First off, I know some of you will be confused. How, you’ll say, can a guy who watches the Avengers and Batman vs Superman be going to THIS movie? Fair question, and here’s the answer—I’m an animation fan from way back, going straight back to Georges Melies’ “A Trip To The Moon” in the early 1900s. I’ve seen pretty much everything from Krazy Kat to Fritz The Cat. Let’s get on with the matter at hand.
If you saw Finding Nemo, you won’t be lost here, and even if you are, there are occasional flashback scenes to bring you up to date. There are some similarities with the earlier Pixar film here, but the story centers around Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) who, due to some events, begins to remember her parents and decides to go look for them with the help of Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence). They get to their intended destination with the help of sea turtles—the “Jewel of Morro Bay, California” known as the Marine Life Institute.
When they get there (but still in the open sea), Dory starts calling out to her parents as the local sea life and Marlin try to shush her—with good reason, as a large squid comes out of the shadows and tries to snack on them They escape, and Dory wanders off, splitting them up as Dory winds up within the sea life sanctuary as she’s distracted by the (real) voice of Sigourney Weaver.
In the facility, Dory is tagged and meets an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) who proceeds to help her if she’ll give him her tag, which would allow him to go to an aquarium in Cleveland because he no longer wants to be released in the wild since he lost a tentacle in the wild, leading Dory to call him a “septapus”. This is where the fun really begins,
Marlin and Nemo have to get in to rescue Dory, and they do so with the help of sea lions named Fluke (Idris Elba) and Rudder (Dominic West) and a loon named Becky (Uncredited since she never speaks). A convoluted and hilarious plan develops and the entire cast is reunited. In the sanctuary is a beluga named Bailey (Ty Burrell) who thinks he can’t use his echosonar power and Dory’s childhood friend Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark who keeps bumping into objects.
Much of Hank’s funny moments stem from his chameleon-like ability to blend into the background and change colour, but he has a major role in Dory’s rescue that leads to a wild police chase in a truck (Yes, you read that right). This, along with Destiny’s bumping into things, brought roars of laughter from everyone in attendance. In the end, everyone winds up back home and Dory is reunited with her parents Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy).
In a movie world starved for true family entertainment, Finding Dory is the cure—a film you’ll enjoy and laugh with whether you’re five or ninety-five years old. The animation is sharp and precise and just keeps the action, dare I say, flowing like water.