“Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor’s classic story” Rotten Tomatoes 95%
For the record, I’m going to assume we’ve all seen Disney/Pixar’s 2003 smash hit Finding Nemo – only THE most successful animated film of all time, winning almost every award possible in 2004, including an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. (If you’re a parent, you’ve probably seen it 100 times.)
With gratitude to Disney and barely contained excitement the chicklets and I were treated to Finding Dory last weekend. Dory is one of the funniest children’s movie characters of all time and I was stoked to see she’d got her own gig. We were amping to see it, all $200 million US dollars worth.
With simply beautiful artwork, perfectly timed jokes, believable characters and a story to engage with (ignoring one or two flimsier scenes near the end) this movie is a great watch. Its technical wizardry is amazing (check out Indie Wire’s discussion of the revolutionary water animation here) and although its over 10 years since Finding Nemo, the team has remained true to the original character designs whilst using much more complex animation techniques.
The filmmakers introduce another character in this second movie – Hank, a grumpy octopus with seven legs. His only wish is to find a solitary tank, he has no desire to get back out to the ocean, and he readily provides the slapstick humour by constantly camouflaging himself in hilarious ways (keep an eye on the end credits). He’s voiced by Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy from Married with Children, and more recently he played Jay Pritchett from Modern Family). I look forward to seeing more of Hank in future sequels (Finding Hank’s Missing Tentacle?)
Dory is brilliantly voiced by Ellen DeGeneres again but they had to find a new voice for Nemo, seeing as the kid who played him last time (Alexander Gould) is now 21. They cast young cutie Hayden Rolence but Alexander does get a few cameo lines near the end of the movie.
Having produced stories using voices before (Eardrops) I know the skill and effort involved. Check out the Finding Dory voice artists at work:
Director Andrew Stanton says “She (Dory) has that natural desire to know who she is and where she comes from. I always had ideas about Dory’s backstory, and we decided the time had come to explore that with her.”
We really enjoyed this movie. Its themes are about family and belonging somewhere, sticking together when the going gets tough and remaining ‘in the moment’. Screenwriter Victoria Strouse says “Memory is a huge part of family—all of those seemingly meaningless or mundane interactions we all experience as children stay with us and shape our personalities.” Kinda poignant when watching it with my children… well played team.
Trailer + extra clips (you get a few glimpses of Hank’s camouflage skills):