Way back in 2003 Finding Nemo was brought into the world and is currently still the best selling DVD of all time. Due to its success (and Ellen DeGeneres’ constant badgering!) Pixar decided to bring out a sequel, this time following the character of Dory – voiced by Ellen. As we all know, Dory has short term memory loss and so this film sees Dory determined to find her family again with the help of Nemo (Hayden Rolence), his Dad Marlin (Albert Brooks) and many new characters they meet along the way.
I was 11 years old when Finding Nemo was released, so just about in the right age target and I remember everyone – and I mean everyone! – being obsessed. I’ve lost count of how many times I have seen that film, and so much like last week with the release of The BFG (review of which you can read here: The BFG (2016)) I was both nervous and excited. My biggest worry was that at 24 the film would be too childish but thankfully Pixar understood the original fans are now all grown up and so ensured there is something there for all ages. It was also nice to see the cinema packed with families and groups of friends of all ages, Finding Dory is definitely a film that everyone can enjoy together.
In terms of the story line, we pick up 1 year on from the end of Finding Nemo where a situation triggers a memory from Dory’s childhood and the realisation that her parents are out there somewhere. Desperate to find them and to remember how she came to be on her own, Dory sets out on an adventurous journey in the hope that she will eventually remember enough to find them. Along the way Dory, Marlin and Nemo meet many different characters all of which bring something unique to the story. It is easy to fall in love with each new character thanks to the brilliant writing and superb animation. We saw it in 3D and everything about the animation was fantastic, the colours and movements were all so bright and vivid and really drew you in.
As Dory starts to remember more and more the pieces of the puzzle slowly start to come together until the heartbreaking truth is revealed. Baby Dory is possibly the cutest thing and the way her parents try to help her live with her memory loss is so sweet and heartwarming. Ellen DeGeneres brings back the Dory we know and love from Finding Nemo, everything about her is exactly the same with Dory being the one to bring most of the laughs, and yet there is a deeper connection to her this time round as her sadness at having lost her parents comes up a lot. There is definitely a more grown up feel to the dialogue which I think young children will miss but there’s plenty of action to keep them occupied.
Overall, Finding Dory is a worthy sequel, it would be very hard to top the success and popularity of Finding Nemo but I think Pixar have done a very good job here. The film perfectly suits all ages with lots of action, humour and a lovely ending. Definitely one in which all the family can enjoy again and again.