Finding Dory

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31/07/16

Pixar don’t often do sequels and they’ve certainly waited a long time before offering this one, following on from Finding Nemo (2002). This film concentrates on the character of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) the fish with short term memory disorder. We start with her as a child desperately trying to follow the instructions of her parents and then cut to one year after the events of ‘Nemo’ with Marlin (Albert Brooks) still trying to cope with his best friend’s irritating habit of repeating everything at five minute intervals. Somewhere amidst the flashbacks she regularly encounters, Dory remembers her doting parents and before you can say ‘tunafish’ she and Marlin and Nemo (Hayden Rolance) have set off on an epic quest to find them.

What can I say about this film? Obviously, it’s not aimed at people of my age and obviously, it reintroduces a raft of characters from the original film. I remember enjoying Nemo and I guess I mostly enjoyed this one. The animation is as customarily dazzling as you’d expect from Pixar and perhaps it’s unfair to attribute the occasional forays into cheesy fridge magnet mawkishness to the fact that Disney now own the animation studio and are bound to exert a certain influence. It also occurred to me somewhere along the way that the story could be interpreted as an metaphor about senile dementia, but perhaps I’m over over-thinking something that has much less serious intentions.

There are good elements scattered throughout proceedings. I particularly liked a pair of indolent (English) sea lions and Hank (Ed O Neill) the intrepid octopus (or should that be septopus, since he’s missing a tentacle?) A sequence towards the film’s finale depicting an articulated lorry going over a cliff in slow-motion is suitably awe-inspiring, and  – even if, ultimately, Finding Dory is just swimming gamely along in the wake of its ground-breaking progenitor – it is beautifully done and there’s much to commend it.

Kiddie-winks will love this; and do try to get along early enough to see Piper, the by now traditional short animation that precedes the main feature.

4 stars

Philip Caveney

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