- Published Date
- by Frank Wilkins
It was only a matter of time before Dory got her own picture. Granted, no one could have imagined it would take Pixar 13 years, but we’re finally going back to Nemo’s reef to pay another visit to the forgetful blue tang and her finned, scaled, feathered, and tentacled friends in Finding Dory, Pixar’s 17th feature and 4th sequel to date.
Pixar once again provides a magnificently rich story full of delightful characters while at the same time immersing it all in a tack-sharp CGI world full of beautiful colors, lively characters, and breathtaking scenery. Though this revisit lacks the same degree of emotional heft of the original, it’s darned near good enough to change one’s unfavorable opinion of sequels; and it more than makes up for the shortcoming with loads of laughter and endless memorable moments sure to entertain the masses, six to sixty. If the lines at the advance screenings of Finding Dory are any indication, this one is set to blow the roof off the box office.
With family as a central theme, this sequel tells the backstory of Finding Nemo’s lovable blue tang who helped Marlin (Albert Brooks) find his lost son in the original. Writer/Director Andrew Stanton fills out his title character who we see blossom from her two-dimensional comedic side-kick self, into a fully developed, big-hearted lead character worthy of her own feature-length story.
The film opens with Dory as a baby blue tang telling everyone she meets that she suffers from remembory loss. Her doting parents’ (Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton) worst fears are soon realized when Dory wanders off and can’t find her way back home.
We pick up the story with Dory as an adult, her cute little baby tang voice and bulging eyes replaced by a cute little adult tang face and same bulging eyes. She remembers her parents in flashbacks but can’t recall where they might live. Her search for them eventually leads to California’s Marine Life Institute, an ocean life rescue and rehabilitation center where she believes her parents might be.
Structurally, it’s very similar to Finding Nemo, with many of our old friends from that film popping back up now and again (yes, Nemo too) during Dory’s quest to find her mom and dad. In fact, our initial thoughts are that this will be a simple cash-grab rehash of the original. But there’s plenty of new characters to meet along the way, including Hank (Ed O’Neill) the cantankerous Octopus, er septopus, Becky the cockeyed seabird, Destiny (Kaitlyn Olson) the near-sighted whale shark, and Bailey (Ty Burrell) the beluga whale who carries on about his failing sense of echolocation. Everyone is as physically flawed as Dory herself – they’re in a rehab center, get it? But one of the film’s best character appearances might come from the cameo of Sigourney Weaver as Sigourney Weaver. You’ll just have to see it to understand why. Pure genius.
Whereas her short-term memory loss was used strictly as a comedic element in the original, here Stanton gives Dory’s disability very real consequences and a real-world relevance. Though she’s having a good time with her close friends, she’s constantly worried about what might happen if she gets lost again. The awareness of her own shortcomings has made Dory totally accepting of everyone she encounters in the Marine Life Institute and is nearly oblivious to their disabilities – a much-needed message in today’s world of increasing intolerance for those who are different.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Pixar film without the traditional opening short. This one is from WALL-E head animator Alan Barillo and is titled Piper, the wonderful and uplifting story of a frightened baby sandpiper who overcomes his fear of the surf to invent a new way of digging for crabs – the perfect lead-in to Dory’s bigger tale.
MPAA Rating: PG for mild thematic elements
Runtime: 97 mins
Director: Andrew Stanton
Writer: Andrew Stanton
Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill
Genre: Family | Comedy
Tagline: Have you seen her?
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm sorry. I gotta blink. How do you hold your eyes open that long?"
Distributor: Pixar Studios
Official Site: http://movies.disney.com/finding-dory
Release Date: June 17, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: December 15, 2016.
Synopsis: Disney Pixar's Finding Dory reunites everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale?
Home Video Distributor: Pixar
Available on Blu-ray - December 15, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English: DTS-HD HR 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set (2 BD-50, 1 DVD); iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A
Disney and Pixar sure can make a beautiful film, can’t they? Gloriously crisp, Finding Dory arrives on 1080p with a strong 1080p High Definition / Widescreen 1.78:1 transfer that replicates the artists’ vision for their movie stunningly. The blues are vivid and complex; the colors cast a wide net and come out with a sparkle not often seen on animated features. Black levels are solid, lined, and provide a depth to the picture that suggests unfathomable distances. This is a knockout release through and through. The sound – supplied here by a thunderously engaging English 7.1 DTS-HDMA track – gives your surround system quite the workout. No need to crank this one unless, of course, you really do want new windows in your house.
Director Andrew Stanton, co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins deliver their personal perspective on making the movie.
The summer blockbuster hit swims home just in time for the holidays on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD. Viewers can watch Dory’s hilarious and heartwarming quest to find her family and continue the underwater adventure with hours of immersive bonus features. The film’s playful and plentiful bonus offerings include “Piper,” the theatrical short film starring an irresistible sandpiper hatchling; an all-new mini short featuring interviews with Dory’s pals from the Marine Life Institute; a behind-the-scenes look at the most challenging character Pixar has ever created; never-before-seen deleted scenes, including a digital exclusive featuring the Tank Gang from Finding Nemo who make it their mission to get Marlin and Nemo to the Marine Life Institute; and much, much more.
- Theatrical Short: “Piper” – A hungry sandpiper hatchling ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The only problem is that the food is buried beneath the sand where scary waves roll up onto the shore.
- Marine Life Interviews (All-New Mini Short) – Meet the inhabitants of the Marine Life Institute as they remember our favorite blue tang.
- The Octopus That Nearly Broke Pixar – Pixar’s “Team Hank” unravels the challenges, frustrations, and rewards of bringing to life the studio’s crankiest and most technically complicated character ever.
- What Were We Talking About? – This piece showcases the complex routes Dory’s story took as the filmmakers worked to construct a comprehensive narrative involving a main character with short-term memory loss.
- Casual Carpool – What’s it like to commute with the voices of Marlin, Charlie, Bailey and Hank? Join “Finding Dory” writer/director Andrew Stanton as he drives Albert Brooks, Eugene Levy, Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill to work.
- Animation & Acting – How do you create a connection between a human audience and a fish? This behind-the-scenes look behind the curtain examines the process of constructing believable performances through a unique collaboration between the director, voice actors and animators.
- Creature Features – The cast of “Finding Dory” share cool facts about the creatures they voice in the film.
- Deep in the Kelp – Disney Channel’s Jenna Ortega guides us on a research trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to show how far the “Finding Dory” crew went to make Dory’s world feel real.
- Skating & Sketching with Jason Deamer – “Finding Dory” character art director Jason Deamer talks about how he got to Pixar, how he draws the characters in the film, and how falling off a skateboard teaches you lessons you can use in art and life.
- Dory’s Theme – A spirited discussion among the composer, music editor and director of “Finding Dory” about the musical elements that shape Dory’s quirky and joyful theme.
- Rough Day on the Reef – Sometimes computers make mistakes. Here you’ll see some of the funny, creepy and just plain bizarre footage the crew encountered while making “Finding Dory.”
- Deleted Scenes (introduced by director Andrew Stanton)
- Tank Gang (Digital exclusive) – After a close encounter with a squid leaves them separated from Dory, Marlin and Nemo unexpectedly meet up with the Tank Gang from “Finding Nemo,” who make it their mission to get to the Marine Life Institute … by any means necessary.
- Hidden Seacrets of Finding Dory (Digital exclusive) – Take a deep dive to catch secret Easter Eggs throughout the movie. And just like Hank, they’re hidden in plain sight.