This review was not written by me, it was written by my good friend Yaseen Fawzi. I know this film first came out back in June (it is now September), but I felt like sharing this review by displaying it on my blog because Yaseen is a great reviewer in my opinion 🙂 What was written below does not express my views on the film, but Yaseen’s and I felt like posting what he wrote. Here is his Finding Dory review below:
June 18, 2016
Finding Dory is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Pixar undersea film Finding Nemo. One year after the events of the previous film, Dory, who is prone to short-term memory loss, suddenly remembers the family she thought she had lost during a field trip with Mr. Ray’s class. With the help of her friends Marlin and his recently-found son Nemo, Dory goes on an adventure to find her parents, Jenny and Charlie. She winds up at the Marine Life Institute in California, where she meets a cynical “septopus” named Hank, Bailey the beluga whale with the ability of echolocation, and a near-sighted whale shark named Destiny, who turns out to be an old childhood friend of Dory’s. Along the way, Marlin and Nemo bump into the lumbering sea lions Fluke and Rudder, as well as a loon named Becky who guides them on their own quest finding Dory.
The original leads from Finding Nemo return, and that includes Ellen DeGeneres as the forgetful but lovable Dory. Albert Brooks plays more of a supporting role as Marlin this time around, while Alexander Gould has been replaced as Nemo by newcomer Hayden Rolence. New additions to the cast include Kaitlin Olson as Destiny, Ty Burrell as Bailey, and Ed O’Neill as Hank. Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy are spot-on casting as Jenny and Charlie, along with a special vocal appearance by Sigourney Weaver herself as the Marine Life announcer. Probably the most unique casting is Idris Elba and Dominic West playing Fluke and Rudder, as these two acclaimed British actors portray large characters (in stature and personality) lazing around in the sun.
The film’s themes of family and memory are firmly evident as Dory goes on her quest to search for her parents and gradually remembers more about them. The story itself is full of different twists and turns within the Marine Life institute as Dory goes between remembering and forgetting. The character development is neatly structured, with Dory becoming more and more confident as she starts to remember more about herself. Hank also gradually turns into a more believable character as he goes from being curmudgeonly to dependable. Besides the storytelling aspects, what has also improved greatly since the original film’s release is the advances in technology that make greater additions to the ocean environment while also maintaining the look and feel of the original characters, especially such subtle details as the multiple species of sea creatures or the rays of light reflecting in the ocean. Unique character traits that show off this technology include Hank’s ability to camouflage onto various objects or when Bailey’s hearing is visually depicted via radar detection. Another great display of character animation is how Hank is able to emote with his eyes and speak dialogue, even though his mouth isn’t centered. Once again, Thomas Newman’s music also adds to the very ethereal and atmospheric feel of the oceanic environment.
Just when it seemed like Pixar was going downhill, Finding Dory qualifies as both an exemplary sequel and another surefire winner in the Pixar canon.
* * * * (Out of * * * *) “Ya-stars”