You know by now that ‘Finding Nemo’ was one of the best animated movies, ever — and it looks like its follow up may be competition! Cue the ocean puns, and the many reasons why you should head down under this weekend.
Finding Dory is already doing amazing in the box office, grossing $9.2 million on Thursday night, a record preview total for any animated film — so, will it end the “sequel slump?” Well, it blows away Pixar records held by Toy Story 3. However, does that mean the reviews are raving over Ellen Degeneres forgetful fish?
Have the creators of “Finding Dory” gone all politically soft and sensitive on us — in response, perhaps, to the memory-challenged community? Hardly. They’ve done something better: figured out how to take an already perfect character and deepen her in an exquisitely satisfying way. Dory soon drifts away from her parents, and not just because she doesn’t know how to get back to them. She can barely remember that she has parents. As surely as the death of Bambi’s mother, this primal set-up rips a small emotional hole in the audience, one that we’re desperate to see filled. “Finding Dory” then leaps forward to one year after the first film, when Dory is an innocent grown-up with no idea of what she’s looking for. To figure that out, she must learn to stop forgetting.
New York Times
Everyone will laugh at the sight of an octopus driving a truck, a wild-eyed loon flying with a bucket of angelfish in her beak and the other slapstick set pieces. And very few throats will remain unlumped as long-separated characters are reunited. Maybe there are a few too many reunions. How many times does Dory need to be found? But the repetitiveness of the story is related to its moral, a Disney legacy reanimated by Pixar again and again. Solidarity and kinship are two sides of the same coin. “Friends and family” is a distinction without a difference.
Wall Street Journal
“Finding Dory” is very much about disability, and full of life lessons, gently taught, about family, friendship, celebrating differences and accepting one’s self—lessons that could, in their totality, sink a less buoyant production than this one. But the heroine’s intimations of her past become electrifying intuitions of where to look for her parents in the present. And once those intuitions coalesce into hunches, she has her natural allies and traveling companions in Marlin and Nemo. Thus does “Dory” become a spirited saltwater version of a road movie that leads, with the help of a surfer-dude turtle we met in “Finding Nemo,” from the Great Barrier Reef to the coast of California.
In general, pacing and execution of the Finding Dory story isn’t quite as smooth this second time – given that the film relies on a mix of present tense action that triggers moments of clarity (read: flashbacks) in Dory’s jumbled memories. The setup serves the thematic journey that Dory, and her supporting characters, are charting but Stanton never fully establishes the Monterey Marine Life Institute, or its inhabitants, with the same care or definition as Phillip Sherman’s dental practice, in the original film, for instance. Still, the time-hopping narrative structure doesn’t make the movie any less entertaining and, on the contrary, sets the stage for an even more profound emotional punch than its predecessor.
HollywoodLifers, will you be seeing it this weekend?