More than a decade after we first met clownfish dad Marlin (Albert Brooks) and precocious son Nemo (Hayden Rolence), we catch up with the Finding Nemo gang again in a story that might seem familiar to some, but is still well worth watching.
Finding Nemo told the story of Marlin’s quest to be reunited with Nemo after the latter was caught and put inside someone’s personal aquarium. In the sequel Finding Dory, the forgetful blue tang (voiced once again by Ellen Degeneres) goes on a quest of her own in a bid to find her parents.
Of course, it’s not all that easy. Many shenanigans ensue and Dory has to rely on the kindness of Hank the septopus (Ed O’ Neill), Destiny the whale shark (Kaitlin Olson) and Bailey the beluga (Ty Burrell) to help her out.
If it’s one thing that Disney/Pixar does well, it’s how to manipulate your emotions like no other studio can. And with a movie like Finding Dory that is unabashedly targeted at children and families, it puts the themes of family, friendship and perseverance centrestage. (Sidenote: The Pixar short at the beginning is ridonkulously adorable and is a must-see!)
This being a product of both Disney and Pixar, it’s only natural that the animation is absolutely gorgeous. It also boasts a voice cast that is includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Veteran Brit actors Idris Elba (last heard in Zootopia and The Jungle Book!) and Dominic West are sidesplittingly funny as a pair of lazy sea lions, and even SNL favourites Kate McKinnon and Bill Hader have a small cameo as a pair of concerned fish.
Hank the septopus (he lost one tentacle before the events of the movie) is easily the best of the new characters, and provides a nice realistic counterpoint to Dory’s forgetful and incessantly optimistic view of the world. He may constantly question the necessity of Dory’s quest, but he steps up to the plate whenever Dory gets herself in trouble.
It’s almost scary how calculated the movie is: It hits all the high and low points flawlessly, but it does get a little grating after a while. However, it is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
It may not break new ground and may be relentless in its message of the importance of family and friends. But given the doom and gloom in the news lately, Finding Dory just might be the soothing balm we all need to remind us that there is still some good in the world.
Finding Dory is in cinemas now. Tell us what you think of the movie!