I remember seeing Finding Nemo at the cinema with my dad, and it’s the second cinema trip I ever remember going to, after The Grinch. It was my first time experiencing a slushie, and also the first time experiencing a sugar high. This time, I saw Finding Dory by myself, but I think my dad would have loved it as much as I did.
Finding Dory is set 1 year after the events of Finding Nemo, as Dory, a blue tang fish with short term memory loss, remembers her lost parents and sets out to find them. It takes her to the marine life institute in California where she meets a host of new friends such as Hank the 7 armed octopus and Destiny the short sighted whale shark.
When I first heard about the sequel, I was skeptical. So many films these days seem to be sequels to beloved classics in a quick cash grab. The premise of the main characters searching for their lost family member sounded like it would be a rehash of the original Finding Nemo, but Finding Dory gave a strong delivery and would work well as it’s own stand alone film.
We do get to meet previous friends of the franchise, as the previous main characters Marlin and Nemo join Dory on her adventure, as well as Nemo’s teacher and school friends and the current riding sea turtles. It’s a nice nod to popular characters without taking up much screen time or diverting the plot.
Finding Dory also brings something new to the franchise, something that Pixar always excel at. It brings us baby Dory. The cutest, most adorable fish who’s eyes take up 80% of her face. The flashbacks with baby Dory and her parents are heartwarming and really bring that feel good family feeling. Think of the Up! opening montage, but 100 times cuter and dispersed throughout the film.
I’m not going to lie, I was close to tears at several of the flashback scenes, and actually cried by the end of the movie. Tears of pure joy and relief. The entire film was an emotional rollercoaster to be honest. The plot feels almost predictable but then Pixar throws a curveball and you don’t really know if things will go the way you think they will, but you’re praying that they will. At least I did.
Perhaps I’m a little close to the franchise, and most people might not react as strongly as I did. But I came in with low expectations and I left with satisfaction of getting things I didn’t even know I wanted from the film. For families and anyone who likes animated films, it’s a no brainer.
There are however a few niggles, but non big enough to dampen my enjoyment of the film. I saw it in 3D which added nothing to the film and continues, in my opinion, to simply be a gimmick that won’t go away. If you plan on seeing the film, I recommend seeing it in 2D.