July 7, 2016

Finding Dory Review

I was thinking a post about Finding Dory was going to be my return to the movie blogging game. Here we are two weeks after I saw the film and still no review has been posted. It’s weird because I have actually written 3 of them. All have been scrapped. At this point I am just going to write something and go with it.

Finding Nemo has been one of my favorite Pixar films. In my eyes Nemo and the Toy Story trilogy are elevated well above the rest.[1] I was really hoping, and expecting, to be able to put Finding Dory right up on that pedestal.[2] Dory didn’t live up to the hopes I had for it. I enjoyed the movie, but it is middle-of-the-road Pixar for me. The story felt sloppy, which I can almost never say about Pixar’s normally extremely tight storytelling skills.[3]

I feel very similarly about Finding Dory as I did about Up. Both films have great moments, but they just get… weird. The gravity of the story becomes lost when you have to imagine a crazy universe where this stuff might actually happen. There were so many times in Dory where I found myself asking “why?”. Maybe if I see it again some of the events and character motivations will make a little more sense to me.[4]

My biggest head-scratcher was the sea lions. The two main sea lions seemed like nice helpful guys, but that didn’t stop them from bullying poor little Gerald off their rock. His exclusion was played for laughs. I’m not sure what Gerald’s purpose was.[5] In the scope of the overall film his treatment sent a mixed message. The movie as a whole seemed to advocate for the acceptance of those with differences, yet it was funny to bark at Gerald until he got off the rock.[6]

I imagine I will like Finding Dory when I see it a second time. It won’t have the weight of the expectation to live up to. I will be prepared for the random weird stuff that distracted from the story. Maybe I should go read some Dory think pieces that will explain exactly what the point of it all was. Surely somebody has ascribed some method to the madness.

I did really like Frank. I thought he was an interesting character. I didn’t like the fact that a majority of the film took place on dry land and Dory was usually confined to a small vessel. It made me claustrophobic. Frank’s ability to maneuver on the turf made me a fan merely because he was a character that could actually do stuff.

I feel like I have been hard on Finding Dory. I did legitimately like it. Even mid tier Pixar is better than most movies out there. My daughters liked it so I am sure I’ll get to watch it over and over… and over. Maybe I will grow to appreciate its loose plotting and oddball charm.

  1. Though I haven’t revisited many of the Pixar movies since they first came out.  ↩

  2. I may have had my expectations set a little too high.  ↩

  3. I have never seen Cars 2.  ↩

  4. I’m not really sure why Nemo & Marlin were in the movie… except for they kind of had to be.  ↩

  5. And why couldn’t he talk? Or why didn’t he talk?  ↩

  6. Don’t even get me started on Becky the bird.  ↩

Filed Under: , , ,