REVIEW: Finding Dory will find easy success with the family crowd

…but there are a few things that keep the movie from completely keeping it afloat.

It’s been thirteen years in the making, but Finding Dory hopes to find its way into the hearts and minds of those previously children or teens when its predecessor, Finding Nemo, came out. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks return to their respective roles as Dory and Marlin, while new voices (Ed O’Neil, Ty Burrell, Hayden Rolence) take on some new – and some familiar faces.

The question I’ve been asked of late about Finding Dory is why on Earth the movie took so long to develop and produce. Disney had shipped the task of creating the sequel to a studio called Circle 7 Animation prior to 2005. If you haven’t heard of the studio, don’t worry: it was shut down before it could even animate a lick of any movie. The movie option just about drowned, between the director, Andrew Stanton (who also voices Crush the Sea Turtle) not wanting to do a sequel, and the Development Hell it went through, it looked like the movie was never going to get made.

That all changed in 2012, when talks started, contracts were signed, and we all found out in the twelve to sixteen months that followed that Brooks and DeGeneres would return.

So – did Stanton make the right choice, going against his first idea of no sequels?

I’d say yes.

Mind you, we’re not reinventing the wheel, here. This is, at the crux of it all, a kids’ movie. The story is simple; the ‘twists’ and red herrings are simple. The neat thing about this is it’s a great walk down memory lane, and the wee ones will also enjoy most of it.

My big concern was whether or not the forgetfulness shtick would stand in the starring role. It does, but it makes for a not-so-dynamic experience as you’re following Dory – and her forgetfulness – one scene, to the next. Where it all pans out is in the little secondary – and even tertiary details. From Sigourney Weaver’s cameo, to the slapstick timing of some characters like Hank the ‘Sept’-opus (O’Neil) and Destiny the whale shark (Kaitlin Olson) – they helped fill the humour void Dory was responsible for in the previous film.

There are shades of themes pertaining to the importance of taking care of our ecosystems, and water-based friends, but nothing as pushy as I experienced while watching The Lorax. Don’t get me started on that movie, good grief! You only need to look at Dory getting stuck in plastic drink rings to feel a little sad about the whole thing. Or fish tied up in plastic bags. If you stay until the end, you’ll know what I mean.

So, is the movie worth seeing? Yeah, it absolutely is. This is 100% a family movie, meant to make you smile. I strongly suggest not going in there overthinking it, rather, enjoy the ride – go with the flow.

4.5 fish sticks out of 5.

P.S: At the very least, the short, ‘Piper,’ is an enjoyable experience. I’d previously held ‘Feast’ in the highest of regards, but ‘Piper’ is by far my favourite. The short gets a perfect score.

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