CGB Review of Finding Dory (2016)

First we had to find Nemo, now we gotta find Dory.  I wonder if we’ll have to find Marlin next with a particular set of skills.
If you’ve seen Taken, you’ll know what I mean.

This is my review of Finding Dory!

finding-dory

As a child, Dory had a wonderful relationship with her parents Charlie and Jenny.  Then one fateful day, Dory is separated from her family and her days with them fade into blurry memories.
Fast-forward to one year after the events of the first Finding Nemo film; during a trip with Nemo’s class, Dory comes across a reminder of her past, which beckons her to go on a journey to find her beloved mother and father.
The first film Finding Nemo is a classic at my house.  If I had a dime for every time we quote Finding Nemo, well, I would probably be richer than Donald Trump (I’m sorry, I had to get a Trump joke in there!)
Now while this isn’t a collaboration, I will be labeling the Hits in blue like Dory and the Misses in orange like Marlin and Nemo.

The Hits
As in the last film, the animation is stellar.  Everything from the water to the animals is gorgeous to look at.
I really like how the story starts off with Dory’s childhood and then transitions (quite cleverly) to the exact moment in the first film when she meets Marlin.  In fact, a lot of the same locations (Marlin and Nemo’s house, the Great Barrier Reef, etc.,) all make an appearance in the movie, which creates a bridge between the first film and this sequel.
Okay, I’m going to say what every other reviewer has said: Hank the octopus is awesome!  At first, his character is kind of cliché (hardened guy who forms a soft spot for main character by the end), but the movie makes him interesting.  I thought it was pretty bold for Disney to create a character who outright claims that he is happy being a loner and wants nothing to do with others.  Typically characters like this are the antagonists, but Hank is presented in a humanistic way.  Towards the end, he does soften and gradually changes in a realistic way.  The relationship between the cynical Hank and innocent Dory is charmingly similar to Judy and Nick from Zootopia.  I love how Hank becomes a reluctant big brother to Dory and how the film gives them subtle moments to show Hank beginning to value her.  In my Alice Through The Looking Glass review, I mentioned how I wished the story had been about Time and Alice’s relationship and I feel the same about Hank and Dory.  I kind of hope Hank does get his own spinoff; a GOOD spinoff, that is.
Yes, the relationship between Dory and her parents is not only endearing, it is also reminiscent of the love between parents and a child with special needs.

The Misses
This film definitely feels episodic at times, like there were plans to make the Finding Nemo franchise a TV show, but ended up making the sequel instead.
So about Marlin and Nemo…yeah, there are quite a few times where they feel shoehorned into the story.  Now to be fair, the movie does give them things to do to advance the plot, but there are quite a few times where I found myself saying, “Oh, yeah, you guys are still in this movie, huh?”

Overall Finding Dory is a sweet sequel to Finding Nemo.  Beautiful animation, lovable characters and a cohesive and exciting story with noble messages about the dignity of those who struggle with special needs makes Finding Dory a great family film.

Saint Lucy, who was a big help in getting this review done, pray for us.

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One thought on “CGB Review of Finding Dory (2016)

  1. I’m so happy to hear the movie gives dignity to those with special needs! I’m excited to meet the new character 🙂

    Like

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