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In 2003, Pixar released Finding Nemo about a widowed clownfish named Marlin whose son is taken from the sea and put in a dentist’s aquarium. The persistent Marlon refuses to give up the search, befriending a Blue Tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) who has some serious short term memory issues. The unlikely pair were a winning combination in the hit film and Dory especially became a break out hit for her endearing personality and positive attitude, even in the face of great adversity. It only makes sense that she would be the focus of a sequel, even if it is 13 years after the fact.
In this story, Dory is now living in the same community with Marlon and Nemo and has a sudden, stirring recollection of her family. This emotionally charged moment for her has her deciding she must try to find them before she loses them in her mind again. With help from her friends, and a host of new ones, she heads off with a single clue in her mind: “the jewel of Monterey, California.”
Pixar isn’t hiding the fact that Finding Dory is basically a reboot rather than a sequel to Finding Nemo. It’s right there in the title. This clip is remarkably similar in premise to the original, hammering away at the ever-popular children’s theme of ‘Never give up’, though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it’s one seen a lot in this genre. Dory will surely ‘keep on swimming’ throughout the film, pulling on heartstrings as she does. Lots of new characters show up with some extended time on a whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) who seems to be as energetic and flighty as Dory.
She also meets Hank (Ed O’Neill) an octopus who will further help guide her through her adventures, and as given away in the trailer, part of that adventure is at an aquarium (the clue she remembers hints at that). Hank looks to be a funny character who will probably be the ‘Dory’ of this film, the one everyone will be talking about when it’s over. That said, the trailer is filled with both familiar and new faces that should delight, even if the story is nothing new. Pixar always manages to keep children’s movies very accessible, if not highly identifiable for adults, which is one reason their films have been so successful. The only worrisome thing here is how, as mentioned in our first Sneak Peek, where Dory was a supporting character and her intermittent quirks were funny, here, where the premise rides on the short-term memory failure, it could be a little too much. Still, Dory is a much beloved little fish and fans have long waited for her return. Pixar is sure to handle this right and offer up some surprises, despite a few trailers that suggest otherwise.
Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neill, Albert Broooks, Idris Elba, Michael Sheen, Dominic West, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy