Finding Dory: entertaining moments bogged down by a script that pales in comparison to the original
July 12, 2016
Filed under Entertainment
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Finding Dory, released June 17, 2016, is a sequel to the modern animated classic Finding Nemo and follows Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a blue tang fish who suffers from short term memory loss, as she tries to find her parents with the help of Marlin (Albert Brooks), Nemo (Hayden Rolence), and a cynical octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill).
Finding Dory follows the Pixar model to a T, and in doing so succeeds where most Pixar films do. The animation is well done, as Pixar continues to reinvigorate its animation with colorful new details. The characters that return to this film are lovable as ever, and the new cast are fun additions, with Hank being the most notable and hilarious of the bunch. Dory herself is more developed as a result of being in the spotlight, allowing the previously one-dimensional comic relief to transform into a more complex and emotional hero. Most of the film’s emotional weight is found when the movie peeks into Dory’s backstory as the general public is not really used to seeing the negative and heartbreaking effects Dory’s conditions has on those around her.
While Finding Dory’s story does offer a new perspective on a beloved character, the rest of the story does not add enough intelligence to differentiate itself like Finding Nemo did. Nemo was packed with depth and, despite being a film about talking fish, stayed within a realm of plausibility. Finding Dory is nowhere near as lively as its predecessor, and this movie has an air of unbelievability that is hard to ignore. Obviously some suspension of belief is required, but Finding Dory is entirely based on the idea that Dory can suddenly remember her family despite having short term memory loss since birth. The script’s wit pales in comparison to its predecessor, leaving Finding Dory to make up for it in charm and cutesy imagery. While it succeeds in distracting the audience sometimes, many jokes do not land and the emotional moments suffer from a lack of development due to the feeble script. The film is hindered from a cute-over-substance ideology that leads to an air of insincerity around the whole thing. Finding Dory admittedly stands in a fairly huge shadow, but that is not an excuse for such an excellent studio such as Pixar to lean on.
Finding Dory triumphs in its animation and characters, but it unfortunately does not have much to offer beyond that. The script is lacking, and for every funny or emotional moment, there is a moment filled with lame fan service, insincere drama or an overabundance of cute. While it was fantastic to see these characters back on the big screen, Finding Dory unfortunately does not fill the massive shoes of the original.