Reviews: return to the oceans – Finding Dory

Published On July 21, 2016 | By Garth Cremona | Animation, Film TV & Theatre, Reviews

Finding Dory,
Directed by Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane,
Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill


Thirteen years (is it really that long??) after Finding Nemo we venture back under the waves to see the next adventures of our favourite fish. I’m going to tell you right now I can’t fault this film. So if you just want a quickie review there you go. But if you want to know a little more then you’re going to have to read on. The film is set just one year after the finding of Nemo, and in their little part of the Ocean Nemo, Marlin, and Dory are living a very quiet life. When Dory’s memories of her parents start to come back the trio must once again leave the safety of their home and do what they have to do to help their forgetful friend. Along the way they meet Hank the Octopus who is trying to avoid being released back into the ocean and find his way to another aquarium.

I was not a massive fan of the Finding Nemo movie, it was too sentimental for my withered old heart, and once I watched it once, that was enough. So I thought I was going to be having more of the same with this film. I don’t think that I’m as withered of heart as I once was, but also Finding Dory gets the balance between the sentiment, the drama, and the comedy perfectly correct.


Pixar just gets better and better with every animation that they release onto the world, and one of the ways you know what is coming next from them, and how they are developing the art of animation is by the short film that comes before their feature release. This year that short is Piper, which is just beautiful. I honestly don’t know how the effects keep getting better but they do, and next year I’ll probably be here typing the same thing, I know I could copy and paste, but I’ll more than likely type it all out again, I’m quite fast at the whole typing thing. Piper is stunning and the story is simple, but the way it’s told will just have you from the first moments.

Back to Finding Dory. The returning cast of Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres are back in the roles that they fit into like gloves. Dory is the eternal optimist while Marlin is a constant pessimist, and Nemo is their soul, balancing the trio out. As Dory finds her way into the Sea Life centre trying to find her parents we are treated to flashbacks and more characters than you can shake a stick at. As with Zootopia (or Zootropolis) the amount of background animation is head spinning, I’ve seen the film twice now and there were parts that I missed the first time that I caught the second time, and I’m sure when I’m forced to bring the younger members of my family again to see it I’ll catch something more.


Ed O’Neill from Married With Children and Modern Family provides the voice of Hank the Octopus, a survivor of the Kid Zone and wanting to get to another Aquarium as quickly as possible. He becomes the reluctant helper of Dory as she continues to remember and tries to find her parents. There are plenty of new fish, sea lions, and birds to get to know along the way too. The comedy is matched by the one thing that we all need right now across the world: the feeling of hope. I’m not going to get too sentimental here myself, but one of the things that I truly love about this film, and I use the word love here honestly, is that there is hope even in the darkest places. It’s no shock to me that in America that this film has been Number One at the box office for a few weeks, the inclusive world of the Ocean is probably something we should aspire to.

While it didn’t have the same impact on me that Inside Out had last year, I can’t find a fault with the film, the animation is just amazing and thought behind every action and sequence is so in depth that you just lose yourself to the story and the characters. If it takes thirteen years to make a sequel that surpasses the original then maybe more films could do with waiting this long. Finding Dory is one of my top ten films of the year and I’ll happily sit through it time and time again.

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About The Author

Garth Cremona
Garth Cremona is an Irish writer, as well as reviewer of films, comics and books

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