Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Finding Dory


Synopsis: One year after helping Marlon the clownfish and neurotic father (Albert Brooks) find his lost son Nemo (Hayden Rowlence), forgetful fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) suddenly has a flash of remembrance and recalls her own parents: Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) who lived (or still live) in “the Jewel of Morro Bay, California.” Against his better judgement, Marlon takes Nemo and accompanies her across the ocean to find that the place is an aquarium where sick and injured sea animals are cared for before being released again, all while residents and tourists enjoy the beautiful exhibits and educational audio with the help of the recorded voice of Sigourney Weaver (Sigourney Weaver). Once Dory gets inside the aquarium, she meets a colorful collection of characters, including a curmudgeonly octopus bent on escaping named Hank (Ed O’Neill), a nearsighted whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a concussed beluga whale named Bailey (Ty Burrell), and a friendly yet extremely territorial sea lion named Fluke (Idris Elba). More memories start coming back to Dory as she makes her way through the aquarium trying to find her parents… if they’re even in the aquarium anymore.

Review: Finding Dory is a simply phenomenal film that no one knew they wanted. Finding Nemo was a great standalone story and most people were fine with it ending there, but this movie built upon its predecessor’s details and created something amazing. There are of course concerns about developing a sequel around comic relief characters, with weak entries like Get Him To The Greek, Cars 2, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. But Dory is a fully three-dimensional character who has shown proficiency in dramatic scenes, so the movie doesn’t suffer. It also doesn’t try to simply rehash points from the last film and when it does draw on jokes from before, they fit right in. The film found a way to take the seagull joke and repurpose it for Fluke and his sea lion friends and you know what? It works! Really well too! Sure, there are some cameos, but they make sense in the story rather than just being empty fanservice.

While everything on the technical and creative side of things are superb, it’s the subtext in this movie that I really have to applaud. Within the aquarium, every single character is disabled in some way, Dory included. Hank is missing an arm (leading to Dory constantly describing him as a septopus), Destiny can’t see very well, and Bailey lost his echolocation after an accident. Even Dory qualifies due to her short term memory loss. And the best part about it is that it isn’t shoved in your face or made a huge deal out of. You have to really look at it because the emphasis is put on making them good characters before all else. Almost as if disabled people are just people like everyone.

None of the characters are superfluous and they all work really well off of each other. I wasn’t sure how well Marlon and Nemo would fit in since the narrative wasn’t focused on them anymore, but they were a welcome addition. The film skyrockets in quality in the third act, providing some amazing storytelling and even accurately conveying the sensation of a panic attack to the audience through great use of first person camera. Of course, it’s a Pixar movie, so there are going to be some emotional bits as well and… yeah, they’re really effective. I nearly broke my willpower trying not to dissolve into a blubbering mess. Take that as a high recommendation for this one. Of all the unnecessary sequels to Pixar movies like Cars 2 and Monsters University, this stands out as the best (I’m not counting the Toy Story sequels because those are on a-whole-nother level) along with being one of Pixar’s finest. If I didn’t know better, I would think that this was planned out from the beginning and Finding Nemo was always meant to have a sequel. Go see it and get lost at sea.

Fun Tidbit: Actually, I’m going to do something a little different for this one. This movie is jam packed with details and so I feel it’s my duty to give you multiple tidbits about it. Without further ado, let’s roll.

Fun Tidbit #1: All of the actors from the previous film returned to voice their characters except for Nemo’s original voice, Alexander Gould, whose voice had deepened in the time between films. But you’ll still be able to find the original Nemo in this movie as Alexander Gould actually has a voice cameo as “Passenger Carl.”

Fun Tidbit #2: This is the third Disney movie in a row that Idris Elba has provided a voice for (all in this year, too). He was Chief Bogo in Zootopia and Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. True, that’s discounting one documentary and Alice: Through the Looking Glass, which came out between Jungle Book and Finding Dory with no Idris to be heard, but seriously, f*** that movie. Oh god, I’m going to have to see it before the year ends, aren’t I…?

Fun Tidbit #3: Though they didn’t share any scenes together, did you find yourself thinking that Hank would grow weary of Bailey’s complaining about having no echolocation? Well, your instincts would have served you well as both characters were voiced by Modern Family dads. In Modern Family, Ed O’Neill plays Jay Pritchett, the eldest of the family tree, and Ty Burrell plays his son in law Phil Dunphy, who Jay considers a pathetic whiner. Shame they couldn’t find a way to get Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet for the full compliment of dads from that show, but considering that they both were busy with roles in Ice Age: Collision Course and The Secret Life of Pets respectively, we can forgive them.

Fun Tidbit #4: If this movie inspired you to take your kids to Morro Bay for a great aquarium experience… you may want to hold off on those plans. While there is an aquarium in Morro Bay, California, it’s nowhere near as illustrious as what was depicted on screen and was in fact the subject of controversy and deemed the “worst aquarium ever” by some. However, Bay Area fans may find themselves getting deja vu because the design elements were borrowed from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with some of the exhibit layouts matching exactly with the movie. So I’d recommend moving your vacation plans northwards.

Goto Home Page
Posted under

Social Widgets powered by