Find­ing Dory

HK Magazine - - FILM -

Pixar has a his­tory of tak­ing its sweet ass time with its movies, mak­ing sure to tell a story worth telling. It was 13 years ago when their smash hit “Find­ing Nemo” hit cine­mas—a time when no one knew that a clown­fish with a tiny left fin could tug on so many heart­strings. More than a decade later,

“Find­ing Dory” avoids the usual churned-out se­quel BS, de­liv­er­ing in­stead a heart­felt, en­light­en­ing film.

Mem­ory plays a cru­cial part in this film, with the spot­light now on mem­ory-im­paired re­gal blue tang Dory. The nos­tal­gia for all us adults in the cin­ema and the fond child­hood mem­o­ries sneak­ing up on Dory form the premise of the se­quel. Tak­ing place a year af­ter the orig­i­nal story left off, Dory, Nemo and his dad Mar­lin are now liv­ing peace­fully in their coral reef home. One day, Dory is hit by dreams of where she came from, and she de­cides to seek out her par­ents. All she has is a sin­gle mem­ory: that they used to live in the “Jewel of Morro Bay.”

Dory, Mar­lin and Nemo head to the op­po­site side of the ocean, to the coast of Cal­i­for­nia. There, their ad­ven­ture takes them to the Ma­rine Life In­sti­tute—and Dory gets “res­cued” by hu­mans. This time around, it’s Mar­lin and Nemo’s turn to save the for­get­ful fish.

There’s noth­ing quite as emo­tion­ally pow­er­ful as the no­tion of for­get­ting your home or your fam­ily. The movie piles the sen­ti­ment on strong from the start, when we see

Dory nav­i­gat­ing the open ocean all on her own as a baby fish. Per­haps it’s a sort of an in­nate hu­man in­stinct to want to pro­tect what we grew up with, or per­haps it res­onates be­cause every­one feels help­less at one point or an­other.

Ei­ther way, it’s a quick way to get the au­di­ence to tear up early on—and not for the last time, ei­ther.

There are plenty of throw­back ref­er­ences to the first film through­out “Find­ing Dory,” partly to jog the au­di­ence’s mem­ory about a film that’s more than a decade old, and also to build on what made the first film so suc­cess­ful. Those who’ve seen “Find­ing Nemo” will rec­og­nize a few old tricks, and some of it feels for­mu­laic: The to­ken ac­tion se­quence, a fear­ful gaze at the de­struc­tive power of chil­dren, and the par­ent learn­ing to ac­cept that his child’s own choices are right. How­ever, the gen­uine heart in this movie will win you over, and what might stick as con­trived in any other movie ends up as charm­ing in­stead.

De­spite be­ing nos­tal­gic for adults, “Find­ing Dory” is still fun­da­men­tally a kids’ movie, with count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties un­missed to ed­u­cate young ’uns about re­spect­ing wildlife, treat­ing oth­ers kindly, and bravely do­ing the right thing even when it’s risky. But in do­ing so, it hits all the fun­da­men­tal emo­tions.

“Find­ing Dory” is a gen­uinely kind and pos­i­tive feel-good film. It may have taken Pixar 13 years to make, but it was worth the wait. Eve­lyn Lok

(USA) An­i­ma­tion. Voiced by Ellen Degeneres,

Al­bert Brooks, Hay­den Ro­lence, Ed O’Neill. Cat­e­gory I. 97 min­utes. Opened Jul 14.

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