On Friday 29th July 2016, after 13 years of waiting, it was finally time to find out where our favourite Blue Tang fish has been hiding.
I was 8 years old when I first saw Finding Nemo in our local cinema. Ever since, Finding Nemo has remained one of my favourite Pixar movies. The underwater animation is beautifully breathtaking, and the intriguing sea creature characters of the deep made me interested in learning more about ocean life. Crush’s Coaster has got to be one of my all-time favourite roller coasters at Disneyland Paris. So, of course, seeing the eagerly-awaited sequel in 3D was a no-brainer!
Finding Dory takes place one year after the events of Finding Nemo. Dory lives close by to her friends Marlin and Nemo, where both keep an eye on her because, as you’ll know from the first movie, Dory suffers from short-term memory loss. However, while assisting Mr Ray in his school class one day, the topic turns to family… And sudden flashbacks ensue. With memories of her long-lost parents returning to her, Dory sets off on a quest to find them… With Marlin and Nemo tagging along, just in case she forgets again!
You may have noticed from various trailers and merchandise that Finding Dory introduces many new characters; Destiny, Bailey, Hank, Becky, the trio of sea lions, and the cutest, cuddliest sea otters you’ll ever see. A few original characters such as Crush and Squirt return too, but Finding Dory is made up mostly of new faces (or should I say new fins?). This isn’t a bad thing though; new characters definitely make the movie more exciting to watch, especially when they are all remarkably well-written with distinct personality traits and quirks. The movie is entirely family-friendly to watch, but adults will most certainly appreciate the fantastic humour and superb comical timing.
It’s great we also get to see more of Marlin and Nemo’s father/son dynamic. Marlin(Albert Brooks) still worries deeply about Nemo, but Nemo (Hayden Rolence), despite his “lucky fin“, is fiercely independent, and has complete faith, trust and belief in Dory finding her family, whereas Marlin constantly worries about her forgetfulness getting in the way.
Dory herself (Ellen DeGeneres) definitely deserves the title role of the sequel. Witty one-liners, positive attitude, and a reluctance to give up hope, Dory is a perfect Disney heroine in the form of a fish. Witnessing her story really puts her character in perspective; for example, we find out how Dory learned to speak whale, and why she “just keeps swimming“…
Despite being two completely different adventures, the main similarity between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory is that they both carry relatively the same, positive outlook on life at their core; having a disability (Nemo’s fin) or a mental illness (Dory’s short-term memory loss) shouldn’t prevent you from having independence and living life the way you want to. For animated movies about fish, the moral message really is close to home for most of us humans who may either suffer or know someone who has these daily struggles. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the EXACT reason I love Disney/Pixar.
Unfortunately, I won’t be giving anymore story, characters or trivia away than that, I’m afraid! Dory’s journey is just so incredible, you really do need to see it for yourself. Definitely catch it in 3D if you can for the ultimate immersive feeling of being under the sea. The short Pixar film shown before the main feature, Piper, is adorable, get there early so you don’t miss it. Make sure you stay until all the credits have rolled for a fun surprise! And lastly… Yes, you will find yourself getting very, very emotional. You may indeed shed a tear, or full on cry. This is Pixar at its best, after all! Most importantly, this movie was entirely worth the 13 year wait – so enjoy it.