Starring: Ellen DeGenres, Albert Brookes, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neil, Kaitlin Olsen, Ty Burrell, Dianne Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West
Plot: Dory, the forgetful blue tang is accompanied by her friends Marlin and Nemo on a journey to find her family.
They just keep doing it, they just keep knocking it out of the park. You’d think Pixar would eventually stumble and drop the ball, law of averages right? I mean no one can stay that good for that long?!
Well, no stumbling this time. Finding Dory is classic Pixar, wonderful, warm, funny, affecting, brilliantly written & beautifully animated. Preceded by animated short Piper which tells the story of a young Sandpiper learning to hunt for the first time. The shorts at start of Pixar features have always been something I look forward to with every new release, a brief warm up before the main attraction as it were and this one is as short and sweet as it was expected to be.
The sequel to the massively popular Finding Nemo, Finding Dory matches the premise of the original but with a role reversal of the absent minded Dory who has gone missing while on a journey to find her parents, this time leaving Marlin and Nemo to find her.
It would have been so easy to just do a rehash of the first film, follow a winning formula as it were, and on paper Finding Dory may sound just that. As always with Pixar though, they will consistently take you by surprise, telling us the story of a young Dory and her struggle with memory loss in flashback sequences that are actually quite affecting and thought provoking in the way that only Pixar can convey.
Ellen DeGenres is as brilliant in this as she was in the original, funny and massively likeable. This time we also get all manner of Celebrities lending their vocal talents, Diane Keaton & Eugene Levy as Dory’s mum & dad, Dominic West & Idris Elba as sea lions, ‘Modern Familly’ alumni Ed O’Neil & Ty Burrell as a child-phobic octopus and concussed beluga whale respectively. Even director Stanton reprises his role of sea turtle Crush breifly.
This is Pixars 17th feature film, to keep this level of quality up is testament to their dedication to their craft, and I’m not just talking from an animation standpoint here, that is always top drawer. The story & the writing on Finding Dory are to such a consistently high level you get the feeling that they REALLY care about what they produce, even on a sequel which many consider to be in their very essence, cash-in’s. Some animation studios treat their output kinda like shooting fish, pardon the pun, ‘Someone’s bound to like it, it’s brightly coloured and looks fun, that’ll draw the kiddie-winks in’, Can sometimes feel like the attitude taken to animated film but never from Pixar, they credit their audience with more than that. Pixar never talk down to their audience or treat them as dumb, they know full well what is expected of them and that’s why they deliver time and time again.