Finding Dory (2016) Review

Finding Dory (2016)

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy

Music by Thomas Newman

Production company: Walt Disney Pictures & Pixar Animation Studios

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Finding Dory focuses on the amnesiac fish Dory, who journeys to be reunited with her parents. Along the way, she is captured and taken to a California public aquarium, from which Marlin and Nemo attempt to rescue her.

My Opinion:

I adore Pixar. Any regulars here will know that by now but, just in case someone new is reading this, I LOVE PIXAR!!! And we always have to wait a couple of months to see them in the UK. I love Pixar so much that I’ve even contemplated travelling to other countries to see Pixar movies when the UK has a much later release date. 😉 Finding Nemo just makes it into my Top Five (I did rank the Pixar movies HERE but I’d re-arrange that a bit now) and Dory is probably still close to the top of a list of my favorite Pixar characters (which I posted HERE on my very first day on this blog – I’ll update that list too!). So, yes – I was very much looking forward to spending more time with characters I love. Was it worth the extra wait? Well, it certainly wasn’t worth a trip to another country to see it early so I’m glad I didn’t do that.

Baby Dory is one of the cutest things ever but all the cuteness still isn’t enough to make up for such a weak story. I was even a little bored throughout the film (as was my kid). It breaks my heart to say that about a Pixar movie other than Cars! I enjoyed seeing Dory but Marlin & Nemo almost felt unnecessary, which sucks. I know they’ve already had their own movie but Dory was just as big of a star in Finding Nemo as Marlin & Nemo were. In this, it felt a bit like “well, we have to have Marlin & Nemo tag along as it makes no sense to not have them in the film”. They also tacked on an appearance from Crush & Squirt that I’m not exactly going to complain about as those two are AWESOME, dude, but I just walked out of Finding Dory feeling like I’d watched an inferior version of Finding Nemo. It’s the exact same story again minus the creativity & imagination involved in the first film. The characters are far weaker and there are none of the special little moments that made Finding Nemo so great.

The biggest new addition is an octopus named Hank & I know he has some fans. Hank is okay but, for me, he’ll never be a favorite. In Nemo, even the tiniest roles were fantastic. I could happily watch an entire movie set just in that tank in the dentist’s office… Gill, Bloat, Peach, Bubbles, etc – every single fish in that tank was more memorable than any of the new characters in the sequel.

I always do this – I’m far more critical of the things that I love. I suppose I just have really high standards when it comes to Pixar because they’ve made so many movies that I consider to be perfection. I did enjoy Finding Dory and, to be expected, I enjoyed it more than any other recent animated kids’ films from other studios. To compare it to something like The Secret Life Of Pets, I definitely liked it more. But when compared to other Pixar films, it would be fairly low down the list. I think I feel similar to how I now feel about Monsters University. Both sequels just can’t live up to the originals but that’s because the originals are so damn good (I just checked my review of that, though – I was way too generous with an 8/10! I guess it was my excitement at seeing Mike Wazowski again). But the Toy Story sequels are great so, I dunno… I’ve realized that part of the problem is seeing Dory upset & not the same silly, optimistic, lovably forgetful fish from the first film. She’s almost become Marlin in this film, which works well for his character but not for hers. The story & the characters all just worked together so perfectly in the first film whereas it all feels a bit too forced this time around. But, hell – it’s still Pixar and I still love Dory & it’s still a million times better than Cars. Maybe it’ll grow on me when I see it more at home. But I’m sad to say that I don’t think the kid liked it all that much so I don’t think it’ll get a lot of repeat home viewings unlike the Toy Stories & Monsters, Inc.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Is There A Scene After The Credits?: Yes – at the very end. I found it worth staying for, especially as a fan of the first film.

How About The Short Beforehand?: Piper is freaking ADORABLE. Just as adorable as baby Dory in that above picture and actually better than the Finding Dory film. It was great to see such a good Pixar short after being disappointed with things like Lava. Good job, Pixar!

33 thoughts on “Finding Dory (2016) Review

      • The actors usually come across as so righteous. They try and give the impression that it’s all a lark and they do it for the fun of it. I don’t know what the big deal is. Doing that kind of work is not,by any means,easy so they might as well take credit for their performance. Maybe they think no one takes them seriously because it’s a cartoon….uhhhhh..I mean an animated feature.

      • Yeah, actors can be weird sometimes. I hate the ones who are so self-righteous! I’d be honored to be the voice of a Pixar character. Pixar movies are better than most non-animated films these days anyway. : )

  1. Sounds like it’s about time Pixar stopped making sequels. I can see why they started, but it hasn’t worked out. I mean, they struck utter magic when Toy Story 2 was better than Toy Story, and achieved the virtually impossible by making Toy Story 3 just as good, but other than that… Okay, they’ve only made 3 sequels other than that, and I’ve only seen 2 of them, and Cars 2 isn’t helped by Cars being pretty rubbish to begin with… but still. They’re just tempting fate trying to do Toy Story 4.

    I was excited for The Incredibles 2, but now I’m wondering if it’s going to be a lesson in “be careful what you wish for”.

    • Yeah, the Toy Stories were all so great so I’m glad they all exist. But, other than those, sequels can sometimes ruin a fantastic original film. Both Dory & Monsters Uni don’t exactly HURT the originals but the first films are just so much better. I’d probably have been happier if neither of those sequels existed. As you say, though, the first Cars was pretty rubbish anyway so I didn’t care that there was a sequel. I dunno – I love Pixar & it’s fun seeing favorite characters again but the sequel thing feels like an easy way to make money & something that other, not-so-good animation studios do. Pixar should be above that!

      • They always talk about how they only do sequels if they have a good artistic idea for them, but that’s beginning to feel more and more like spin — especially as it’s pretty well known that the only reason Cars sequels exist is because the toys sell really, really well.

        I wonder if Pixar are beginning to realise this too, though. They’ve still got 3 more sequels lined up, but it feels like they’re backing away from them after that. Or maybe it’s just they haven’t announced that far in the future yet!

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  3. I think it is interesting that you say it is like watching an Inferior Finding Nemo. In the U.S., everyone was constantly saying it was better than Finding Nemo. Neither one looked interesting to me. I eventually saw Finding Nemo at someone’s home. It was better than I expected. But the trailers for it NEVER did it justice.

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