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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 2, 2016

Finding Dory Movie Review: Entertaining But Just Follows The Same Formula Of Finding Nemo

AFTER ‘FINDING NEMO’ which was shown 13 years ago, it’s now Dory’s turn to be found in “Finding Dory”. The story about a fish taking a long journey to find its family is basically the same, emphasizing the importance of tolerance of other people’s differences and having family and friends you can rely on. Dory (once again exceptionally voiced by Ellen Degeneres) is the blue tang with short term memory loss. She was a supporting character in “Nemo” but now takes center stage as the title-roler.

Despite her amnesia, she somehow remembers that she once had a mother (voice by Diane Keaton) and father (Eugene Levy) and this prompts her to go looking for them. Worried that she might get lost, her clownfish friends, the father and son team of Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence), try to help her, along with sea turtles.

Her search, which also becomes a journey of self discovery for her, takes Dory from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia across the Pacific Ocean to the California Marine Life Institute where she finds her old friends, Destiny (Kaitlin Olsen), a nearsighted whale shark and Bailey (Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who helps Dory navigate the aquariums complex system of pipes. Dory also has a thrillilng encounter with the grumpy Hank (Ed O’Neill), a misanthropic but color-changing octopus with a missing tentacle who is the subject of many good sight gags.

Just like other Disney-Pixar animated movies such as the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Finding Dory” has a strong, delightful story that touches the heart. As we all know in TV shows like “Wish Ko Lang” and “Kasama Mo Jessica Soho”, viewers enjoy stories about people reconnecting with long lost loved ones that make them shed lots of tears. Here, the flashback scenes of Dory’s parents looking after her, knowing that she’s forgetful, are very touching (especially after she gets caught in an undertow and gets dragged out into the ocean). The movie offers truly wholesome and engaging family-friendly entertainment.

Visually, the movie is quite a treat, sparkling with color and with beautiful underwater sequences, even if we didn’t see it n 3-D. It also offers action scenes that seem to be inspired by video games, plus a spectacular chase scene leading to a rousing climax. The movie also carries an environmental message, showing the danger of plastics thrown into the sea.

“Finding Dory” is shown with one of the best Pixar animation shorts we’ve seen lately, “Piper”, which tells the story of a hatching sandpiper being weaned by its mom so it can feed itself. Scared of big waves, the little bird learns a trick or two from a hermit crab. This runs for only six minutes but it’s done in a stunning way, full of so much good-natured humor.