Thirteen years ago, Disney Pixar introduced us to a little clown fish looking for his son. Along for the ride was a forgetful blue tang fish who taught us all to “just keep swimming”. When it was announced that there would be a sequel to Finding Nemo over a decade after the original movie came out, it came as a pleasant surprise to me!
Seeing Finding Dory is like visiting an old friend. The characters we know and love are there as if no time has passed at all, the movie is a joy to watch visually, and all the new characters were actually my favorite part of the film.
Dory has a flash of an old memory and remembers where her family is. She quickly recruits Marlin and Nemo to help her cross the ocean once more to find her family before she forgets them…again. Their journey takes them to a oceanside marine rescue aquarium and introduces us to Hank the octopus. Hank is a grouch who just wants to live out his life by himself, in peace, in an aquarium. The happy, forgetful Dory throws a wrench in those plans.
This movie is thoroughly enjoyable and absolutely adorable. It is also basically repeating the first movie—just with a different location and a few different characters. I would categorize Finding Dory firmly in the “unnecessary sequel” box. Other than revisiting these old characters, story wise there is little reason for this movie to exist.
That said, I still left the theater with a smile on my face. All of the characters Dory encounters are kind to her as she looks for her family, and the new characters blend in flawlessly with the old friends.
As a side note, the short film Piper, which precedes Finding Dory, is breathtakingly beautiful and again shows Pixar’s mastery of telling a story with no words whatsoever.
Heidi Joelle is a transaction coordinator by day and a writer, editor, and reader by night. She can be coaxed from the house by the sound of a good adventure or traveling somewhere new. Her sidekick Smokey the Saint Bernard is rarely far off, usually pretending he's asleep.