FIND­ING DORY

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

Di­rec­tor: An­drew Stan­ton (WALL-E) Star­ring: The voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Al­bert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Hayden Ro­lence, Ty Bur­rell, Idris Elba Ver­dict: A sec­ond search party goes quite swim­mingly

DEEP, deep down, Pixar purists sin­cerely wish the gold-stan­dard­set­ting an­i­ma­tion stu­dio didn’t re­visit past glo­ries quite so of­ten.

While Pixar did in­deed craft one of the great­est se­quels of all-time with Toy Story 3, in re­cent years their fol­low-up form (Cars 2, Mon­sters Univer­sity) has been pass­able at best.

Thanks largely to im­pec­ca­ble pro­duc­tion val­ues and top-flight vo­cal per­for­mances, Find­ing Dory swims strongly through bet­ter-thanaver­age wa­ters through­out.

Though a clear notch be­neath its clas­sic pre­de­ces­sor Find­ing Nemo, lively pac­ing and a gen­uinely in­spired fi­nale is sure to leave view­ers of all ages per­fectly happy with what they have seen.

The story takes place a year af­ter the epic search-and-res­cue mis­sion that first brought young Nemo (voiced by Hayden Ro­lence) back into the fam­ily fold.

Nemo and his still-stressed dad Mar­lin (Al­bert Brooks) are now lend­ing a help­ing fin to their for­get­ful friend Dory (Ellen DeGeneres).

The happy-go-lucky blue tang has sud­denly re­mem­bered a painful sep­a­ra­tion from her kindly par­ents some time in the past.

So an­other oceanic odyssey is soon un­der­way to find them, and it isn’t too long un­til Dory has their where­abouts whit­tled down to a ma­rine re­search in­sti­tute in Cal­i­for­nia. Once Dory, Mar­lin, Nemo and an all-new en­tourage of colour­ful sup­port char­ac­ters (the stand­out of which is Ed O’Neill as a surly, sev­en­ten­ta­cled oc­to­pus) are all po­si­tioned in and around the in­sti­tute, the film does lose some cru­cial care­free mo­men­tum. If any­thing, the same­ness of the prin­ci­pal set­ting – with its walled-off en­clo­sures and wa­ter-pipe trans­port sys­tem – re­duces the po­ten­tial for fresh sur­prises with Dory so tan­ta­lis­ingly close to com­plet­ing her mis­sion.

How­ever, any con­cerns that Find­ing Dory will be con­tent to ami­ably go with the flow un­til the fi­nal cred­its roll are spec­tac­u­larly quashed with a rip­ping, race-again­st­time fi­nal act.

Un­less two fish driv­ing a semi­trailer on the wrong side of the road on a busy free­way is some­thing you’ve seen be­fore, this hy­per­imag­i­na­tively staged se­quence will stand as one of the truly great ac­tion scenes of 2016.

With an­other stretch of school holidays soon upon us, Find­ing Dory is a good, solid G-rated ef­fort that should be kept near the top of every fam­ily’s must-see list.

(As a wel­come bonus, Pixar have once again bolted on a bril­liant short to the front of this fea­ture. Ti­tled Piper, this beau­ti­ful tale of a lit­tle bird look­ing for food on a busy beach rep­re­sents a huge leap for­ward in photo-re­al­is­tic an­i­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. Don’t show up late. It is a stun­ner).

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