It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo first was released in theaters and it delighted Pixar fans and still delights to this day. Finding Dory will do exactly that for the next generation of Disney-Pixar loving fans. Full of the charm that we have all grown to expect, fans will fall in love with Dory, Marlin and Nemo all over again, while having to give room in their hearts for an abundance of new and amazing characters that make up the cast of the film. From a beluga whale who can’t use his echolocation to a crazy octopus that wants to just be left alone and kept in a tank, the characters are as bright and vibrant as ever, bringing yet another Pixar classic to life.
It’s been a year since Marlin and Dory took off across the ocean to Sydney to rescue Nemo. In that year Dory, Nemo and Marlin have become a makeshift family, with Dory accompanying Nemo to school and trying to remember what she learned the day before. It’s clear that Marlin is getting a little fed up of Dory’s memory loss when we come upon our fish friends once again, but a trip to the Manta Ray migration jogs something in Dory’s memory that’s important. She remembers her family, her mom and dad whom she lost many years ago.
The use of flashbacks, to see how Dory was raised, along with Dory’s adventure with Marlin and Nemo across the sea once again is perfect. Since Dory can barely remember her parents, the audience is given the chance to learn about what type of fish they are with her, rather than having to play catch up with characters who already know about the ones they are looking for. Yet the true beauty of the film, is that Dory is able to discover herself as she takes this adventure, partly on her own.
Pixar has outdone themselves once again with Finding Dory, as it captures the themes we loved from Finding Nemo and adds onto those themes, continuing a story that was never truly finished. Yes, Marlin had accepted his son for who he was, but his anxiety and worry turned to Dory instead of being focused on Nemo. And then it was clear the Marlin still had a lot to learn about himself and Dory, as this film played out. When it comes to Finding Dory the parents in the audience, who have already grown and formed opinions on life, are definitely Marlin who is in every aspect a parent. Nemo and Dory on the other hand, are the younger audience, or the young at heart, who still learn from their surroundings and accept everyone for who they are. Neither way is right or wrong, but the message is clear, that to be a better person, or fish in this case, you have to learn from each other rather than judge each other. That judgment could cost you your friend or your family.
As an overall film, Finding Dory is great. Like any true Pixar film, it’s got something for the entire family to enjoy and a lesson for everyone, no matter how young or old you are.
If you curious about some of Nemo’s friends that aren’t in the main film, make sure to stick around until the end of the credits, because you’ll get a bit of an update on the Tank Gang if you do.
We almost forgot something, the new Pixar animated short before Finding Dory. Titled Piper, the short is about a young bird learning to hunt for muscles in the surf. Scared at first of the waves that seem to come barreling to shore, the small bird learns from others how to find the biggest and best muscles to eat. The themes in the short create a neat and well rounded transition into the film. See a sneak peak of the animated short below:
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios