Finding Dory continues one year after the events of Finding Nemo, as Nemo, Dory and Marlin yet again get swept away in an undercurrent of family drama, remembrance and friendship.
As always with Pixar, the voice acting is stunning from all involved. The cast including new additions are all incredibly funny and charming and the highlight for me was Hank the Octopus, well, "septopus" (voiced by Ed O'Neill).
The story itself is a bit too similar to that of Finding Nemo to be worth celebrating. My main issue was its convenience; Nemo was the story of a father's search for a lost son and the coming together of people in a united cause, whilst Nemo learning and exploring the great open ocean. Dory however, plays out on conveniences that never really add up to feel totally satisfying or believable. The themes from the first film are here, just not executed as well.
Having said that, the film is not a literal piece for Marlin and Nemo to find Dory, more importantly it's about Dory finding Dory. With her short term memory loss, Dory is looking externally to find herself internally and searching for her parents along the way.
The animation itself is truly beautiful, from the ocean to the animalistic characteristics of some of our favourite underwater inhabitants. Nemo was juxtaposed in its heart-wrenching emotion and danger with its beautifully calming ocean and set pieces, and here Dory offers the same juxtaposed ideology. This time, however, that juxtaposition occurs between the open waters and the enclosed world of the aquarium.
The film has all the set piece action sequences of a James Bond film - seriously. Its action-packed for almost its entirety. It's part Die Hard, part Oceans 11, part Fast and Furious in its action, espionage and carnage.
For me, Finding Dory is another great piece of Pixar work. It doesn't compete with the likes of Toy Story, Wall-E and Finding Nemo, but it was emotionally driven and beautifully told, with a lot of deeper issues explored through certain characters and ideologies (offering the classic Pixar combination of something for both adults and children to enjoy).
Zootropolis for me is still the best piece of animation this year, but like Zootropolis, Finding Dory touches on issues that needs to be understood and will likely be encountered by most people and families. It is certainly worth a watch!
See what else is coming up this week at FACT.