It’s familiar territory but Pixar treads it well. Heartfelt exposition explains Dory’s backstory: she lost her protective parents but is now finding her memory. Dory remembers California is her home, so they hitch a ride – with Finding Nemo’s turtle-bros – to find her family.
Be warned: there’s a lot of losing and finding (each other and oneself) in the film, which is increasingly exhausting. But Finding Dory would be much worse in a lesser studio’s hands. And it’s not just for kids; a running Sigourney Weaver joke might pass over kids’ heads but it will please anyone familiar with Alien, that other franchise about being far from home.
The voices are perfectly cast. Ed O’Neill is the standout as Hank, a gruff but loveable septimus (an octopus minus one tentacle). Ty Burrell (as a beluga in denial) and Kaitlin Olson (a short-sighted whale shark) have brilliant chemistry. And there’s British talent too; Idris Elba and Dominic West team up as a pair of hypochondriac sea lions. All that comedic talent keep things pacey, kids entertained, and parents guessing whose voice they recognize from television.
The original trio – Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory, Albert Brooks’ Marlin and Hayden Rolence’s Nemo – provide a familiar centre and their evolving relationship is a delight. It’s lovely for a children’s film to explore the dynamics of a distinctly non-nuclear family. There are typically inspired set-pieces; a stingray migration, a crashing lorry and a family of otters are all handled with the standard Pixar charm. Finding Dory also handles the oddities of sea-life with aplomb – the intricacies of beluga whale communication are a genuine highlight.
will complain about Pixar’s recent hang-up on sequels, but to give the studio its
due, they leave a lot of jokes in the first movie. There are some obligatory
loose ends to tie up; an origin story for ‘just keep singing’ (did anyone
really want that?) feels unnecessary. But there are no vegetarian sharks. No
mention of Wallaby Lane. Nemo barely gets a word in. It means it feels as fresh
as a sequel can in 2016. And if you’ve unmoved by the end’s reunion, you
probably need to check your pulse and learn from our friend the octopus (they
have three hearts, don’t you know).
|Finding Dory film review
|Various Locations | MAP
29 Jul 16 – 31 Oct 16, 12:00 AM
|£determined by cinema
|Click here for more...