For those of you guys who read my reviews here at Back to the Movies I’m widely known here as the nostalgia guru. Most of my events are fueled by nostalgia trips that bring us back to the movies we loved a long time ago. I spent this week setting up my next 2 events and the return of my series but now that I’m going, I’m psyched to be writing more and more reviews for you guys and what better way to start than with Finding Dory which brings back so much nostalgia from the early 2000’s.
Tonight I sat in with a sold out audience to dive in and rediscover Finding Nemo and stuck around to watch Finding Dory. I was glad I was able to relive the first film in a theatre and totally take a trip down memory lane. It definitely ranks amongst my favorite Pixar films and the second it was over I was shocked to think it’s been 13 years. I got really pumped for Finding Dory and while the film doesn’t hold a candle to the first it’s an incredibly fun, funny, and heartwarming tale.
The basic setup is that the film takes place a year after the first film and starts with Dory as a little baby trying to communicate with her parents on her short term memory loss. Then it’s back to briefly visit the whole gang and seeing where all or favorite characters are now. Dory has been beginning to beat herself up for not remembering things and begins to have flashbacks of when she got lost from her parents years ago. When Dory suddenly realizes she thinks she knows where her parents are, and she along with Nemo and Marlin head towards a fish exhibit to find them which is easier said then done. One hitch after the next sends them on another trip of a lifetime that sees the return of a couple familiar faces and several new ones.
Here’s what works about the film. It ultimately works because I can’t tell you the amount of times I was just laughing at something silly, awwww’ing when something was mushy, or smiling because let’s be real it’s a Disney film in the end. All the characters return in a way that definitely feels like they’ve all grown and are moving forward in life but the friendship and humor in their humor was great to see. It’s packed with a lot more action than I thought there would be. Who knew a car chase would seriously be in a film basically set underwater. There’s a new clam character that is just hilarious and 2 big fish at the park that help the gang maneuver around the park. Ones basically blind and the other is basically dumb. It was great meeting these two. With a rather quick 97 minute run time it provided a quick and fun trip back to this world of characters. If you love otters you’ll be very very happy.
Sadly I did feel the film was way too similar to the first film. Much like a Hangover 2 situation. It’s not that annoying but it really is almost a carbon copy of the first and you wish they had done about more. Also, while I feel Dory is the star it really sidelined Nemo more than it should. Some of the same heart strings are pulled and this really isn’t some sort of life lesson, but by the looks of it more adults will see the film than kids. The 3D is terrible so save your money. The only really big flaw to the film is Dory’s character herself. I think there’s 12-13 flashbacks that all just reveal she’s bad at remembering things. They really happened every few minutes and just got old. I don’t think anyone forgot in the last few minutes that you forget everything.
Putting all this in a box and wrapping it with a little bow the film ultimately works well because it’s just too cute and funny overall. I think even younger kids who weren’t even born with the first film will like it but animated films have really become a big thing in the last 13 years so I think if you did grow up on the film you’ll have a bit more fun with it. As I stated it wasn’t as good as the first but it was still a great watch and a lot of fun.
Review by Kory Davis