Finding Dory

(4 / 5)

(G) Voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert brooks, Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill

It has been 13 years since Finding Nemo, which introduced us to Marlin (Albert Brooks), Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and Nemo (Alexander Gould) on their family adventure. But after so many years, will audiences remember this aquatic trio? And does anyone care about the next chapter in their lives? For fans of the first outing, the answer would be a resounding, “Yes!”

Pixar and veteran director Andrew Stanton bring audiences back to the Great Barrier Reef one year after the rescue mission to save Nemo. The friendship has continued for the beloved trio; Marlin and Nemo have found a place for Dory in their lives, even with all of her forgetful tendencies. Through a series of events and familiar phrases, she begins to remember her family and she decides she needs to find them.

With the help of the father and son clown fish, Dory takes them on an adventure to the other side of the world. Their journey brings them to the shores of California, where the inhabitants of the Monterey Marine Life Institute try to help her reconnect with her parents. In the process, Finding Dory brings a fresh perspective to the familiar aquatic tale from over a decade ago; a perspective that will make you fall in love with this cast of characters all over again.

Apart from a familiar storyline being used again, there is very little to complain about with Dory‘s family adventure. Pixar continues to show that they are still the standard bearers when it comes to computer-generated animation. The difference between this film and most of the other CGI driven films on the market is the magic of the story. Although it may be predictable at times, Stanton and the Pixar team manage to find the necessary elements to deliver something extraordinary. Bringing back some of the original cast and introducing the right number of new characters, they provide the balance that is needed for a refreshing twist to this underwater adventure. Children and adults will enjoy the introduction of Hank the “septopus” (Ed O’Neill), Destiny the whale shark (Kaitlin Olson), Bailey the beluga whale (Ty Burrell) and the vast array of quirky, but endearing ocean friends.

Sure, there are unbelievable components to the storyline, but they do not diminish the joyful side of this water-based narrative. This story of family and the importance of celebrating every aspect of life (even aspects that seem to be weaknesses in individuals) will make for a few laughs and tearful moments. The new cast of characters, the fresh setting and the value of the journey make this a film that all families should go and enjoy together.

What should parents know about Finding Dory? Some controversies around Finding Dory have surfaced ahead of its release but these prove to be unnecessary concerns from people who have too much time on their hands. This is a great film for families to enjoy together — there’s no need to read into the storyline beyond its celebration of family, as well as how right it is to value individuals for how they were beautifully made.

 What are the bigger questions to consider from this film?

  1. What should we know about disabilities?(Psalm 139: 13-14, Romans 5:3-5)
    2. What does the Bible say about family? (John 15:12-17)

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Russell Matthews

Russell loves film and enjoys engaging in discussions about the latest cinema offerings and then connecting this with the Gospel. He has worked for City Bible Forum for over 10 years, is a reviewer for Insights Magazine and Entertainment Fuse and has a blog called Russelling Reviews. He moderates events for Reel Dialogue which connect the film industry with the general public.