Pixar sequels have had mixed success in past instances; ‘Toy Story 2’ & ‘Toy Story 3’ both showed audiences that the studio can still be original and entertaining with previously established characters. However the sequels/prequels to both ‘Monsters Inc’ & ‘Cars’ ran into some trouble and did not receive the more unanimous praise that Pixar have come accustomed to. So could ‘Finding Dory’ restore some of the magic back into Pixar sequels that it’s been lacking?
So whilst we’ve had to wait thirteen years for this sequel the events actually take place just one year after the story in ‘Finding Nemo’. The film does a great job of integrating the stories of Nemo and Dory and there is genuine thought here which gives ‘Finding Dory’ a purpose to exist rather than simply being just a cash grab. One thing that Pixar can always be relied upon to deliver is top quality animation and ‘Finding Dory’ is no different. The detail produced here is wonderful to see and subtle touches in character and environment design are always appreciated. As well as gorgeous animation it’s usually heart that audiences can expect from Pixar and here things are no different. ‘Finding Dory’ includes many messages in its story including family, self-belief and friendship. It’s not the most emotional Pixar film to date but it who says it has to be?
With a new story comes a whole host of new characters, many of which are brilliant. The best of the new additions for me were Destiny (Kaitlin Olsen), Bailey (Ty Burrell) & Hank (Ed O’Neill). Between this whale shark, beluga whale and octopus much of the comedy arose and they really have some fantastic moments. Of course Dory brings a lot of laughs too and Ellen DeGeneres delivers another brilliant performance as the forgetful fish. At times I wished that some of the new characters could have been developed slightly more, especially Hank as he was my favourite. This could have been achieved at the expense of some less interesting ones or some throwaway scenes. Whilst I loved many of the new characters I will admit that I wasn’t overly fussed on the story just because some elements of the narrative did become a little repetitive. This didn’t ruin the film for me but it did mean that during the film on a few occasions my interest was beginning to flag. However this wasn’t really an issue as the next laugh was never too far away and I was immediately submerged back into the wonderful underwater world of ‘Finding Dory’. There is one other cast member/character whose inclusion was a magnificent touch and I’ll keep it a secret because the surprise is one of the best bits to the film, it’s worth seeing for that alone!
So although ‘Finding Dory’ doesn’t rank that highly amongst my other Pixar favourites it has restored my faith in the studio when it comes to attempting sequels. It’s most definitely more of a ‘Tory Story’ sequel than a ‘Cars’ one. The animation and heart are effortless for ‘Finding Dory’ and some of the new characters are really great fun. Super voice performances and an all round good time mean that Pixar are once more on the up after a not so consistent run in recent years…just keep swimming!
Rating – 7.5/10
Question – What is your favourite Pixar film?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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