Based on scientific fact and Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge and truth), Clown fish (Anemonefish) lead very interesting lives. These fish are typically male, but can often advance and mature till they become females. (There’s probably a deeper meaning somewhere in there, but I’d rather not look into it.) In a colony of clown fish, there is often a breeding female. However, when this female dies, the alpha breeding male fish transitions into the female, and then often mates with the young fish in the colony.
Basically, when Marlin’s wife died at the beginning of Finding Nemo, he was meant to become the mother and was only looking for Nemo for one purpose… Sorry everyone, this is science.
It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo. Pixar has definitely taken its time to make the follow-up to the original, beloved (by many) movie.
As this sequel begins, Marlin, Nemo and Dory are living a peaceful life until Dory starts seeing flashbacks of her parents and her original home. These nostalgic flashes inspire her to cross the ocean, where she eventually finds herself stuck in Pixar’s marine-friendly version of Sea World.
Your interest in this movie all depends on your patience barometer for Dory. I felt she was a great side character in Finding Nemo, but now she gets the spotlight and 95% of the screen time. The problem with having a scene-stealing character as the lead, is that the idiosyncracies start to feel forced to the point where jokes that were funny at one time, are now just annoying. For example, the majority of the humor in Finding Dory deals directly with some fish telling Dory a plan, then Dory agreeing, only to ask what the plan is 10 seconds later. Every fish acts shocked when she explains she has short term memory loss. The only way this oft-repeated joke would be funny to the audience is if we had short term memory loss.
The beauty of Finding Nemo was the discovery of the ocean and its inhabitants. We, as the audience, got to discover the magic of the deep and the unique personalities within. In Finding Dory, we’re expected to experience the magic of fish tanks in…Sea World. The environment has all the wonder of a field trip visit to the aquarium.
There is a fantastic scene that plays out like every fish’s nightmare. It takes place in Kidzone and you see just how terrifying children can be from the perspective of the fragile fish. You’re guaranteed to laugh. However, it is a near duplication of the childcare scene from Toy Story 3.
The new characters are few, but welcome. Ed O’Neill voices Hank, the octopus, who freely roams the aquatic center, yet has a fear of someone breaching his personal space. Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny) and Ty Burrell join the cast as a near-sighted whale shark and a sense-deprived Beluga Whale, respectively. These three characters offer bright spots in an otherwise uninteresting aquarium. There are attempts at comedy with the random characters Marlin and Nemo meet, but they feel like scenes that should have been flushed down the drain.
Pixar continues to impress with its incredible animation. Granted, great animation doesn’t always equal a good movie. I’m looking at you Good Dinosaur. But in Finding Dory, there were several ocean scenes that seemed photo-realistic.
Finding Dory does not feel like the cash grab that Cars 2 was. It’s more along the lines of Monsters University. It’s a harmless and forgettable extension of the story that didn’t really need to be told. Your kids will enjoy the flick, but it’s not one that many parents will take the time to sit down and enjoy with them on repeat viewings. C-