Finding Dory (2016) Movie Review

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Finding Dory (2016)

Finding Dory (2016) Movie Review

I really enjoyed this movie. Learning about Dory's history makes the original movie better. The
cameos were satisfactory, and the after-credits scene is incredibly nostalgic. I liked how the writers acknowledged "Finding Dory's" audience with that scene.

The animation, however, felt the same as the 2003 movie and the original sense of awe is lost. I also felt that some jokes were taken a bit far, especially the ones that dealt with disabilities. There are times in the story where corporate interests take over before relinquishing control to the creatives. A number of check-boxes can be seen being ticked off before the end.

I loved the movie. I had fun watching it, I don’t think there was a character I didn’t like and it was beautiful, regarding the animation, the emotion and the score.
I’d like to address a few things that stood out to me:

First, the movie seemed to be fighting a good fight for mental illness awareness. It kind of said, “Those with mental disabilities can do everything a person without can! They can help and they can be loved and love and they can fit into society like everyone else!” Yet, Becky and the seal with the bucket (sorry, forget his name. Gerald?) were the butt of all the jokes. I think they handled Marlin’s guilt wonderfully though, and Dory’s parents were amazing, when it came to dealing with her issue. I just have mixed feelings on it. I’m not offended by it, I just like thinking about it, but I can see others being upset by it.

Second, everything just kind of falls together at the end. It’s great, because I was fearing something really sad happening to someone, but watching the movie as an adult, it just doesn’t feel satisfying. And, I was a little bothered by everything surviving in fresh water lol.

Third, and this is just silly, the movie comes really close to having some psychological thriller/horror undertones with Dory’s flashbacks. I just want a cut of “Finding Dory, if it was a horror movie” but I don’t have that kind of software.

Fourth, dammit, I didn’t know there was an after credits scene. As we were leaving, my friend and I joked, “Will they put, “Dory will return for Avengers: Infinity War”? Jokes on us.
Like I said, I loved it. It had its flaws, and I can’t say it’s better than the original but I also don’t think it’s worse.

Finding Dory (2016)

Really great movie overall that doesn't too the original but leaves a solid and strong impression. Visuals were beyond gorgeous.
I have my complaints but most are very minor - my one big complaint though is one that's been mentioned in the thread multiple times already but I feel like sharing my own perspective on.
I'm not a very PC person, but the fact that the sea lion and the bird (Gerald and Becky respectively) were basically portrayed as mentally ill or to be more blunt retarded characters - qualities which would often be exploited for laughs - bothered me. Dory's short-term memory loss is handled in a really good way in my opinion. It gives her personality and is a central part of her character and allows for lighthearted, funny moments and more heartbreaking and unfortunate ones too. It gives a holistic and purposeful treatment of her condition in a way that's organic, child-friendly, mature, and respectful. But Gerald and Becky were just "Look at these dumb animals that are stupid and silly!" No respect, immature, and ultimately in bad taste in my opinion. I dunno, just rubbed me the wrong way I guess. I didn't hate it, just didn't sit right with me.
Super good film though, but Pixar has definitely done better.

Finding Dory (2016)

I think the movie did a fantastic job of calling back to the original, but not over doing it. The perfect amount of old jokes. They took Dory and instead of constantly beating you with "remember how funny it is when she forgets things!" for an hour and a half they made it have a purpose. They did a really good job at turning dory from comedic relief character to the main character without sacrificing the quality of the movie.

Dory will give you an ocean of laughter, even if the plot can be a little light weight.
The movie takes place directly after Finding Nemo, even though Finding Nemo came out 13 years ago. You don't need to watch Nemo, and if you have but barely remember it, Finding Dory does a good enough job at making references to remind you of past characters and events.
The jokes are well spread out throughout the movie to keep you entertained with the Pixar brand of good and sometimes witty humor, sprinkled with some jokes for the adults.

The movie is largely an adventure movie, so most of what you see are the characters getting from point to point, but there are some character-driven moments, which leads to a few touching moments and an inspirational message that you don't hear too often.
The story begins to rush through after two-thirds of the movie, likely because the minds behind the movie realize kids start to get restless at about the hour mark. While it can be understood, it affects the story-telling experience for adults and young adults.

There are also a couple of scenes are pretty ridiculous, especially for Disney/Pixar's standards. Personally, it took me out of the movie due to the sheer absurdity, although people still did laugh at it.

Not a point I will deduct a point for, but while Zootopia was a very serious message about discrimination and stereotyping, Finding Dory's message about disabilities is hit or miss. While Dory's plight can hit the right notes of comedy and sadness, the supporting characters' issues felt like throwaway gags that didn't help to push the subplot of understanding and dealing with various disabilities, mental or physical

Overall it's a worthy sequel to one of Pixar's great hits. It is lighter in plot compared to PG rated animated movies like Zootopia, Toy Story and Shrek so it's not as rewatchable, but still very entertaining.

The good: the callbacks to the original weren't excessive, the new characters were funny (especially Destiny and the random clam), and our familiarity with the main characters helped with some of the jokes and the emotional beats. Yes, there are moments, happy and sad, where you might tear up.

Criticisms: lot of the humor is slapstick based, which I felt was less funny than the dialogue, and the film probably could have slowed down at times to allow us to better appreciate more emotional scenes. If I'm going to be super nitpicky, the ending credit song seemed like an odd choice.

Overall, it's a good film, even if it's not as good as Finding Nemo. Sometimes a little too zany for my taste, but it has plenty of heart and laugh out loud moments. Oh, and baby Dory might be the cutest thing ever.

Finding Dory (2016) Movie Review

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