Pixar has done it again. This time, they’ve done something they haven’t done before- produce a sequel that is worth the price of admission. The sequels to Toy Story were fine while the returns of Monsters Inc. and Cars abominable, so the bar was set low when Pixar announced its intentions of returning to the world of Marlin and Dory for Finding Dory. Unlike its predecessors, Finding Dory is up there with the other top Pixar movies because it steps into its own and develops an engaging and meaningful storyline.
In Finding Nemo, which hit theaters in 2002, Marlin, a clownfish, tries to find his son Nemo with the assistance of the forgetful fish Dory. In Finding Dory, the script is flipped- the trio treks to California to find Dory’s parents. Their quest lands them in the Marine Life Institute, where Dory is separated from Marlin and Nemo. The two clownfish journey across the Institute looking for Dory, Dory travels around the Institute looking for her parents, and in the process finds her true identity.
Fantastic animation aside, what makes Finding Dory worth watching is its plot. Dory, the most interesting character in Finding Nemo, is the focus of the film and her eccentricity and flaws, notably and prominently her forgetfulness, adds a dimension that is unique to the film and adds entertainment and a load of laughs. Finding Dory has another element that its predecessor did not- a heavy dosage of emotion. Now, it isn’t Toy Story 3-level tear-jerking, but enough to pull audiences in and create genuine empathy and interest. The clever ending completes the epic tale.
Finding Dory is special because of its substance. I wouldn’t put it at the level of Finding Nemo quite yet, but it certainly gives us reason to be optimistic about the upcoming sequels Cars 3, Toy Story 4, and The Incredibles 2. This is one sequel you won’t forget.