fam! Before getting into Darryl’s wonderful thoughts about the new film FINDING DORY, I need to give a quick shout-out to MMT’s junior contributor, and my littlest Gemini “bestie,” Jayla – who celebrated her 4th birthday last week!
Jayla had a busy schedule, so she couldn’t make it out to “Finding Dory” – and she will also miss this week’s “The Secret Life of Pets” screening, because Little Miss Lucky will be at the beach on vacation. But no worries, our junior contributor will be back sharing her thoughts with us very soon. In her absence, I’m very grateful that Darryl was able to make it out to screen this one.
PS – as of 11:00 am this morning, “Finding Dory” has a 136.2 million gross at the weekend box office, making it an all-time record début for an animated film and the second best opening in June after last year’s Jurassic World ($208.8M).
Alright, without further ado, let’s get to it! 😉
Keep Swimming – a review of FINDING DORY
Most sequels are let downs, cash grabs and sorely a rehash/retelling of the same story with minor changes. Animation sequels have seen even less success because for every Toy Story 2, Shrek 2 or Ice Age 2… there are many less than stellar stories like “Puss N Boots,” “Minions,” “Cars 2,” or “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” just to name a few. When the sequel is based solely upon a lovable character from the original story, that’s when the sequel gets diluted.
“Finding Dory” is based upon the goofy and lovable, short-term memory having, keep swimming mantra believing fish from “Finding Nemo.” The search for Nemo was so adorable that Pixar Studios banked on revisiting this world by spotlighting upon the scene stealing, secondary character named Dory, believing lighting would strike twice and present us with an equally endearing film. And the answer to their gamble is a resounding… YES!
“Finding Dory” is as delightful as the original while exploring a new journey… introducing us to new characters that help tell a fascinating story. Within the first 5 minutes of the film, we are exposed to the reason why we want and need this movie… and we find ourselves falling in love with Dory all over again. Over the years, Pixar Animation Studios has been brilliant with making a believable world by focusing at the beginning of their movies to emotionally invest the viewer into the story – and thus making us want to find… Dory.
All the major characters are back, Nemo, Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres) & Marlon (voice of Albert Brooks) who are now supported by new characters, Hank (voiced by Ed O’Neill), Dory’s parents voiced by Ty Burrell and Diane Keaton, along with strong actors like Idris Elba and William Dafoe lending their voices to this ocean tale.
The film centers around Dory who suddenly remembers her parents and has a strong longing to find them. Unlike “Finding Nemo,” “Finding Dory” doesn’t focus on the journey but beautifully rests the movie and origin story upon the destination. The film is heart warming, funny, and quite entertaining while it strokes the familiar beats of focusing upon family. The only downside is the forced ending which can take you out of the final special moments, but the film is beautiful enough to help us forgive that.
So if you were someone who adored the original movie “Finding Nemo,” you will truly enjoy its follow-up “Finding Dory”. I don’t know if there are more stories to tell from these under water tales, but from what we have seen from these two movies may be reason enough to”keep swimming… just keep swimming.”
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of X-Men Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, and his primer guide to Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.