Disclosure: My daughter and I attended a free screening of Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory. All opinions in this Finding Dory Review are our own.
Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory finally opens in theaters today! It’s been a long wait since the movie was first announced more than 3 years ago. We were in line at Universal Studios when I received the email and shared the news.
Finding Dory Review
My daughter and I really enjoyed seeing Finding Dory.
The movie starts with flashbacks to when Dory was an adorable child with her parents. Then it shows Dory meeting Marlin before skipping to “one year later”. On a field trip with Mr Ray’s science class, Dory begins to remember her family. She convinces Marlin and Nemo to help her reunite with her parents.
We loved that so many characters from Finding Nemo make an appearance in Finding Dory. In addition to the main characters of Dory, Marlin, and Nemo, brief appearances are made by the sea turtles Crush and Squirt, Mr Ray & Nemo’s classmates, and Nemo’s tank mates from Finding Nemo. Noticeable absences from Finding Dory are Bruce the shark and Nigel the pelican. Notable new characters in Finding Dory are Hank the octopus, Becky a loon, Destiny a whale shark, Bailey a Beluga whale, and sea lions Fluke and Rudder.
The storyline offers many parallels with Finding Nemo. However, it still maintains its originality. While Finding Dory has the same message about finding your way home as Finding Nemo, it goes beyond just finding your home/parents. Dory struggles with her short-term memory loss and learns ways to cope with her memory loss. The film also shows the importance of perseverance.
What the Movie Lacks
Of course the movie isn’t perfect. What I found missing in Finding Dory was the comedic sidekick. In Finding Nemo, Dory and her short term memory loss serve this function. Now that Dory is the central character, she’s a bit toned down. No other character really steps into the sidekick void.
The other thing that surprised me was how quickly Dory, Marlin, and Nemo traveled across the ocean to find Dory’s home. While Marlin and Dory’s journey and the people they meet along the way are a big part of the story in Finding Nemo, it is just an inconvenience to the plot of Finding Dory. The real action in Finding Dory is what happens once they find Dory’s home in California at the Marine Life Institute.
Tips for Seeing Finding Dory
Piper Short Film
The short film Piper precedes Finding Dory. Piper is about a baby sandpiper learning to find food along the ocean. He reminded me of the baby bird in my neighbor’s yard and how they hold their beak open demanding to be fed. We loved the short.
Finding Dory is more serious than many of the other Disney•Pixar movies. There are some laughs but they seemed less frequent than in other Pixar films. Finding Dory is definitely a tear jerker. However, there is nothing inappropriate about Finding Dory. The movie is also not overly scary. Some of the scenes from Finding Nemo were more intense than anything in Finding Dory. However, be warned that scenes can seem more intense on the big screen. If your child enjoys Finding Nemo, they should be fine seeing Finding Dory.
Don’t Rush Out
Finding Dory takes after the Marvel movies with a post-credit scene. The first section of the credits was entertaining with Hank the octopus. Then the credits rolled for quite a while before the post-credit scene. You’d probably have the time for a quick bathroom run during the credits before the final scene. The scene is not to be missed.
Public Service Announcement
After Finding Nemo, there was an increase in people asking for clownfish as pets. It’s like people forgot the message of the movie and how much Nemo hated being in a fish bowl and tank. The pet shop industry is anticipating the same thing happening with blue tang fish. Please seriously consider whether this is the right choice for your family before finding “Dory” a home at your house.
Before Seeing Finding Dory
Trailer for Finding Dory:
More about Finding Dory:
Here is some information on the movie from Disney•Pixar:
Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” reunites everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale?
Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), the film features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton. “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.
- “Finding Nemo” won the 2003 Academy Award® for best animated feature; the film was nominated for three additional Oscars® (original screenplay, original score, sound editing). It was also nominated for a Golden Globe® Award for best motion picture–comedy or musical. In 2008, the American Film Institute named “Finding Nemo” among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, “Finding Nemo” was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It’s the fifth highest grossing animated film worldwide. The film has more than 19 million Likes on Facebook, and Dory—with more than 25 million—is the most liked individual character from a Disney or Disney•Pixar film.