After thirteen long years, Pixar finally brought back the amnesiac yet amazing heroine of one of the best movies to exist in all time – Dory, from Finding Nemo. Voiced by international rockstar and comedian, Ellen Degeneres, she was the anchor to part one, welding herself like an iron backbone to the plotline. It’s not Finding Nemo without Dory.
The magic in Disney movies is that they always introduce this unbelievably hilarious character to turn the tables around in every single story. You have Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, who doesn’t realise he’s a work of plastic and instead thinks he’s born to save the galaxy like a real space ranger. Woody sacrifices his sanity to convince him otherwise and the process lands them in the hands of a boy who likes to blow toys up with explosives. In Bug’s Life, a bunch of circus bugs are mistaken for warriors and are thrown into the hapless life of the ant colony to shield them from the evil and insane grasshoppers. Creative humour really, really pays off in these animations and the same happened in Finding Nemo.
Marlin, a clownfish suffering from intensive paranoia (this results from losing his wife and the rest of his unborn children to a Barracuda), loses his only baby boy, Nemo, to a diver, and as he literally goes crazy swimming after the boat, he is joined by Dory here, who is the very last character he would have picked for a companion.
And honestly, he wouldn’t have found his son by going all the way across the ocean without this easily excited and adorable female. She makes him join a gang of vegetarian sharks for a party and later helps him escape death; she assists him in tying a demonic fish to a rock; she makes him race the way out of a jellyfish forest by bouncing on the heads … and finally mooes the whale language to hitch a ride out of a blue whale to get to Sydney Harbour, where Nemo is.
I watched Finding Nemo back at UK in the first week of release and during this scene, everyone in the theatre actually started howling and mooing just like Dory. It was hilarious and fun to enjoy the movie like that.
Every single stunt she pulls drives Marlin insane but in the end, they always get him out of trouble. You can actually feel the rush of adrenaline within yourself as you watch Dory in action.
And that’s the core of Finding Dory.
‘What would Dory do?’
The sequel to the fantastic 2003 visual of the beautiful and colourful underwater world is of Dory and her lost family. The question of why she was swimming around all alone in the middle of the ocean when Marlin first knocks into her is where the plotline for this movie got developed from. To be honest, Disney sequels never really beat the first movie of the franchise.
According to me and my mother, anyway 😀
But even though the principle applied itself to Finding Dory, it didn’t disappoint me at all. There she was, the forgetful regal tang who gets a glimpse of her parents from a memory wedged deep within her soul, which develops this fiery desire in her to go and find them, no matter what it takes. We journey with her, Marlin and Nemo as they end up in this marine aquarium at California and inevitably get separated. Dory battles with her amnesia and strives to look for the right way to go. Her motto of ‘Just Keep Swimming’, is her angel of guidance and she administers her new companion, an octopus, to help her find where her parents are through it. She gets lost several times throughout the movie and seeing the fright of memory loss getting to her was really heart-breaking to watch. Ellen really owns Dory, because it wasn’t just the terrified words in those situations but the quaver in her voice as she uttered them.
Humour, love, value of a family and friendship once again team up together to quench our thirst for a really good movie and we leave the premise with a satisfied heart.
Questions of where her motto to keep swimming comes from, how she can moo whale, how she can read English are answered in this sequel and the visuals of the computer graphics are so colourfully mind-blowing to look at. It was exotic back in 2003 and the same attractiveness kept its magnetism right now in 2016.
But something really was missing in Finding Dory.
I mean, in Finding Nemo, there were these secondary characters that signified a lot of different morals but in part two, the depth of the new ones, I’m afraid so, was sort of low key. Remember Gill from the tank? He taught Nemo what bravery was. Crush the sea turtle? He taught Marlin as well as every other father that you shouldn’t worry about your kids being ready for the next step in their lives. Everything should be handled with an airy attitude and just go on with the flow.
This isn’t a children’s movie, guys. It isn’t just a splay of bright colours to entertain us either. Every single character in a Disney movie stands to deliver a valuable message to the viewers.
I also felt that Dory herself could have been supplied with extra insanity. She’s this fearless girl who doesn’t think twice about entertaining dangerous stuff. Some of her nerve had been diluted by the presence of the octopus. Throwing her into more strange and lost situations would have without a doubt extracted more of the Dory we have fallen in love with.
The relationship of Marlin-Dory and Nemo-Dory could have been given more of a stirring insight. Okay, it’s not that I want romance to blossom between the former pair (I find Fanfiction written on that genre for these two quite disturbing 😀 ), but they forge a deep friendship in part one and I just felt that it could have been elicited by sowing it thickly into the blanket, where it is boldly prominent. And Nemo would have easily looked up to Dory as a fun older sister. Scenes of the pair of them pulling pranks on each other or sharing tender moments would have been most appreciated.
Nevertheless, it’s not as if their absence dented anything major here. You can readily allow yourself to be charged for Finding Dory movie tickets and really, really enjoy this sprightly and lively motion picture that is guaranteed to temporarily eliminate your worries and keep you garnered in the interesting journey and history of Dory.
I give the film four out of five stars.
Great job, Ellen, you rocked it!