Finding Dory starts with an adorably cute baby version of Dory and does a nice match-up with the scene where Marlin and Dory first meet from Finding Nemo... and then jumps to a year later. And I'll admit, right up until the jump, the movie had me by the heart-strings.
After the jump... I'm going to be honest, it takes a while to really get good. The first half of the movie feels a little like a watered down version of the original... it's less about the actual "journey" this time and more about what happens when they all get where they're going. And that made it feel a little bit less interesting.
Once it does find it's feet though it's a beautiful story. Still not at the same level as Nemo, but beautiful in a different way.
I saw an article online earlier about it where the headline was "it isn't about family, it's about living with disability", and while I haven't read the article yet, I do agree with the headline. This movie is much more about Dory's relationship to the world, and everyone's relationship to both her and her disability.
I think it's one of those movies that now that I have that thought to pick away at, I'll see more and more of it in the movie each time I rewatch it.
And with the exception of Hank, the octopus, I don't feel like the characters who were introduced this time around were as interesting as, for example, the tank gang from the first movie. It may be more about the purpose they serve in the story, but there were a couple of characters who probably could have been combined into a single character without losing anything from the story, and at least one group of characters that felt a little ill defined.
I was also a little annoyed with Marlin a few times, his character felt like he'd slid back a little too much to his personality at the beginning of the first movie.
And while Dory "remembering" her past is a key part of the plot, it almost felt as though there were too many of those flashbacks... some of them move the plot along a little, others don't really seem to beyond reinforcing something we've already seen.
But that's not to say that I didn't get emotionally choked up in the last third of the movie... as always with Pixar, they manage to hit that emotional nail right on the head. I do wonder though if the movie is a little too dark overall for smaller kids... or if they just won't get a lot of it.
As always, the movie itself looks amazing... you can see some of the leaps forward they took with water and the backgrounds and plants in general in The Good Dinosaur at play in this movie too.
I can't say that it was an instant favourite with me like Nemo was, but I feel like it's one of those Pixar movies that will grow on me over time.
yani's rating: 3 cuddle parties out of 5