Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Finding Dory

Marlin should put a bell on all his family members.  Might make him look less worried all the time.  Thankfully for our enjoyment, however, Marlin must make yet another trek across the ocean to follow Dory as she pursues the parents she had forgotten until now.  Finding Dory plows forward with as much zeal as its titular character, and not without good payoff, but does it match its predecessor?  Perhaps I'm not being fair by thrusting Finding Nemo's shadow over it from the get-go, but all sequels have to face this question.  It's the price they pay for continuing a beloved story.

(Source: movies.disney.com)

Dory, of course, serves as a wonderful leading lady fish with the same endearing enthusiasm and jump-headfirst philosophy from the original movie.  She even manages to win over Hank, the octopus whom she drags into her search.  The two of them end up having a touching scene, but I won't explain due to ~spoilers~.  This is one of the Disney animated movies where romance is 0% of the picture, refreshingly (#friendshiprules #romancedrools).  Out of all the original characters, Dory most deserved the backstory she gets in assorted flashbacks in the movie.  My mother called her baby self a-DORY-ble, and I'll forgive her for the pun for its truthfulness.  All her childhood scenes with her parents were sweet and heartfelt enough to warrant you to root for Dory if you weren't already.

(Source: movies.disney.com)

Meanwhile, the movie sets Marlin on the path to trusting Dory to be okay despite the extra challenges she faces with short-term memory loss.  You might remember his overprotectiveness from Finding Nemo, although that trait doesn't appear to bite him in the tail fin nearly as hard this time.  Unfortunately, nothing seems to be able to wipe off his perpetually anxious expression.  It seems to me that he still doesn't trust his loved ones to take care of themselves, which doesn't speak well for his character development after two movies, but such is Marlin.

Additionally, we meet several other new characters who are almost as quirky as Dory, but we also see many brief throwbacks to old side characters.  This gets to my quibble with Finding Dory.  Several parts of the movie felt more like fan service than a real contribution to the story or to the character development.  Thankfully they don't take up a great amount of space in the movie, but I personally would have preferred original jokes to the rehashed ones.

Finding Dory, despite falling into a few of the typical "sequel" traps, offers an enjoyable follow-up story that I would not hesitate to watch again.  Like I said, Dory deserves all the attention and love she receives and was the most appropriate character to put into another adventure.  If you liked Finding Nemo (but, come on, you obviously liked it), then you should watch this movie.  Just remember: what would Dory do?

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