My Thoughts: FINDING DORY (2016)


Pixar’s latest film is one that I honestly wasn’t dying to happen! I mean, I wasn’t against a Finding Nemo sequel, but I wouldn’t have been disappointed if we never got a sequel either! So like a true animation fan, I went to see Finding Dory with an open mind. What did I think of it? Well, read on to find out!

Finding Dory takes place a year after the events of Finding Nemo. In this film, Dory, voiced again by Ellen DeGeneres, starts to recollect memories of when she was younger. She remembers her parents and remembers that she was from “The Jewel of Morro Bay, California”. Once these memories stick with her, she decides to go on a quest to find this place as well as her parents.

Here's the story....of a dark blue baby...who lost her way from her dark blue parents...
Here’s the story….of a dark blue baby…who lost her way from her dark blue parents…

The place turns out to be a marine institute that rehabilitates sick/injured marine life and then releases them back into the ocean after they’re healed. Dory attempts to find her parents there with the help of a cranky, but likable septopus (a 7-tentacled octopus) named Hank, voiced by Ed O’Neill. As the movie progresses, Dory remembers more things from her childhood little by little whilst Marlin and Nemo, voiced by Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence, respectively, try to get Dory out of the marine institute.

Flying Buckets: Coming soon to a Disney theme park near you!
Flying Buckets: Coming soon to a Disney theme park near you!

My overall feeling of the movie is that it’s good. I don’t think it’s an amazing film, but it’s good. It does what it set out to do: tell a story with Dory as the main focus and it does that pretty well. Unfortunately, this means that many of the other characters in the film take backseat roles in the film: Marlin and Nemo seem to be thrown in for the heck of it. Some new characters such as a whale shark named Destiny (voiced by Kaitlin Olson), a beluga whale named Bailey (voiced by Ty Burrell), and two sea lions voiced by Idris Elba and Dominic West feel incredibly underused. Only Dory and Hank (and maybe Dory’s parents) seem to be the only characters that time is spent heavily on. And that’s fine.

Finding Hank: Coming to theaters Summer 2020!
Finding Hank: Coming to theaters Summer 2020!

The animation was probably as good as Finding Nemo‘s animation; maybe the water was a bit clearer, but there was nothing incredibly new to really capture my attention. The story was a simple one with the only laudable aspect of it being how it showed how people/children with disabilities or certain handicaps can still help themselves in the world.

Even if you're stuck amongst the pipes of life with multiple pathways to take, you can still use your skills to make the right choice!
Even if you’re stuck amongst the pipes of life with multiple pathways to take, you can still use your skills to make the right choice!

Summing up, the film was good…that’s about it. It’s not one of Pixar’s best, but it isn’t their worst film either. I don’t think it should be nominated for a Best Animated Feature award, but if it did, well…cool.


11 thoughts on “My Thoughts: FINDING DORY (2016)”

  1. I’m not gonna spoil much since I have a review in a few days. I pretty much agree though.

    What do you think should be nominated for Best Animated Feature?

  2. I mostly agreed with this review. I did find the movie a bit disappointing, though. Some of that comes from the fact I was originally supposed to see this with a girl I know, but then she canceled due to other issues, and in the end after we had both already seen it separately we ended up going to The Secret Life of Pets instead (and I would have much rather we had seen this).

    But honestly, the movie just seems to lack the sense of urgency the original had. I get that they wanted it to be different from the original, but the lack of any strong villain or threat really is noticeable. The original had no real villain either, but there was conflict from the jellyfish, the sharks, and the fishermen at the end. Here, every new character Marlin, Dory, and Nemo meet is non-threatening and willing to help them (even the Marine Institute plans to eventually release the marine life), and it just makes the film dull to watch. I don’t know if giving the movie a grand villain would be the right answer or not, but the film does feel lacking in terms of conflict.

    At least the movie isn’t completely pointless, though, because it does give us more insight into Dory’s backstory and it does give her story some closure. I just don’t know if it has the imagination, charm, and the fun of the original.

  3. Also Marlin and Nemo weren’t along for the ride “just for the heck of it” as I have heard you and other critics say. It does make sense Marlin would be there because the first movie showed Dory’s memory is better when he’s around, and deteriorates rapidly when he isn’t, so Marlin being there is innately helpful. And Nemo is still a kid, so Marlin can’t just leave him behind, even if he is giving Nemo more freedom than he did in the original.

      1. I think audiences might have missed them. I think it helps show they are Dory’s new family and thus are offering her support as she finds her real family. They don’t do very much, though, except add some precious few conflict through their searches for Dory, though even that got a bit grating and mind-numbing.

        All the same, the only way I’d really approve of leaving them out is if Albert Brooks had died.

  4. I enjoyed this film immensely and am sorry you didn’t have the same reaction, but I can understand it. There was quite a bit of predictability in the plot, I think, but what I feel is the really important part of this film is the heart of it. The feeling of family and the need to know where we come from. I think it was excellent from that point of view.

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