The thing with Pixar sequels is that no one ever asks for them. And even though we’ve had movies like Cars 2, every now and again we get a Toy Story 2 to make us laugh, cry and feel all over again.Thankfully Finding Dory is much more like the latter. Picking up a year after where we left off, Dory is living on the reef with Marlin and Nemo, but when she suddenly remembers information about her family, they must trek across the ocean again to retrace her memory and find her parents. It’s a beautiful story about coming home and creating your own family, and even though it’s a sequel to Finding Nemo, it feels very much like a separate film, in the same way that Toy Story 2 did to its original.
Of course, this is down to the story focusing this time on Dory, hilariously voiced again by Ellen DeGeneres. For a character that could get very old very quickly, Dory doesn’t become annoying: she’s a very empathetic character, and as she struggles further with her short term memory loss and other characters get frustrated with her, it’s heartbreaking to watch, because we know just she can’t help it. But as Dory remembers things and we get flashback glimpses into her past, and see Baby Dory with the family she so desperately wants, we see that this whole journey, and this sequel, was worth it.
Focusing less on the journey and more on the destination, Finding Dory sees us at a Marine Life Institute, where the gang comes across many new faces and challenges on their journey. Though Marlin and Nemo have a more supporting role in this film, we get to see them interact much more as father and son, something which made this fan of the original swell with happiness. But Pixar’s new characters are easily the most fun part of this film: there’s Destiny and Bailey (Kaitlin Olson and Ty Burrell), two whales from Dory’s past with a few health problems of their own, and Fluke and Rudder (Idris Elba and Dominic West), a couple of seals who come to Nemo and Marlin’s aid. And then of course, there’s Hank, a grumpy septopus who just wants to get the hell out of there, made perfect by Ed O’Neill. There’s even a cameo from Sigourney Weaver, and as our old and new favourite fish (and mammals) overcome their obstacles, we see the effect that Dory’s positivity can have on people: like Nemo says, What Would Dory Do?
I know I keep harping on about Toy Story 2, but Finding Dory is very reminiscent of it in that it takes a wonderful concept and takes it to new heights. It’s also a testament of how far Pixar has developed its animation, because Pixar films are always stunning, but Finding Dory might even be more beautiful and colourful than Nemo. It might not reach the same emotional heights of the original, but that was always going to be a tall order, and with beautiful animation, iconic characters and a heart-warming story, Finding Dory is a Pixar sequel that we can all be proud of.
With such a great supporting cast, here’s my top five films and TV shows starring the cast of Finding Dory:
- Modern Family – Ed O’Neill and Ty Burrell
- Inside Out – Bill Hader
- The Godfather – Diane Keaton
- American Pie – Eugene Levy
- The Jungle Book – Idris Elba
Images from IMDb.com: