Finding Dory

Director: Andrew Stanton (2016) BBFC cert U

After storming the US box office this underwater animated adventure finally arrives in the UK and is full of fintastic summer fun for the little ones.

A superior sequel to Finding Nemo (2003), it’s exciting, warm and optimistic. Pixar’s visual creatives demonstrate their astonishingly high levels of technical ability, bathing scenes in breathtaking pools of beauty.

The inclusivity, subtle eco warnings and traditional message of achieving one’s potential complement and provide an anchor to the nonstop knockabout action scenes.

Stanton’s directorial career hit tremendous heights with A Bug’s Life (1998), Finding Nemo (2003) and Wall-E (2007), before his career stalled with the overly maligned mega budget flop John Carter (2012). Now combining writing duties with direction, Stanton has delivered an absolute charmer.

Set a year after the original box office smash Finding Nemo, an accident leaves forgetful fish Dory suffering flashbacks of her long lost parents.

When Dory sets off on a perilous journey to be reunited with them, she finds herself on a voyage of self discovery, steering through deep and dark currents on the way.

Ellen DeGeneres is the emotional centre of the film as the voice of Dory, essaying a quiet change from annoyingly needy to gently confident. Female characters are generally more proactive, resourceful and inspirational than the men.

Along for the ride are her friends Nemo and his over-protective father Marlin. Hayden Rolence and Albert Brooks buddy up nicely as the clownfish.

Their expedition leads the trio to a marine sea life rescue institute in California. Once inside they inventively navigate their way via water pipes, buckets, cups and a coffee pot. Even the best intentioned of the humans are hazardous and the children especially so.

Sigourney Weaver cameos as the intercom announcer on the institute’s PA system. Her messianic delivery offers a zealous refrain of ‘rescue, rehabilitation and release’.

We’re treated to familiar faces from the first film such as the surfer turtles and Brit actors Idris Elba and Dominic West are the voices of bullying sea lions.

Sporting a variety of physical and mental disabilities, creatures of different species come harmoniously together to make a significant contribution to Dory’s quest. They are defined by their loyalty and bravery not their disabilities or the colour of their fins.

As well as Dory’s memory issues and Nemo’s underdeveloped fin, Hank the octopus is missing a tentacle, a whale shark is near-sighted, a beluga whale has lost his echolocation and a common loon called Becky has vision issues. Loon is a type of bird, I’m not being nasty.

An adoryable tale from start to finish.

@ChrisHunneysett

 

 

 

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