13 years ago, Pixar amazed audiences with its wonderful tale of a father searhing the ocean for his son. 'Finding Nemo' met great success both critically and at the box office which showed that Pixar had more to offer after Toy Story and Monsters Inc. The film touched so many to the point where fans were clamouring for a sequel to see more of these great characters. Now in 2016, Pixar are back with a new story in 'Finding Dory' but would they be able to recapture the magic that they created 13 years ago?
Finding Nemo was such a delight when it came out in 2003. The family film had so much heart in it which touched audiences all over the world with the family and friendship aspects. Unfortunately for Pixar, the same levels were not able to be replicated. I don't know if it is just something to do with the time that has past but there isn't that same feeling. Of course you want Dory to be reunited with her family but it just doesn't hit you as much as the original struggle that Marlin and Dory faced. It works to an extent but not to the standards set, which when you're a major company like Pixar is expected to be met.
As well as that, the adventure that our fish friends go on is nowhere near as good as in 'Nemo'. It's actually a small part as they get to the Marine Life Institute and they then have to break into there. It was so great seeing Marlin and Dory travelling and interacting with many parts of the ocean. They obviously had to change it up but there was so much more that they could have done and explored in the ocean. Instead we got a lot more action within the institute and the reliance of other characters which mainly takes our protagonists out of the water. There are enjoyable moments within the institute for sure but again, the expectations did make me feel disappointed with this part of the film.
One of the biggest problems for me has to do with the supporting characters. In 'Nemo' we had the three highly entertaining sharks who were hilarious in the original. We also had the other fish in the tank with Nemo who were all great with different personalities as well as Nigel the Pelican who was also fantastic. The turtles return briefly but aren't given enough to make a good, memorable mark on the movie. Now if you take that many characters and fail to replace them with equally as good new members, you are going to notice it. Hank the Octopus as well as Bailey the Beluga and Destiny, a Whale Shark all do a good job but none are as funny, likeable or as enjoyable as the previously mentioned characters from 'Nemo'. This does hurt the film quite a bit as you want more interesting characters but the film just doesn't quite deliver them.
I know this review may sound negative and that I didn't like it but that most certainly isn't the case. The humour of the first is still there as Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks are great once again bouncing off one another. As it is Pixar, the film is enjoyable for all members of the family and does a decent job at catering for everyone. The jokes do land a lot of the time and you don't really get sick of anything including Dory still being forgetful which could've gotten highly irritant.
Pixar really show once again why they are at the top of the animation world with yet another stunning looking movie. 'The Good Dinosaur' last year faced some criticism for it's characters looks next to the realistic settings. 'Finding Dory' does a great job at balancing them both with new characters who look incredible. None more so than the Octopus Hank and you can tell that the animators had a great time with this character. With Hank's camouflage abilities, they were able to morph him into many different locations which all look fantastic. Top quality once again from Pixar.
Overall, 'Finding Dory' isn't up to the same standard of Pixar greats like Toy Story and the original Finding Nemo. Does that make it a bad film? Most definitely not. It is enjoyable with dazzling animation that should entertain the whole family.
Final Verdict =