Finally Finding Dory has made its way to the UK. America had it for over a month all to itself – finally I can put away my petted lip and see the masterpiece for myself! Time to get swimming!
Finding Dory is the movie I’ve been looking forward to the most this year. I invited all my gal pals round to prepare with a night of Finding Nemo and I had completely forgotten how amazing it was. The characters, the music, the animation, the colours of the reef, all of it filled me with excitement.
Pixar are geniuses when it comes to sequels. Toy Story (my personal all-time-Disney-and-Pixar favourite) just got better and better – in my opinion. I knew Finding Dory would be an epic tale that matched its predecessor and it didn’t disappoint.
The first possible showing of the film was at 10.30am at my local cinema. After buying my tickets in advance, myself and my boyfriend basically flew to the screen. I was surprised by how many children were already there – I assumed that many parents would wait until after lunch but I was proven wrong. We all had the right idea though – the cinema was busy but not uncomfortably so.
However, I’ve waited until my second viewing to review this film. Today I scooted off to see this tale again with my uni classmates – the same classmates I did a PowerPoint presentation with; a lecture all about, “why Wreck it Ralph is a quality film.” We received an A for our efforts. Not bragging, though. Not at all.
So off I popped with my Pixar crazy chums. Most of us had seen it before but it didn’t stop the magic from making us smile and laugh out loud all over again.
Many people question sequels – especially from the kinds of stories Disney offers; a simple yet well rounded tale that always ends on a high. Mostly, there never really seems the need to make a sequel as there’s no cliff hanger or unresolved issue (apart from The Incredibles but don’t get me started on that.)
One of my more skeptical friends asked me, “I know the script will be amazing – I mean, it’s Pixar. But what about the story? Is the story any good?”
To which I have to say – yes. From the second the movie opens with a cute baby Dory to the last after credits scene (yes there is an after credits scene and it’s worth the wait!) I was hooked. The plot contains so many moments you think Dory has reached her goal – the goal of finding her parents – only to whip that hope away from you. That roller coaster keeps you wanting more so, when the end result finally happens, the audience are left very satisfied.
And the new characters are just perfect.
Hank the anti-social septipus is someone any grumpy person can relate to. Bailey and Destiny the whales are wonderfully funny – I giggle just thinking of them, I think I laughed more than any child at their lines – and Dory’s parents are heart-warmingly human.
However that doesn’t mean the old characters are forgotten about. There is definitely less screen time with Nemo and Marlin but not so little I’m disappointed. (More screen time than the Joker anyway… Yes I went there…) But this movie is about Dory, so limited Nemo time is expected in my opinion, and the new characters make up for it.
However, Nemo’s character was allowed to really develop in this film. In the first movie he was a scared, worried young fish who wanted to get back home. In Finding Dory he was allowed to be more of himself, sticking up for Dory and proving his dad wrong, I felt a deeper connection to Nemo this time around. Maybe because I’m older and it feels like he’s aged with me – but none the less, Disney made sure his character is just as big and as interesting as his over protective father and cookie Dory.
However I was disappointed with blatant product placement. It’s a known fact Pixar love their Easter eggs – there’s even a Pixar theory due to these pockets of sightings – but Coca Cola? Really? I was very shocked when I saw the red cans dart away into the blue and wasn’t very impressed. Surely a company like Disney can do without the sponsorship of a fizzy drink?
But, hey, I’m nit picking here.
Of course a Disney film has to have a message. I believe there are three messages in Finding Dory and all are lessons I think are perfect for kids. The first, I believe, is that although your biological family is important, that isn’t your only family. Your family can be those who are just as close to you as your blood relatives. Furthermore, I think this film proves the importance of teamwork as Dory needs a lot of help to get on her way. Everyone has their own talents – for example, Bailey’s most powerful pair of glasses and Hank’s ability to walk on land – and together we can work to reach a goal. It may sound cheesy but it’s Disney, I mean come on.
The last is one I think Disney struggled with itself. Originally Dory was meant to be born in a aquatic park like Seaworld but after the Pixar crew watched the documentary Blackfish, they realised that this would be too controversial. Therefore they changed the story so that it was a marine biology institution that helps sick animals and fish. I personally think this was the right move and the movie has benefitted greatly from this change. The fish don’t want to go to a fish tank in Cleveland – they want to be free. Furthermore, Destiny, the bad sighted whale, does better without walls around her. I personally think one of the most powerful lines in the film is when Bailey tells her, “There are no walls in the ocean!” This take on such a controversial subject is handled so carefully but well that I can’t help but applaud Pixar for getting it right.
Overall, I adore this film and I adore Pixar. That will never change. A Disney film doesn’t mean it’s just for kids and it definitely doesn’t mean that aspects of film studies go amiss. The same creative process and structure is present all across filmmaking and story writing. The reason Pixar is so successful is because they stick to the professional way of doing things.
And it works.