Following up a beloved classic like Finding Nemo is a tall order even for Pixar. Thirteen years ago the groundbreaking animation studio showed how beautiful their work could be with an underwater world and a little clown fish who would do anything to save his son. The film  grossed over $339 domestically in its initial run (when that number meant something) and became a movie both adults and their children would watch again and again. One could wonder if too much time had passed or expectations would be insurmountable, but Pixar with the help of their parent company Disney proves once again they are the best at what they do with the long-awaited sequel Finding Dory.

Besides a few adorable and important flashbacks from Dory’s life as a little fish, the majority of Finding Dory takes place one year after Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and Marlin (Albert Brooks) rescued little Nemo (Hayden Rolence). This time around the story focuses on the forgetful blue tang fish and the memory flashes she starts to get with images of her past. The trio once again travels across the Ocean looking for answers as to what happened to Dory and her family. The fish meet a bunch of lovable new aquatic friends during their new journey and again pull on our heart-strings like only Pixar can do.

Pixar does a superb job with their voice casting in Finding Dory. We have our returning favorites such as Brooks and DeGeneres who are solid in their roles again as Marlin and Dory, but newcomers such as Ty Burrell as Bailey the beluga whale and near-sighted whale shark Destiny voiced by Kaitlin Olson bring fresh new voices to the cast. The newcomer standout has to be Ed O’Neil as the surly octopus Hank who is fun to watch as he slithers around the environment both in and out of the water. Some of our old favorites do show up during the new adventure, but it’s nice to see the creators of Finding Dory give the audience new characters to love instead of rehashing the same interactions again in the sequel.

Finding Dory is also a visually stunning film that is meant to be seen on the big screen in 3-D. If you were blown away by the colorful underwater views back in 2003 with Finding Nemo, your jaw will be on the floor from the stunning visuals from Pixar’s ocean world. You’ll gaze at how the anemones stingers flow in the water or how the fur on the seals manages to have that half wet/half dry look to it. Finding Dory creates a world you will want to dive into with big laughs, heart and nice dose of action and adventure for a kids movie. The film is a worthy sequel to the 2003 classic and will be sure to leave a smile on your face in a time when we could all use that.

Overall, I give Finding Dory 3.25 out of 4 stars.

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Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell


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