Review: Finding Dory, A-
Rated PG, 105 minutes
Well Dory, hallelujah! Pixar has done it again with the colorful "Finding Dory," the sequel to their 2003 megahit "Finding Nemo" that you won't soon forget with the new film matching the heart and wit of "Nemo." Directed and co-written by "Nemo's" Andrew Stanton, "Dory" bursts with laughs and familiar themes of family, friendships and courage, but enough bravura to keep you engaged. Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (Albert Brooks), Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory now knows that her family reunion will only happen if she can save mom and dad from captivity. "Finding Dory" is a predictable but heartwarming, unforgettable tale as only Pixar can spin. Dory's mantra is "keep on swimming," something she learned from her parents when her forgetfulness places her in unknown waters, which happens frequently. Animated sequels are often a tricky thing, even for Pixar ("Cars 2" crashed and burned, after all), but "Dory" comes up a winner thanks to its bright visuals and an inspired, playful cast, led by DeGeneres, who grounds the film well as Dory, who usually has something to learn as long as she can remember it, and this time she is helped by her pals Marlin (the nebbishly great Brooks, also back) and Nemo, along with new pals, a cranky octopus named Hank (the terrific Ed O'Neill), Kaitlin Olson ("It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia") as whale shark Destiny, a childhood friend of Dory's, Ty Burrell from "Modern Family" as Bailey, a beluga whale, and as her parents, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton - not to mention the voice of Sigourney Weaver, who is voice guide through the conservatory (a nice touch). The middle act is a tad jumpy as it hops from one place to another, and the zany climax an utter stretch, even for an animated tale, but "Dory" is terrific fun for both adults and kids, bookended with an emotional prologue and ending. It also comes with one of the best Pixar shorts seen in some time, "Piper," a playful sea side tale that's a nice entry way into the waters of the charming, vastly entertaining "Finding Dory." The question "what would Dory do?" is posed throughout the movie. She wouldn't forget you, so don't forget her. Put this one on your list to see.