G) Finding Dory
Walt Disney Pictures.
Running Time: 105 Minutes.
3 stars out of 4.
Finding Nemo was released thirteen years ago in 2003 to critical acclaim and commercial success. Not only did the film win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but was the highest grossing animated film of all time upon its release, with a worldwide gross totalling over $900 Million. Nemo cemented Pixar Animation Studios as the best animation studio working today, and was followed by a string of hits from Pixar. Last years Inside Out, was considered a return to form for Pixar, following a string of misses from the studio, with releases such as Cars 2, Monsters University, and Brave. Inside Out garnered universal acclaim and also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. The Good Dinosaur was the first Pixar film to flop at the worldwide box office, grossing nearly $300 Million against a production budget of $200 Million. Finding Dory is considered to be one of the most anticipated films of the year, and puts fan favourite character "Dory" voice by Ellen DeGeneres at the forefront, with Marlon and Nemo being put in supporting roles.
In essence, Finding Dory is a thoroughly enjoyable, emotional, and beautifully made film. While the film does not rank amongst Pixar's best films, Dory stands on its own as a fun and charming film. As you would expect with Pixar, the animation is stunning, the characters have a sense of weight that adds to their authenticity that just was not there in the original film. Likewise, the water is extremely realistic and there are times in the film, where the water, landscapes, and buildings look almost photo realistic.
The voice cast led Ellen DeGeneres all do solid work. DeGeneres does a terrific job in the titular role as the forgetful fish "Dory," and truly makes viewers care about the story to find Dory's family. DeGeneres elevates the material to make it truly something spectacular. Ed O'Neill plays "Hank the Octopus" a new character who is Dory's companion, and he does a wonderful job with the role. The animation on his character is some of the best character animation that I have ever seen Pixar do, and he ranks amongst Pixar's best supporting characters. Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy do solid work in small roles as Dory's parents, and with DeGeneres make for a likeable screen combo. In smaller roles, Albert Brooks as Marlon and Hayden Rolence as Nemo, do a great job with the material they are given, I just wish that they were given more to do.
Finding Dory is the story of finding "Dory's" parents, and while this is an engaging premise, the journey itself, not so much. The film is lacking a sense of time and urgency, and I kept thinking, if this story actually matters. I had trouble distinguishing if we care more about the characters or the journey itself. I wish that the journey had been more engaging and emotional for viewers, as I felt that the film lacked a strong emotional core.Regardless, Finding Dory ranks amongst the years most enjoyable films, and while it is not my favourite Pixar film ever put to screen, I had a fun time watching the film, and I loved visiting the world of Nemo, Marlone, and Dory again. I just wish this film had a story as strong as the original.