Reviewed by: Samuel Chetty
|Featuring:||Ellen DeGeneres … Dory (voice)
Albert Brooks … Marlin (voice)
Idris Elba … Fluke (voice)
Kate McKinnon … Inez (voice)
Bill Hader … Ned (voice)
Dominic West … Rudder (voice)
Diane Keaton… Jenny (voice)
Kaitlin Olson … Destiny (voice)
Andrew Stanton … Crush (voice)
Ed O'Neill … Hank (voice)
Ty Burrell … Bailey (voice)
Eugene Levy … Charlie (voice)
Hayden Rolence … Nemo (voice)
Bennett Dammann … Squirt (voice)
Torbin Xan Bullock … Becky (voice)
|Director:||Andrew Stanton—“Finding Nemo” (2003), “WALL·E” (2008)|
|Producer:||Pixar Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
Prequel: “Finding Nemo” (2003)
Review updated 6.22.2016
“Finding Dory” begins by showing the childhood of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the famously forgetful but good-hearted fish from this film’s predecessor “Finding Nemo.” It turns out that she accidentally got separated from her parents as a child, and grew up wandering around the ocean until she met Nemo’s father Marlin (Albert Brooks) in the first movie. The story of “Finding Dory” begins after Dory has returned with Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and Marlin to their home region of the ocean. One day, Dory’s memory of her childhood is jogged, and she recalls that she lost her parents and that they lived in California. She feels a strong urge to reunite with them, so she travels with Marlin and Nemo across the Pacific Ocean on the backs of sea turtles, but upon reaching California, the adventure has only started!
The plot is relatively simple, as far as major events are concerned, but there are many clever action sequences to hold one’s attention. I must say, fish are better at making their way across buildings and land than I could have ever imagined! The type of story and style of the two movies in this franchise are similar, so fans of “Finding Nemo” should also like this sequel.
“Finding Dory” has a positive message about respecting and learning from other people’s differences in how they approach problems. Marlin realizes that his heavily analytical and sometimes excessively cautious nature does not always yield success, and that Dory’s quick-to-act tendency is needed at times. It is good for movies to have messages which promote an understanding of psychological differences, which can be a key step in conflict resolution. Also, the scenes from Dory’s childhood show the value of her parents’ specially-designed techniques to help her deal with memory issues.
“Finding Dory” is very clean, in terms of moral content. Although there are perilous escape sequences throughout that might make some young kids anxious, this sequel has fewer scenes involving scary sea predators than the first movie. Overall, I think “Finding Dory”” is a movie that a wide range of audiences can enjoy.
Violence: Early in the movie, the protagonists have to escape from a somewhat scary-looking sea creature. Afterwards, much of the movie takes place over land or in buildings, and the fish have to stay in bowls of water to survive, and to avoid harm, they have to frequently cross treacherous distances from one place to another and take chaotic means of transportation to stay on track and avoid getting locked into dangerous places. There is also a wild road scene with many near collisions. If you have teenagers watching, you can remind them not to drive like an octopus!
Sexuality: Dory starts to explain to a class of juvenile fish where babies come from, but she is interrupted by the instructor after mentioning that two fish fall in love.
Prior to the movie’s release, there was some media attention about a scene from a trailer showing two women next to a stroller with a baby in it. The scene was interpreted by some as potentially depicting a lesbian couple. However, the scene is very brief in the actual movie, and it does not provide any extra clues about the situation.
Language: Some euphemisms (“heck”, “gosh,” “holy carp,” “holy neptune”).
Substance use: Some beer bottles are shown on the ocean floor.
Spiritual Issues: There is one scene where Marlin offers to worship a sea creature in an attempt to avert attack.
Other: In a scene where it briefly looked like Dory may be dead, some minor characters who are tired of her forgetfulness express brief disappointment upon realizing she is still alive.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…In deciding not to stray far from the first film in plot or tone, it makes for a pleasant, familiar, cheerfully unassuming fish-in-her-water tale. …
—Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
…“Finding Dory” can be touching, sweet and tender, but it’s compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny. …
—Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
…Ellen DeGeneres excels in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” sequel, and the cartoon universe gains a new eight-legged superhero—but a heavy-handed approach threatens to drown the film’s disability message. …
—Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian (UK)
…“Finding Dory” argues, with lovely ingenuity and understatement, that what appear to be impairments might better be understood as strengths. …
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
…oceans of family fun… Very strong moral worldview validating family, parental love, helping others because it’s the right thing to do, optimism, perseverance, and friendship… strongly suggest that every child deserves (and needs) both a mommy AND a daddy. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…There's no bad-fish smell here, but the pic's slapstick adventure feels simple, comfortable and smilingly predictable. Where the film really swims like a champ is when it comes to the beating heart of things. … [5/5]
—Bob Hoose, Plugged In
“Finding Dory” is the summer adventure you won't forget… one of the best movies you'll see this summer… [4½/5]
—Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk