The Casual Runner

Just Keep Swimming…to Theaters!

What?

Finding Dory (movie), PG (2016), Movie Reviewed on June 20, 2016

Starring Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), Albert Brooks (Marlin), Ed O’Neill (Hank), Kaitlin Olson (Destiny), Hayden Rolence (Nemo), Ty Burrell (Bailey), Diane Keaton (Jenny), Eugene Levy (Charlie), and many, MANY more!

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Why?

We love Disney, But you already knew that.

We love Pixar. but you already knew that.

We love scuba diving and everything to do with the ocean. But you already knew that.

We love it when we can combine scuba diving AND Disney. But you already knew that.

So yes, when Disney and Pixar announced that the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo was coming out this summer, you knew that we would be there to see it.

Quick Recap

How do you follow up an iconic animated film that proved itself to be timeless and extremely quotable, even in non-oceanic contexts?

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You start by bringing the old gang back together, place them in a familiar setting, and then figure out a way to develop incredibly detailed back story to even passing references from the original movie.

Pixar really outdid themselves with this one. If you think about the original Finding Nemo film, there were so many small but memorable moments, comments, references, whatever, that you just enjoyed, even if they were not essential to the overall plot. This film truly capitalizes on those nuggets and manages to combine them with an incredible assortment of characters (both new and old) to develop a compelling and treasured story.

Don’t worry, we promise not to give any spoilers.

As you may already know, the premise of the story is that Dory, the lovably forgetful blue tang, is compelled to set out in search of her family. This sets off a classic quest/journey film as Dory’s efforts are aided (an inhibited) by an entertaining cast of characters that she meets along the way. We are also treated to some truly poignant life lessons, but I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling them, so you will just have to allow Dory to teach them to you herself.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (but not really).

I loved this movie. Correction, I LOVED this movie.

This family-friendly film is certainly entertaining for all ages. The visuals are stunning. In classic Disney, both young and old alike will be amused throughout (often for different reasons as many of the jokes play on different levels, so no, its NOT just for kids). And did I mention just how compelling and interesting the characters are?

The film treats us to a depth (oh yes, I went there!) of Dory’s backstory, which allows us to see Baby Dory! OMG! Baby Dory is, in a horrible pun that Mike coined: ADoryAble! Seriously, those eyes! She is incredibly adorable and quickly became one of my all-time Disney favorites (don’t tell BB8, I don’t want her to be jealous).

This movie is funny, exciting, and emotional. I may have cried once…or twice…or…moving on. As an aside, the week leading up to the film’s debut was a rough one, with so many horrible and sad headlines dominating the news, sometimes we all just need a break from the real world, and Disney certainly provided us with a great one.

The pacing of the storytelling, combined with the exquisite animation, are so well-done that the time (103 minutes) just flies by. So much so that you do not want the film to end. For these reasons, I am confident of two things when you leave the theater:

First, you will want to go back to the theater and see it again. And…

Second, you will be humming to yourself:

Just Keep Swimming!
Just Keep Swimming!
Just Keep Swimming!
Just Keep Swimming!

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This film is certainly deserving of its place in the growing line of stellar Pixar masterpieces and will prove itself to be a worthy addition to the proud Disney animated film tradition.

Two quick notes to add, especially if you are going to see it in the theaters.

As is the Pixar tradition, Finding Dory is accompanied by a short film: Piper. WOW! This short is great (and is already a shoe-in to win an Oscar). It was a fun story featuring cute animals, but it is not the story you may expect it to be (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you). In addition to the great story telling, the visuals are AMAZING. This may be the best work of animation I have ever seen. If this short is any indication of the future for animation, we are all in for a real treat.

Lastly, make sure you stay until the end of the credits, you will be glad that you did. And that is all that I will say about that. Now, if you will excuse, I have to go back to the theater to see this one again, I mean, Dory can’t find herself, can she?

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What did you think about this movie? After you see it, please come back and let us know by leaving a comment below, we’d love to hear what you think.    

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