“Finding Dory” doesn’t lose itself in the sequel sludge, and also manages to find a story with heart.
Last time we saw Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), they were traveling the ocean to get Nemo (Hayden Rolence) home in “Finding Nemo.” Now, Nemo and Marlin are doing the same thing for Dory.
Dory’s been having flashbacks of her life before Marlin and Nemo, which she doesn’t remember. The one thing she does know is she has parents out there and she has to find them. Marlin and Nemo know a few things about being forced away from family, so they agree to help.
But of course, Marlin and Nemo are separated from Dory. While Dory gets closer and closer to finding her forgotten parents, Marlin and Nemo search for Dory and begin realize how important she is to them.
On the surface, it may seem like “Finding Dory” is an exact repeat of “Finding Nemo,” but once you dive a little deeper into the story it’s anything but.
Although it does seem like the plot carries along a little too quickly at times, you don’t get lost and it’s still entertaining.
The other factor that adds to the freshness of “Finding Dory” is the addition of new characters: a cantankerous but helpful octopus (Ed O’Neill), a near-sighted whale shark (Kaitlin Olson) and a seemingly disabled beluga whale (Ty Burrell). All these colorful characters create fun interactions with Dory that also incite lots of laughs.
“Finding Dory” is truly successful at telling a story that focuses on a supporting character from the original film that stays true to the character. Dory is the same outgoing, friendly, helpful, distracted and optimistic person … er fish, she always was. While her character does grow and develop throughout her journey, it doesn’t change her into something different but expands on who she already was.
All that is to say, much like “Finding Nemo” — and really any decent Pixar film — “Finding Dory” brings on the waterworks. As Dory searches for home, she also searches for her own identity, for family and a place to belong. She recognizes her weakness — it’s hard to search for someone when you can’t remember who they are — but she just keeps swimming and by the end you’ll just keep crying.
And laughing, too. DeGeneres and the whole cast keep the laughs coming with witty banter and jokes for the whole family. So don’t worry, “Finding Dory” should please anyone wanting to spend a good time under the sea with some friends, both old and new.