Finding Dory is a sequel 13 years in the making. They weren’t creating during all of that time, but considering the incredible detail poured into the swimming fish and other ocean denizens, one can imagine Finding Nemo’s follow-up taking that long.
Dory wants to find her parents. She — unexpectedly — starts remembering things about them and where they might be, and begs Marlin and Nemo to help her in the search. So they cross the ocean again and end up at an aquarium after Dory remembers that’s where her parents reside.
One screw up after another leads to Dory being captured by the aquarium staff and separated from her friends. She then befriends Hank, an escape artist octopus. Dory gets tagged to be sent to a Cleveland aquarium. Hank wants to go there rather than be sent back out into the cold, hard life of the ocean. To solve his problem, he needs her tag and to solve hers, she needs his memory.
However, an aquarium is a big place, and Hank has a heck of a time getting the forgetful Dory to focus. And with Dory, a lack of focus is often funny.
And in this case, make that far-fetched funny.
Finding Nemo and WALL-E director Andrew Stanton, other Pixar and Disney projects animator Angus MacLane direct. The combination of real-life and art is stunning. In addition to being funny, the movie is gorgeous.
Ellen DeGeneres reprises her critically acclaimed role as Dory. Albert Brooks is again Marlin. Ed O’Neill is well-armed with wonderful dialogue as Hank. And a bunch of known actors — including the Disney/Pixar regular John Ratzenberger — are perfect for this part or that.
However, with near genius comedy timing, and armed a clever, gut-busting script from Stanton and two other writers, DeGeneres — in Oscar-worthy work — owns the movie from start to finish.
Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Stars: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Kaitlin Olson, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bill Hader, Signorney Weaver, Willem DaFoe, Allison Janney, Stephen Root, Austin Pendleton and John Ratzenberger
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Queensgate 12, and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.