Movie Review: Finding Dory

Do you know how it feels to be looking for someone??

Finding Dory is a sequel 3D computer animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and takes place one year after the 2003 animated children’s comedy drama, Finding Nemo.

Since reuniting Marlin with Nemo, Dory has lived with them and has played a fundamental role in raising Nemo. Dory, still suffering from short term memory loss, is more of a nuisance to Marlin than a help.

One day, Dory has a childhood flashback of when she was little that she isn’t as alone in the world as she thought, she had a real family. The issue was that she had no idea where they were, due to the memory loss. All she could remember is hat she lived with them at the Jewel of Morro Bay.

With Marlin and Nemo in tow, the trio travel the ocean to California. Being in a unknown section of the ocean, they are unaware of the various dangers that lurk about. A giant squid attacks and nearly devours Nemo and Dory is retrieved from the ocean by staff from a nearby marine sanctuary called the Marine Life Institute after being caught in a plastic six-pack ring, ultimately separating the trio.

Dory ends up in Quarantine where she is tagged and marked. It is there that she meets a grumpy seven legged octopus named Hank. Hank had a traumatic life in the ocean and longed to live in an aquarium, rather than being released back into the ocean. He had learned, through his stealthily chameleon like methods of blending into the room, that marine tagged would be sent to a permanent aquarium in Cleveland. Hank learns of Dory’s plight to find her parents and agrees to help her in exchange for her tag.

With the assistance of Hank, Dory travels around the institute in search of her parents. She ends up falling to an exhibit, where she encounters her childhood friend Destiny. Destiny is a nearsighted whale shark who used to communicate with Dory through pipes between exhibits. Dory also meets her exhibit mate Bailey, who is a beluga whale who believes that he is incapable of echolocate, which is a common ability of his species.

Dory continues to have several flashbacks of life with her parents while struggling to recall specific details. Blurry memories of shells in the sand and being pulled away by an undertow current sends shock waves through Dory.

With the assistance of two sea lions named Fluke and Rudder and their creepy loon companion Becky, Marlin and Nemo are able to get into the Institute and reunite with Dory in the pipe system. Dory now is on a mission to find the other blue tang fish (like herself) as she is sure that her parents have to be in the Institute. Upon finding the blue tangs in a tank in Quarantine, Dory is met with an overwhelming sadness when she finds out that her parents escaped the Institute a long time ago in search of Dory and are most likely dead.

Hank realizing that Dory didn’t find her parents, scoops her out of the tank, accidentally leaving Nemo and Marlin behind to be shipped to Cleveland. Hank is then apprehended by employees of the Institute and Dory slips into a nearby drain that flushes her out into the ocean.

Dory is in full panic mode as she has no idea how she is going to save Marlin and Nemo….let alone find her parents. She tries so hard to think and remember. Dory then comes upon a trail of shells on the ocean floor, wherein she remembers that her

parents had set out shells for her to follow as a child so that she would always remember how to get home. Dory feels so happy in the moment, a wonderful memory.  Dory follows the trail until she comes upon an empty home with multiple trails of shells leading from it.

As Dory turns to swim away from the sad sight of an empty home, she suddenly sees her parents Charlie and Jenny in a faint distance. They rush towards Dory and have the most loving and excitable reunion. Dory learns that the shell paths were placed over the years by her parents in hopes that one day she would eventually find them again.

Though overwhelmed with joy, Dory knows she still needs to save Marlin and Nemo from being taken away to Cleveland. With the assistance of Destiny and Bailey (who break out of their exhibit), Dory is able to get aboard the marine truck. Dory is able to persuade Hank that life in the ocean doesn’t have to be as bad as it once was for him, especially with her around, and together they hijack the truck and crash it into the water…. thus freeing all the fish.

In the end, Dory alongside her parents, Marlin, Nemo and all their newfound friends return to the reef to live together.

I have been meaning to write about this movie for awhile, but it ended up on a back-burner due to gaming. Finding Dory is an entertaining movie, amazing voice acting (Ellen DeGeneres is classic), and the digital graphics are spectacular. The movie is definitely designed to draw in a large demographic, the younger generation for the cute little fishes and for the older generation because a 13 year wait to find out what happened next to Nemo, Dory and Marlin is just too long!

While I enjoyed watching the movie and seeing how adorable little Dory is, I also found a bit of a dull feeling come from watching it. Though the story was ideally a different scenario, it basically felt like a rehash of the Finding Nemo storyline, wherein a character was in the hunt of a missing character and thus travels the ocean while encountering struggles and danger, and ultimately finds that character and everything ends happy….the end.

Ultimately though, Finding Dory is a good watch, and will definitely be played on repeat if you have a young child in your household. No one can resist the cute little eyes of little Dory.

Share this: