by Christie Robb
Thirteen years later and Finding Nemo has a sequel. Finding Dory takes place a year after father and son triumphantly reunite with the aid of memory-challenged Dory. Now Dory is feeling restless, gnawed at by flashes of the family she lost. She’s ready to take an apprehensive Marlin and an enthusiastic Nemo on a quest to find her parents that sends them across the Pacific Ocean to the Marine Life Institute—an aquarium specializing in the rehabilitation and release of a wide variety of adorable sea creatures.
Like Nemo, Dory is voiced by an incredible cast of actors: Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), Albert Brooks (Marlin), Ed O’Neill (Hank the curmudgeonly octopus), Kaitlin Olson (Destiny the nearsighted whale shark), Ty Burrell (Bailey, the beluga with confidence issues), Diane Keaton, and Eugene Levy (Dory’s parents). Other celebs provide cameos, including an amazing effort by Sigourney Weaver.
The movie is predictably beautiful, frenetic in pace, and often hilarious, but is also emotionally devastating. It hooks you right in the heartstrings from the moment child Dory asks her parents, “What if I forget you? What if you forget me?” This is followed by a montage of a lost, lonely baby asking strangers if they’ve seen her parents.
(As a mom of a 2-year-old too young to attend the screening, I had to claw my seat to avoid speeding home to envelop her in a bear hug.)
Having a few more ominous scenes than Finding Nemo, and a PG rating, take your little ones’ sensitivity to heart before heading into the theatre for this one. But if you can handle the assault on the feels, rest assured that Pixar has, once again, delivered a whale of a tale. (And the preceding short, “Piper”, ain’t no slouch either.)