Yes, Pixar Month continues. I feel guilty that, thus far, my Pixar Month has consisted solely of two reviews (I felt the need to take a small break after my more serious last blog, whose subject I felt deserved some extra attention). But hopefully that will change in the remaining days of June. And heck, if Pixar Month needs to continue into July, I’m not going to complain.
So I got back from seeing Finding Dory, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I’m going to wait for a second viewing before writing a full review, because no doubt trying to review a sequel to a movie you’ve loved for over a decade certainly needs a little more time and analysis before giving a more honest opinion that isn’t either overly gushing or negative. But I do think it was a worthy sequel to the 2003 original.
I admit I was pretty skeptical going into Finding Dory, seeing as Finding Nemo didn’t exactly need a sequel, and the thirteen-year gap kind of reminds me of that. And well, the first time Pixar decided to make a sidekick character the star of a sequel, we got Cars 2. So there was a bit of reason to be worried. Thankfully, those skepticisms can be put to rest. Because Finding Dory is a very charming movie.
Now, I do think some scenes maybe called back to the original a little too strongly, and certain parts may have been a little more cartoonishly ridiculous than fans of the original may have liked (though that’s something I may think twice about upon a second viewing, as seeing a sequel for the first time can always have some moments that may feel out of place at first viewing). But for the most part, it managed to tell a good story and pack in a good dose of emotion.
Without going into too much detail, it was great to see Pixar come up with a solid story that was pretty much built on a throwaway line of dialogue from the original Finding Nemo (remember Dory’s passing reference to her family?). Even more impressive was how it took a character attribute that was basically a running gag in the original (Dory’s short-term memory loss), and turn it into a sympathetic disability to give the character more depth.
I also really enjoyed the new characters, and felt they meshed in really well with the original cast (particularly Hank the “septopus,” who is sure to become a new fan favorite with his rough personality and the creative ways Pixar has animated his movements and camouflage). Admittedly, some of the main characters from the first film, namely Marlin and Nemo, have largely reduced roles. But I suppose it’s better they make a necessary appearance instead of a forced and imposed one.
I’ll save any more thoughts on the full review to come, but I have to say I really enjoyed this long-awaited sequel. It may not be the next Inside Out, but it also isn’t the next Good Dinosaur. As of right now, I do feel it is a worthy continuation of Finding Nemo.
Keep an eye out for my full Finding Dory review, and other Pixar-related content, very soon right here at Wizard Dojo.