Finding Dory (U) ★★★★
Directed by: Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks & Idris Elba
What’s the story?
It’s been one whole year since forgetful Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) helped plucky clown fish Marlin (Albert Brooks) find his lost son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and, so far, life for these close-knit friends has been pretty sweet. Both Marlin and Nemo are enjoying the stability of being back home and Dory, well, Dory is just happy being part of the gang. But, while accompanying Nemo on a school trip, Dory relives a long, repressed memory from her childhood. Compelled to follow her instinct, the determined but forgetful little blue tang sets out on an adventure to find her long lost parents. Joined by old pals Nemo and Marlin, Dory’s quest to find her mum and dad will see the plucky trio overcome some rather fishy dangers, and meet a host of new friends on their perilous journey.
It’s been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar smash hit Finding Nemo and the sequel has been a long, long time coming for fans of this particular Disney classic. Not every Disney/Pixar creation has been awarded the honour of receiving a sequel, Ratatouille, WALL•E, UP and The Incredibles have all stood as solitary figures in terms of their stories, but I like to think that sometimes sequels are just unnecessary. However, with Finding Nemo, I think it is surprising just how long it took for the sequel to come along.
And let’s face it, Pixar are the kind of storytellers that can (if they wish) make a sequel out of any of their creations and so, like Toy Story and Monsters Inc, the sequel to Finding Nemo has obviously come along at the right time for the studio. Pixar do not do things just for the sake of it and Finding Dory is proof (if proof be needed) that they are still the undisputed masters of blending flawlessly rendered and mesmerising animation along with heartfelt sentiment and pitch-perfect humour.
The story is relatively simple, as simple as it gets actually, but it’s the brilliance of the animation, the playful script and the wonderful characterisation that makes Finding Dory an absolute joy from beginning to end. Ellen brings a softly spoken, yet profound, humanity to the ever-forgetful Dory, Hayden Rolence and Albert Brooks add heart and soul as Nemo and Marlin, while the likes of Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy) is superb as aloof Octopus Hank and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Kaitlin Olson is wonderful as the whale shark Destiny.
Bright, colourful, playful, poignant and a lot of fun, Finding Dory is effortlessly entertaining and will leave you smiling from ear to ear – don’t miss it!