Finding Dory

Date: 19/11/2016 Times: 2:00 pm - 3:40 pm

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If your children enjoyed Finding Nemo, they will certainly enjoy this return to the dizzyingly beautiful below the sea world that Pixar have created.

Thirteen years on from Finding Nemo (2003), Dory (voiced by Ellen de Generes) is living contentedly enough with Nemo and Marlin, her little orange clownfish friends, but she still suffers from short-term memory loss and has vague recollections of the family she left behind. “All I know is I miss them,” she says of her parents in that plaintive, yearning voice.  Humour based around her forgetfulness can only be stretched so far without becoming repetitive or cruel.  It could easily be very irritating for audiences to have to deal with a heroine stuck so permanently in an endless present.

This, though, turns out to be one of Pixar’s most charming films, expertly blending whimsy, screwball humour and pathos.  It even has an epic quality as Dory embarks on her quest to track down the mum and dad she can barely remember.  Dory is optimistic and very resourceful in her own intuitive way. Her travels lead her eventually to a Californian Marine Life Institute which Hollywood actress Sigourney Weaver presides over.  Her parents are somewhere here.  Humans don’t emerge from the film in an especially favourable light.  They’re always trying to transport fish against their will to Cleveland or sticking their grubby tourist hands in pools to grab them.

Dory’s reluctant ally is a bad-tempered octopus called Hank (voiced by Ed O’Neill) who has an uncanny ability to melt into the background.  The other main protagonists include a short-sighted whale shark called Destiny, Dory’s “pipe friend” from when they were kids in adjoining pools, and Bailey, a beluga whale, struggling to use his sonar skills to hear/see far in the distance.  Finding Dory has such witty dialogue and sound effects that it could probably work as a radio play. The visuals, though, are as inventive as you’d expect in a Pixar film.  The colours beneath the ocean are iridescent.  Surfing Californian turtles, barking cockney sea lions and ink-excreting squids are all thrown into the filmic Bouillabaisse.

There are large dollops of sentimentality and we all know just how the story is going to end, but there’s an enjoyably anarchic undertow to proceedings, not least when the fish commandeer a lorry and race the wrong way up a freeway.

Click below for reviews and more information.

Finding Dory

Year: 2016

Country: USA

Cert: U

Duration: 97 mins

Dir: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane

'a dazzling and technically impressive return to form'


Venue: William Loveless Hall