Movie Review: “Finding Dory” – Unforgettable

Written by Matt Butler June 20, 2016

finding dory, ellen degeneres, ed o'neill, hank, pixar

Dory and Hank (Ellen Degeneres and Ed O’Neill), complimentary characters in every way. These two steal the show in Finding Dory, though it was never not their show to begin with.

The characters are just as you’d expect them to be: hilarious, endearing and subtly tragic. It’s your standard Pixar fare, in that it’s very high standard. When Dory isn’t stealing her own show, Hank (Ed O’Neill) the Septapus (that’s an octopus sans one tentacle) is taking his well deserved share. I always say the best character combos are the characters that bounce off each other (Opposites attract, right?), so Hank’s cynical introversion is a perfect compliment to Dory’s optimistic extroversion, and vice versa. They even compliment each other in a colour scheme! Hank’s also just a plain cool visual, with his camouflage skin and slippery ninja movements. It’s like Where’s Waldo, but with tentacles. If Finding Dory makes as much as can be assumed, my money’s on Finding Hank, depending on how much Ed O’Neill begs and pleads (hey, it’s how we got this movie!).

“You know, I think I’ll remember you.”

finding dory, idris elba, dominic west, fluke, rudder, pixar, marlin, nemo

Dominic West and Idris Elba (from left to right) play a lovably lethargic pair of sea lions. Director Andrew Stanton admits he picked West and Elba because he wanted a cast reunion of The Wire.

In terms of our returnees, screenwriters Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse take a page out of the “How to Write a Good Sequel” book and make our leads just as smart and adventure-savvy as when we left them in 2003. It’s rewarding to see Nemo and Marlin working together at last, only to find new challenges that test their resolve in new ways. These are very basic ingredients in a sequel, but after Cars 2, Monsters University and soon to be Cars 3, it’s nice to see a Pixar sequel with some kind of purpose.

finding dory, parents, jenny, charlie, diane keaton, eugene levy, pixar

Dory’s parents, Jenny and Charlie (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy, left to right) are the sympathetic center of the film.

But what hits me the hardest with Finding Dory is its crux: enabling the disabled. Many of Finding Dory‘s characters are posed with a challenge of expanding their horizons while also realizing how expansive their horizons were to begin with. Much like how Inside Out pushes for an alternative perspective on emotions, Finding Dory leads us to an alternative perspective on alternative perspectives. Just because one way doesn’t work in one situation doesn’t make it wrong altogether, and sometimes even the most unconventional choices lead to the surest success (it definitely explains Pixar’s success).

“There is always another way.”

kaitlin olson, ellen degeneres, finding dory, destiny, pixar

Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) is the amiable, albeit clumsy, childhood friend and ‘pipe pal’ of Dory.

Holding Finding Nemo so high on a pedestal, I can’t bring myself to do the whole “A vs. B” crap. It really is apples and oranges. Sure, there’s a few recycled beats here and there and the pace does get a bit too feverish at times, and the Morro Bay setting isn’t nearly as epic and expansive as the wide-open sea, but it’s easily the best Pixar sequel since Toy Story 3 (Is that saying something? Maybe not, but you better believe I’m happy). Do yourself a favour and go find Finding Dory. Also, stay for after the credits.

“Quite a view.”
“Yeah, unforgettable.”

My Rating: 9/10


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About Matt Butler

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is a strapping young English Major with a fiery passion for the art of cinematic storytelling. He likes long walks on the beach and knows the proper use of 'your' and 'you're'. (Example: I hope YOU'RE having a wonderful time browsing our site, and I hope you enjoy YOUR time reading my film reviews. I wrote them just for you.)

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