Film studio Pixar are getting careless, thirteen years after losing Nemo, they have now lost Dory as well, once is excusable but twice?
Bearing in mind the colossal box office for “Finding Nemo” it’s surprising it has taken so long to extend the story. The previous film never really explained “Dory’s” (Ellen DeGeneres) back story and corrects that oversight here.
Being a forgetful Blue Tang, it’s easy to get lost and Dory not only disappeared from her parents life but travelled to the other side of the world with her new friends “Nemo” (Hayden Rolence) and his father “Marlin” (Albert Brooks).
Fortunately the like totally chilled out turtles, are able to bring Dory back closer to her goal, find her parents and live happily ever after as a blended family unit, Marlin, Nemo, Mum and Dad.
Of course CGI animated cartoons are designed to throw all of life’s small hurdles in the way but to overcome these small speed bumps you need friends. Even if your friends are called “Hank”, a seven legged Octopus who is grumpy as hell, voiced appropriately by Ed O’Neill together with two whales “Destiny” (Kaitlin Olson) and “Bailey” (Ty Burrell).
Throw in a couple of wisecracking Sea Lions basking on a rock (Idris Elba) and (Dominic West) and suddenly breaking into a walled Marine Life Institute does not seem so impossible. Sigourney Weaver providing the “Sea Worldish” style commentary from the park, a place that may hold the key to Dory’s future.
As you would expect from Pixar, the animation is incredible, the water effects and especially Hank are beautifully realised. There are almost no limits to what is possible. The glorious animation and quality voice talent, struggle valiantly to pull the film into four star status.
Story wise this feels a bit of a retread, did we really need to know where Dory came from, the previous film wrapped everything up well enough. This feels like a small tale stretched gossamer thin over the usual feature length running time. At times Dory’s memory loss just becomes, well a bit tedious.
There are laughs to be had and the ankle biters will mostly enjoy every minute but there is less for parents to chew on and the whole exercise feels somewhat redundant, despite being beautifully crafted.
There are no real villains, no Bruce the shark to liven things up but thankfully director Andrew Stanton has pulled together a bravura sequence as the finale, with suitable soundtrack and ultra slowmo.
If there is a theme, the story is about finding your way home, knowing where you came from, even if you are a Blue Tang with short term memory issues… what were we talking about again?
Usual Pixar high quality output with a sprinkling of great humour, not a classic but should keep the rug rats occupied for ninety minutes.
Not the most original film you will see this year but there are over $1 billion box office reasons why the film exists at the time of writing.