“She just kept swimming…” – Finding Dory (Blu-Ray Review)

Pixar Animation really doesn’t need anymore introductions. They’ve planted firm their pantheon of animations that have already stood the test of time and unarguably become a household name with their wide variety of characters from anthropomorphic animals to cars to our actual emotions. The magic is inexplicably frequent and you’re often left in a state of sheer bewilderment; an awe that these special films often incur to the human psyche after watching.

13 years ago (yes, 13) Finding Nemo graced our screens and breathed life into a range of aqua animals that we’d soon learn to love dearly, from such preposterously hilarious depictions of Great White sharks to the homely, family-orientated father figure of our clown fish super dad Marlin (voiced then and now by Albert Brooks), but Pixar’s bet on creating this eagerly-awaited sequel featuring audience favourite Dory (Ellen DeGeneres — a real pusher in regards to this sequel coming to formation) is one hefty step in the right direction and follows in the footsteps of the Toy Story saga in creating a sequel worthwhile of the Pixar line-up.

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The film picks up a year after the events of the first with Marlin, Nemo and Dory living happily in their anemone. It isn’t until a vacant memory floods back to our dear Dory when distant visions of where she came from and her parents have her seeking her roots, leading the gang once again across the vast, unpredictable oceans where they encounter another gaggle of grossly random and utterly hysterical creatures inside the sea and inside a Sealife clinic where the majority of animals who are captured are repaired and released.

You’d be forgiven to imagine Pixar had exhausted their charm, but when Finding Dory starts an entire new breed of cataclysmic cuteness is unleashed upon the world as we’re introduced to baby Dory, a character bred undoubtedly with the sole purpose to incur many weeps of sadness and a desire to sell many, many plush teddies. But when this character becomes at odds to her own illness, the film retreads the the first, but swaps Marlin’s comedy caper/heartwarming resonance to Dory’s confused state with a septopus named Hank, an octopus with seven tentacles whose prime aim is to reach the safe confines of the distant aquarium where the animals go if not released into the wild. The pair set off on a wild goose chase, the former attempting to find her parents and the latter a way to escape.

The journey has us crossing paths with a short-sighted whale shark called Destiny, a beluga whale whose in dire need of a reality check and Idris Elba as a rock-hogging Cockney Sea Lion. It’s all wrapped entirely in such an irascible sharp tongue where physical comedy is mostly successful and the comforting, familiar narrative is enough to fall deep for this meaningful tale of finding ones self.

It may not reach the heights of Inside Out‘s original charm or even Finding Nemo‘s class act, but Dory and co make this sequel an irresistible family adventure, one whose humour and heartwarming core will be ably rendered to a family of all ages.

4/5

Dir: Andrew Stanton, Angus McLane

Scr: Andrew Stanton, Victoria Strouse

Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba

Prd: Lindsay Collins

DOP: Jeremy Lasky

Music: Thomas Newman

Country: USA

Runtime: 97 minutes

 

Finding Dory is available on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital now.