Directed by Andrew Stanton; Co-directed by Angus MacLane
Starring the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, and Sloane Murray.
Of all the Pixar movies I wanted sequels for, Finding Nemo 2 was pretty low on the list. I mean, they found Nemo. What more could they do? But then they revealed it would be about Dory looking for her family and I was like, “Well, OK.” And then original director Andrew Stanton came back, and for his co-director, he brought Angus MacLane, who’s directed some of the better Pixar shorts in recent years. It looked like everything was falling into place for it to be halfway decent. But that was the question: in the pantheon of Pixar sequels, would it be more Toy Story 3 or Cars 2?
It’s been one year since the events of Finding Nemo. Dory has settled in quite nicely with Marlin and Nemo. But, this quiet rest has unquietted her mind, and she begins having flashes of memory of her parents. Desperate to find her family, Dory, Marlin and Nemo hit the open ocean once again, and soon find themselves at Dory’s birthplace, the Marine Life Institute, an aquarium that specializes in rehabilitating rescued sea life. Here, Dory makes her way from tank to tank, trying to find her parents. She makes some new friends to help her: Hank, the septopus (an octopus that lost a tentacle), Destiny, the whale shark, and Bailey, the Beluga whale. Will Dory find her family? And what does this mean for Marlin and Nemo?
What I Liked
The voice acting is incredible. It’s amazing seeing Ellen DeGeneres’s portrayal of Dory. Because her memory is so fleeting, there’s an undercurrent of tragedy to her this time out as she struggles to hang on to the glimmers of her family. It’s quite a nuanced performance. The new characters like Hank and the seals are fun. And, because it’s Pixar, the animation is spellbinding.
What I Didn’t Like
From a technical standpoint, the film seemed darker than the first. The colour palette was darker…Thomas Newman’s score was more melancholy than the first. Didn’t quite mesh with the film’s tone.
As Pixar sequels go, this is definitely more on the Toy Story 3 side of the spectrum. I didn’t think a Finding Nemo sequel was needed, but here it is, and it is good. The resurgence that began with Inside Out continues!