Andrew and I had the pleasure of seeing an early screening of Pixar’s newest film, Finding Dory, last night and I have to say that I loved every minute of it. Often sequels are nowhere near as good as their predecessors and one of the most challenging obstacles is to turn a side character into a main character, and harder yet is to do it well. Finding Dory excels on all of these points. As we all know from Finding Nemo, Dory is an optimistic fish that suffers from short term memory loss. She’s endearing and her constant confusion leads to plenty of laughs for the audience but in Finding Dory, her songs and rhymes adapt a deeper meaning. Dory begins having memories of her parents and story takes off from there. She, Marlin and Nemo set off on another cross ocean adventure as Dory tries to piece together the few memories that begin to resurface.
My favorite character is hands down Hank the octopus who is voiced by Ed O’Neill. Hank is desperate to avoid being released into the ocean and he begrudgingly assists Dory in her search. He perpetuates a tough guy exterior but it’s clear he has a lot more heart than he lets on. And his constant camouflaging to evade humans is extremely comical. I also loved Destiny, the mostly blind whale voiced by Kaitlin Olson who is super friendly and positive despite always bumping into walls. Oh and I have to say that Dory is the cutest fish baby. Her flashbacks of her parents teaching her about her memory loss are heartwarming to the max. I wanted to reach into the screen to hug her and tell her that everything would be okay.
Overall, the message that Finding Dory tackles is so important. Just because Dory is different, it doesn’t mean that she’s incapable of solving problems in her own way. Sometimes, thinking outside the box is necessary! Dory proves that different is good and she will no doubt be a role model for anyone living with any type of ailment that’s made them feel inadequate at some point. There were quite a few moments where I found myself tearing up whether it be out of sadness or joy for the lovable marine life. To get personal for a moment,I always found Dory to be hilarious in Finding Nemo but in the past year my grandmother has been suffering with Alzheimer’s so Dory’s memory loss as portrayed in this new installment really hit home for me. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be to know something or someone important but be unable to recall what / who it is. I felt a deep emotional connection to Dory and I was rooting for her all the way.