Finding Dory ****


USA / Director Andrew Stanton/ 100 mins

Synopsis: The forgetful blue tang fish Dory, along with her friends Nemo and Marlin  search for answers about her past. 

It has been over a decade since Pixar warmed people’s hearts with a story set under the sea, can lighting strike twice?

Taking place a year after Nemo’s return to the reef, the long awaited sequel flashes back to the heroine’s childhood, when she was a short-term-memory-challenged hatchling living with her mom (Diane Keaton) and dad (Eugene Levy). She wanders off one day, and searches for her family, however in typical Dory fashion forgets what she is looking for.  The revival of her quest sends her across the seas to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California along with her friends Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) encountering a new bunch of colourful characters.

The original ‘Finding Nemo’ was never screaming out for a follow up, but somehow Pixar has struck gold yet again. After the awful ‘Cars 2’and the disappointing ‘Monster’s University’, the Animation studio has successfully created a memorable sequel.

Rather than focusing on searching for a primary character, this time the search is for two secondary characters. Dory once again is voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, who has not changed at all in that she is still the quirky likeable fish that she was in the original. 

The story appears to struggle from the offset as it repeats elements from the original. Things pick up considerably when Dory reaches the  Marine Life Institute and the audience is introduced to a wealth of colourful characters. Once the story hits this point the pace and action is relentless, but never confusing or boring. As always with Pixar movies they come with an emotional and at times heartbreaking narrative and Dory is no exception.

The first new encounter is a stroppy  dry witted octopus, Hank (Ed O’Neill). Along with longtime whale shark ‘pipe pal’  Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a hyper condriact beluga Whale, Bailey and the hysterical  sea lions Fluke and Rudder (The Wire co stars Idris Elba and Dominic West).

The animation as would be expected is stunning showing the ocean as a vast and terrifying place.
The film never feels like a lazy, cynical cash in. Which in this day and age is hard to believe after the onslaught of pointless sequels audiences have had to endure.
Reviewed by Paul Logan


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