“Finding Dory” Fails To Deliver Emotions Of Its Original
The sequel to “Finding Nemo” opens with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) settling into her new life with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) at the Great Barrier Reef. With little to do, Dory takes it upon herself to join Mr. Ray’s (Bob Peterson). During this trip, Dory’s memory is stirred and she remembers that she has family that she was separated from during her childhood. Filled with longing to see her parents, Dory is adamant to go back home and find her parents.
The trio set out and, upon their arrival, they are separated from each other. Dory is scooped up by workers at a aquatic rehabilitation center where she is placed in a quarantine area. Here, she meets Hank, a surly octopus (excuse me, “septapus”) who is anxious to leave his old life behind and start anew.
Hank (Ed O’Neill) agrees to help Dory find her parents. The duo embark on a journey across the marine life institute, reuniting Dory with her childhood friend and introducing other characters central to the plot.
Even though the film centers around Dory’s quest and her childhood, Pixar did not lack on introducing deeper elements into their story: mental illness, family, and being happy with who you are. Despite her struggles with short term memory loss, Dory believed in herself despite not having a plan for anything and tackling whatever came her way head on.
“Finding Dory” did lack in some of the visual elements that made “Finding Nemo” such a standout film. For instance, the journey from Australia to California is simply a brief ride through the currents on Crush’s back and then the majority of the film takes place in the aquatic center versus the long journey through the ocean in “Finding Nemo” where viewers got to see sights like the deep end, the jellyfish plain, the abandoned shipyard and other various parts of the ocean.
Honestly, this movie featured a little too much of Dory. I know it’s strange to say that but Marlin and Nemo were major characters just like Dory yet they were sidelined in this movie. As a titular character, Dory doesn’t experience much character development outside of what we saw in the previous movie, resulting in the story feeling a little flat in some areas due to a lack of depth. In the movie, Marlin addresses his struggle with tackling things head on instead of worrying but this is a very brief scene before the movie leaps right back to Dory.
Additionally, the film introduced the element of how much someone can mean to you as another facet on familial love. This idea was never fully addressed until the end of the movie in which Dory proclaims Marlin and Nemo are just as much her family as her real parents are.
Also, we are introduced to the character Hank but we really don’t learn much about this character besides some past ‘trauma’ and his dislike of the ocean.
In the end, despite being a good follow-up, Finding Dory lacks impactful scenes that elevate it from being a simple follow-up to a highly successful predecessor. There weren’t any major scenes like ‘Fish are friends, not food’, P.S 42 Wallaby Way Sydney, and ‘Shark Bait’. While it was a cute and endearing movie with great moments, “Finding Dory” didn’t have enough defining moments to cement itself as a strong stand-alone film.
It relied too heavily on nostalgia and quirks from the first movie.
I rate it a 3 1/2 out of 5.