Thirteen years ago, my family and I decided to head over to the movie house to watch a movie that we did not know anything about except for the fact that it was a Disney and PIXAR film- “Finding Nemo”. This time around, we got together once again, in order to watch a sequel which my mother, more than me, was very excited about- “Finding Dory”.
I welcomed the idea, and I loved every single teaser and trailer that Disney and PIXAR put out for the film, making sure that I would not get too over saturated with “Finding Dory”, as I knew that it might just affect how I felt about the film.
However, five minutes into the film, I knew that I had nothing to worry about at all.
I left the movie house satisfied, happy, and with eyes that were a little bit sore, as I had, as I usually do every PIXAR movie, cried a bucket load in certain parts.
I also loved the short that PIXAR had at the beginning of the film- “Piper”- not just because it had the usual heart-warming story, but because I felt that it represented another milestone in animation for the company, as it looked very realistic.
Going back to “Finding Dory”, I am glad that Disney and PIXAR took their time with it, and made sure that they developed a really good sequel, with a great story, awesome new characters, a great cast, and more life lessons to be learned.
Aside from this film being a great film to watch with the entire family, it surprisingly managed to surpass the greatness of “Finding Nemo” itself.
With that being said, let’s now dive into SPOILER TERRITORY.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ‘’FINDING DORY’’ UP AHEAD!
I have to give major props to the casting director, voice cast, and the animation in this film, as every single note and beat of the film was spot on.
Adding the likes of Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson, Dianne Keaton, Eugene Levy, Ed O’Neill and Hayden Rolence were strokes of genius.
First off, my younger siblings did not even notice that the voice of Nemo was different this time around.
O’Neill, Olson and Burrell, as the three main new characters in the film, were spectacular, and the animation for Hank was really something else, as one could detect every single emotion he had, even if he had not mouth at all.
Olson’s Destiny interestingly tied into the origin story of our favorite blue tang, especially as it turned out that Dory really knew how to speak whale thanks to them being “pipe-pals’’ when they were little.
Burrell’s Bailey made for some good laughs, and was properly utilized and balanced out with the rest of the supporting cast of the film.
It was also interesting to note how, even though the film is about Dory, Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo were just as important, without overshadowing Dory, and that Marlin ended up making several realizations of his own as well.
Ellen de Generes was truly the star of the film, and I wholeheartedly support the idea that she should be nominated for an Oscar for her voice acting as Dory.
The way that they balanced out Dory’s origin story, her flashbacks and memories, and what was happening at present, was balanced out perfectly, and everything that they set up and built up in the film paid out in the end- from the shells, to the intimate moments that young Dory (who was more adorable than those utterly cute otters), had with her parents.
I also liked how they tied in Dory’s origin story with the beginning of “Finding Nemo”, thus ensuring that the audience would not be confused in terms of the timeline and continuity of the two films.
A friend of mine pointed out, as I left the movie house, that “’Finding Nemo’’ seemed grander in scale compared to “Finding Dory”’. This is true, as the first film was an epic adventure, and introduced the audience the vast and grandiose world of the ocean, while “’Finding Dory”’, was more intimate, as they had already set up their world in the first film.
Aside from this, I felt that “Finding Dory” was more of a “coming of age’’ film, as Dory, as the title implies, quite literally, and figuratively figured out who she was, and what she was capable of doing, and in the end, she was able to come into her own, and believe in herself.
Another thing that stands out is how pure and wonderful Dory is, without her even trying to be that way- she just simply is, and because of that, those around her are touched and change for the better.
Parallel to this, Marlin discovered how amazing Dory truly is, and Destiny, Hank, and Bailey, all discovered who they truly were by the end of the film.
Before I watched the film, I heard that this was a film that every parent with a special needs kid should see, and watching the film, as an adult with special needs (Asperger’s), I saw how relatable Dory is to me, and other special needs adults and children.
I saw my parents in her parents- parents who are willing to be patient enough with their children who may seem a little bit different than others.
What Dory went through- her panic at losing her parents, forgetting that she says things over and over again, coming off as annoying to others, not really having that much friends, having friends who appreciate you for who you are, the way that she panicked to the point that she had to take a couple of breaths to relax and assess the situation, and having specific landmarks and routines (like the shells)- are all things that I, and other children and adults with special needs or on the autism spectrum experience and deal with every day.
For us, this film was a wonderful reminder that we should never apologize for who we are, and to play up to our strengths in order to survive a world that is more friendly than hostile, although sometimes it seems to be the reverse of that.
This film was well balanced, and hit all the right beats, from the humorous bits, to the scenes that tugged to one’s heartstrings, to the voice acting, animation, script and story.
Also, that last scene, in which both Marlin and Dory enjoyed the view of the vastness of the ocean was a nice note to end the film, as it gave it a note of finality, as there are no more adventures to be had.
There are very films that I deem as perfect, and “Finding Dory’’, is one of those that, in my personal opinion, is so.
Truly, “Finding Dory’’ was definitely worth the wait.
I forgot to add that there was a post-credits scene, but I think that the Tank Gang ending up in the Marine Life Institute is a neat way to tie everything up, as they are finally in a place where they can be free, and hopefully, someday, they to will return back to the ocean.