Finding Dory movie poster
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Finding Dory
Finding Dory movie poster

Finding Dory Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

At least when Pixar makes a cash-grab sequel, it makes them good. Finding Dory is the follow-up to the 2003 smash hit Finding Nemo, a movie that never asked for nor needed a sequel but that has received one nonetheless. The positive: Finding Dory is nearly as entertaining, even if it sticks close to formula.

Ellen DeGeneres returns to voice Dory, the friendly but immensely forgetful blue tang fish who suffers from short term memory loss. While the argument could be made that Dory makes a better supporting character than lead, the Pixar crew pull no punches in fleshing out her story, going so far as to make it a rather heartbreaking one. Expect “What would Dory do?” T-shirts to be everywhere.

Albert Brooks once again lends his voice to Marlin, Nemo’s dad, and once again serves as the cranky voice of reason who must overcome his fears and objections to help save the day. He’s great, though his character’s tendencies are a reminder that Finding Dory is just more of the same adventure, rather than something new and original.

Still, Finding Dory is a fantastic and fun adventure that kids and adults of all ages will enjoy. Much of the action takes place in an ocean rehabilitation center, as Dory, Marlin, Nemo and newcomer Hank the [even crankier than Marlin] Octopus (voiced by Ed O’Neill) desperately search for Dory’s long-lost parents while facing all kinds of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In turn, the animators have created a rich and detailed world in which their characters can interact. The new characters, including a silly beluga whale and several whacky sea lions, are a blast.

Finding Dory lacks the originality of some of Pixar’s earlier works (or even last year’s Inside Out) and swims very close to the formula of the first film, but it’s entertaining through and through and gets better as it goes along.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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