It’s hard to explain why I felt so emotional at the end of Finding Dory. Maybe it was the theme of parental loss running through the movie. I saw the preview in June which had been a tough period, with Father’s Day falling on my mum’s birthday. It ain’t easy being an orphan, no matter how old you are when you bury your parents.
Maybe it was how much I relate to Dory’s sense of confusion and bewilderment, especially as someone with an innately poor sense of direction (and a strong sense of being ‘different’). Sometimes feeling like I’m swimming against the tide.
Like its prequel, Finding Dory does like to tug on the old heartstrings, but it’s overwhelmingly a snappy, light-hearted and very funny film. Just as in Finding Nemo, its underwater world is so vividly animated, you almost feel like you’re scuba diving.
One year on from Marlin’s quest to locate his missing son Nemo, we follow Dory as she tries to figure out where she came from and what happened to her parents. We go from open ocean to a marine biology resort where the three Rs of ‘rescue, rehabilitation and release’ are carried out.
Due to her acute short term memory condition, Dory has to rely on instinct, foolhardiness and the kindness of strangers. She befriends a seven-armed octopus (Septopus) a master of disguise who’s afraid of life in the wild. And trusty Marlin and Nemo come to Dory’s rescue, only to realise that they’re the ones who need her help.
As the title suggests, Dory’s quest becomes a journey of self-discovery as she learns to embrace her handicap and see it as a strength.
Talkative, goofy, plucky and totally loveable, Dory is played to perfection by Ellen Degeneres. Seriously, hand the lady an Oscar for Best Animated Character. She puts so much fun and feeling into the role, it’s hard to imagine anybody else bringing Dory to life.
Finding Dory is brilliant from start to fin, and yes I was weepy at the credits but in a good way. My 7-year-old turned to me: ‘Is that the end?!’ I nodded, too choked up to speak. ‘But why?!!!’
My thoughts exactly.
Finding Dory Review
(by Ezra age 10 and Jed age 7)
Bite size review: ‘It’s about a blue tank fish called Dory who’s lost her parents and has a short term memory problem. She starts to remember things about her family and goes to find them.’
Memorable moment: ‘When Marlin and Nemo bounce around on the fountains.’ (Ezra) ‘When they steal the truck!’ (Jed)
Rating: ‘5 stars.’ (Ezra) ‘At least 4 and a half stars.’ (Jed)
Age guidance: ‘3, because some moments might be scary for 2 and 1 year olds.’ (Jed) ‘Any age, it’s not that scary!’ (Ezra)
Message: ‘When you get lost, look for signs.’ (Jed) ‘Even when it seems tough, you can still make it.’ (Ezra)
Finding Dory is out in UK cinemas on Fri Jul 27. Visit Finding Dory