Movie Review: Finding Dory

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 4/5 stars

Bottom Line: One of the best shorts Pixar has made.  Not quite as good as “Finding Nemo” but still very enjoyable.  I like shells!

“Finding Dory” has the adorableness knob turned to 11.  This begins even before the movie starts with the ubiquitous Pixar short that runs before the main attraction.  This time it’s “Piper”, a story about a newly fledged sandpiper and it’s first experiences on the beach.  The animation is gorgeous.  We’re talking almost lifelike.  You’d be hard pressed to be able to tell the animated ocean from a real ocean at times.   The short also introduces a theme that bleeds into “Finding Dory” itself; there is always more than one way to do something.  In the baby sandpiper’s case, it’s a clever way to catch shells 100% of the time.  If you don’t enjoy this short, you have no heart.

My main concern with “Finding Dory” was the ability to make an entire movie centered around a character whose shtick is constantly forgetting things.  It’s a great concept for a secondary character and Ellen DeGeneres is wonderful and the only person I can imagine in the role, but how do you translate that into a full length animation?  Partially, the answer to that question is backstory.  And you can not find a more adorable backstory than the one featuring baby Dory.  It really sets the stage for adult Dory’s adventures.  Another answer is you cram as many disabled characters as possible into the story.  You have Nemo with his one little fin.  You have Dory with her memory loss.  You have an octopus missing a leg.  You have a near-sighted whale shark.  You have a beluga whose sonar doesn’t work.  All have a part to play in helping Dory reunite with her parents.  It’s a great lesson for the kiddies.

The one thing I could have done without is the car chase scene.  “What’s wrong with a car chase scene?”, you might ask?  I would answer that it involves sea animals driving the car, or truck in this case.  If it were a quick five minute bit, it would have probably been ok, but this went on for some time and it just pushes the suspension of disbelief a little too far.  Other than that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

Parents be warned, taking your children to this movie may result in seeing this movie over and over and over and over again.  But since you’ve already decided to spawn, you’re probably already well aware of that fact because of all of the other Pixar movies known to man.  Others, this is a fun movie well worth watching and you’ll likely enjoy the hell out of it.

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