Stars: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Idris Elba, Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Andrew Stanton, Sigourney Weaver.
Director: Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane.
Screenplay: Andrew Stanton & Victoria Strouse.
Just keep swimming miss DeGeneres because I would follow you well into another sequel. This is the perfect example of how a sequel can take what worked from its original and still create a new and fun story.
Dory, the Blue Tang with short term memory loss that we all fell in love with in Finding Nemo is back crossing the ocean to find her family and in doing so find herself. With Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) in tow they make it to California to find her parents as she remembers that she has been trying to find them most of her life.
Instead of retreading the old film we skip past the treacherous seas on Crush's (Andrew Stanton) back and surface right on Dory's old doorstep; Sigourney Weaver's Marine Life Institute. Here she encounters a new companion Octopus, Hank (Ed O'Neill) that helps her track down where she used to live with her parents in the institute. On the way she reunites with her 'pipe' friend Whale Shark Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) and her friend Beluga Whale Bailey (Ty Burrell) while experiencing flashbacks to her loving parents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) & Charlie (Eugene Levy).
Sequels like to lean on the original material to connect with its audience, Finding Dory however uses and then grows the material to allow us to delve deeper and learn more about these characters. It was a genuine pleasure to follow Dory on her quest to find her parents, her home, her own self that instead of wanting the old film you are wanting more of the new one.
With every kid movie there is always something there for the adults in the audience. With Sigourney Weaver's voice popping out of the depths of the ocean to Louis Armstrong crooning away gave me a real kick, it allowed me to get the pleasure that the kids get with what is really their film.
Finding Nemo and Finding Dory represents that while you may have what is considered a disability like Nemo's tiny fin or Dory's memory loss, you can forge your own way, your own destiny. These traits do not define you but help you in unexpected ways. I truly think that showing the struggle of being not quite like everyone else can be an actual strength that can help you survive in a harsh world. Dory's memory while a struggle is what gives her her ability to see the world differently, find connections that others do not and the courage to persevere when everyone else says it is not possible.
Finding Dory is exactly what the title states, it is a film about Dory finding herself and her place in this crazy world and it is a beauty to watch.