Now living quite comfortably with Marlon and Nemo, Dory begins to regain memories about her past and how she lost her parents. The three of them then embark on an adventure to find Dory’s long lost parents and the place she used to call home.
When it comes to animated family movies Pixar have always been (and continue to be) in a wholly different league to other studios. Sure DreamWorks will release the odd gem, but in terms of both technical animating ability and emotional depth no one really close. And coming so soon off the back of Inside Out – possibly my favourite Pixar outing – Finding Dory had a lot to live up to. For me it didn’t quite live up to these lofty expectations, and for Pixar it is a fairly middling affair. Although we are talking about Pixar here so it is still the best animated family movie of the year so far.
First of all in terms of the animation itself each new Pixar movie seems to reach incredible new heights and Finding Dory is no different, though at this point they are beyond “simply” making photo-realistic and beautiful landscapes and characters. We are now at a stage of animation in which each new feature looks all the more like it was filmed with a camera. Which is actually a pretty dizzying concept when you think about it. Within Finding Dory there are examples of maybe four different camera techniques including a shaky hand held vision for when we see the world from Dory’s perspective and the use of focus – yes that’s focus being used in something computer generated.
It’s in the department of character depth and plot that Finding Dory does not quite match the very best of Pixar’s back catalogue. The central plot is fairly straightforward, but contains enough little twists and complex characters to build on the simple framework to create an interesting story. Finding Dory isn’t just a movie about lost parents and Dory’s specific disability, it’s actually about disabilities in general. There are a whole host of characters with both physical and mental disabilities in the film – all of which presented in a very celebratory way.
The voice performances as per usual are very strong with Ellen DeGeneres leading the line with a spectacularly deep and emotional performance. Elsewhere Albert Brookes as Marlon, Kaitlin Olson as Destiny and Ed O’Neill as Hank shine.
Overall while for Pixar Finding Dory is a mid-level entry, for anyone else It would be exceptional.