Finding Dory: The BRWC Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Finding Dory: The BRWC Review

By James Connors.

First things first, I feel I should get something off my chest.

I didn’t think Finding Nemo was the greatest Disney film of all time. I’m sorry. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I promise you – I did, but I don’t think I felt the same way about it as the rest of the known world. That’s not to say a re-watch might not fix this, especially in light of seeing the musical version at Disney World (which was quite delightful), but as it stands it fell short of a fair amount of Pixar and Disney’s post-2000 output for me.



So, with that in mind, I wasn’t sure what to think of the mere existence of “Finding Dory”. I appreciate that they didn’t produce another sequel to a film I outright disliked – I’m looking at you “Cars” – but Disney have always been on shaky grounds with it’s followup films, many of which ended up on the Straight to Video racks in years past with only Toy Story seemingly immune from worry.

“Finding Dory” revolves around the title character’s sudden realisation that she’s been separated from her family, the reasons why sadly lost due to her short term memory problems, and her attempt to link vague recollections together in order to reunite with them. With Marlin and Nemo from the original movie to guide her in her quest, Dory’s journey brings her back to old friends, as well as new ones.

Despite the opening act bringing a bit too much deja vu for my liking, mainly through the shoehorning of some original characters and another ‘Finding’ plot that could’ve been a bit too much of a retread, the movie picks up pretty quickly and begins to take on an identity of its own. New characters in the forms of Hank the Octopus (Ed O’Neill), Destiny the Whale (Kaitlin Olson), and Bailey the Dolphin (Ty Burrell) expand on the already impressive voice cast, and prove to be worthwhile additions to the story, while the pairing of Nemo with Marlin provides a fun b-story to intertwine with Dory’s before her sole character trait becomes a bit tiring.

Brief flashbacks to baby Dory are scattered throughout as things come back to her, and there’s no question that they’ve created one of the cutest characters ever in this iteration. Naturally, the character design and animation are of the high quality we expect from Disney, and the pacing moves quick enough to tell a full story in barely over 90 minutes runtime. Changing the main character’s perspective to Dory also helps set this film apart from the original, and opens up the possibility of expanding the series further without treading the same water.

It’s also worth noting that the usual short that plays before the feature presentation, “Piper”, is a wonderful blend of stunning animation and emotional storytelling that truly shows off Pixar at their best.

“Finding Dory” has proven in a year of dismal sequel failures that you can take existing properties and make something worthwhile from it. Let’s hope they keep on this path of interspersing their original works with high quality expansions of their beloved film base.


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