Finding Dory – Movie Review

Directed by Andrew Stanton and Argus MacLane

Characters:
Dory (Ellen DeGeneres)
Marlin (Albert Brooks)
Nemo (Hayden Rolence)
Hank (Ed O’Neil)
Destiny (Kaitlin Olsen)
Bailey (Ty Burrel)

 

Where do I start with this movie?
Finding Dory is Pixar’s film of the year, Disney’s new big picture and the long anticipated sequel to the classic beauty that is Finding Nemo. 
This movie was one of my most anticipated of the year, and there are so many reasons why. Without listing them, it should be pointed out that it lived up to the hype. And it far exceeded it. 
What could have been a droning irritation actually became a movie that I could call my best of the year. 
Finding Dory, unlike Finding Nemo, focuses mainly on the titular character, and the way that it is handled is exquisite. Dory’s mental condition is handled in a way that complements every minute of this movie with a twist of added brilliance, and the way the film is written is arguably the smartest of the year. I don’t think a lot of people will make that claim, but I do. 
Critics are calling this a good movie, but nowhere near as good as Finding Nemo. While opinion is opinion, I think that is partially because of the nostalgia involved. I do see Finding Nemo as a revolutionary movie in the genre in more than one way, but I think at the end of the day, Finding Dory is just better. Nemo had a unique story, remarkably beautiful animation and the heart you come to expect from Pixar. Dory has all of those and more, and a technique of storytelling that might come off as a cliche, but works so well for it. 
I haven’t even gotten to the supporting characters. The entire movie is focused on Dory so much that it could even be said to be told from her point of view, but the supporting characters are so meaningful and fleshed out. They’re not just there because the movie needed more characters. They had a purpose. The returning Marlin and Nemo play off each other, in a way that while Marlin is Nemo’s father, he really learns a thing or two from his son over the course of this movie, which are essential to the plot. The whales Destiny and Bailey each have their own motivations and flaws, and those play off well in the story of the film. Idris Elba’s in this movie too as a walrus, but he’s not in it much. I don’t need to mention how good Idris Elba is.
However, by far my favourite supporting character is Ed O’Neil’s Hank, an octopus who forms a bond with Dory somewhat similar to Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde in Zootopia. His character is taken places that really establish him as an important figure, and O’Neil’s voice acting is great. 
Ellen DeGeneres, of course, is once again perfect for Dory, who is a character that has an immense amount of emotional weight in this movie. I was really surprised at how far the character went and just the overall incredible heart that’s put into her. You find yourself sympathising for her so much that you may even be her.
Her character arc in this film is just the most touching thing. Quite a few characters have arcs but the most important one hits you where it should.
Finding Dory is also a really fast movie. You’re into it as soon as it begins, and you never stop for a breather. Place, to place, to place, to place, to place… And all for valuable reason. That’s why I called this one of the smartest written films of the year. Every single thing has a reason for being how it is. 
There are moments in this movie that I won’t spoil, obviously, but they have Pixar written all over them. There’s no more to say. 
After the major slump of Cars 2 and Brave, Pixar hit back with Monsters University, and solidified their spectacular return to form with Inside Out. While many will call Inside Out better than Finding Dory (me, I’m not so sure), what this movie does is bring us back to the heart and soul of my favourite movie studio, one that simply wants to make beautiful movies, inspire children and adults alike, and leave people looking at life in a completely different way. In a year where Zootopia has already stolen my heart for its magnificence, me calling Finding Dory even better is really something. With the success of Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War and this so far (albeit the disaster of Alice Through The Looking Glass), Disney look like they really know what they’re doing this year with many more scheduled releases. 
I think Finding Dory is my favourite movie of the year so far. I have to consider it with Captain America: Civil War, but it is definitely up there. I had the widest grin I’ve arguably ever had while watching a movie during the last five minutes of this film, and also while I was walking out of the theatre. 
Finding Dory really is a masterpiece. 
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: 

Finding Dory: MIHIR

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