Dory reaches fun­nier depths than Nemo


Rather than at­tempt to repli­cate the mas­ter­ful Find­ing Nemo, Pixar wisely goes a dif­fer­ent route with its se­quel Find­ing Dory.

While Nemo was an again­st­the-odds ad­ven­ture that deserved an epic scale, Dory is more of an in­fil­tra­tion com­edy that largely sticks to one area: a marine life in­sti­tute. Does it reach the emo­tional heights of its orig­i­nal? No. Is it fun­nier? Sur­pris­ingly, yes.

Dory’s short term mem­ory loss is treated more se­ri­ously this time around, open­ing with a som­bre scene ex­plain­ing how she be­came lost. It de­flates the heart, be­fore pump­ing it right back up when she be­gins to re­mem­ber her par­ents in tiny doses. The film then gets a bit too hasty mov­ing from their ocean home to the in­sti­tute, but once there, the jit­tery pace makes sense as the jokes fire at the rate of a ma­chine gun.

Mar­lin and Nemo are sec­ondary here, but aren’t wedged into comedic-side­kick roles. That silli­ness is left to the new char­ac­ters: two sea lions who em­brace their lazi­ness; a bel­uga whale who geeks over his new­found echolo­ca­tion abil­ity; and a manic bird who’s a ge­nius one mo­ment and brain­dead the next.

The most prom­i­nent new­bie,

Find­ing Dory (G)

Di­rec­tors: An­drewS­tan­ton, An­gus MacLane Star­ring: Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neill, Ty Bur­rell 103mins how­ever, is para­noid oc­to­pus Hank. Pixar must have cracked whips on their an­i­ma­tors to make him move, cam­ou­flage and act so flu­ently. As a char­ac­ter, a comic, and a tech­ni­cal feat, Hank is as­ton­ish­ing.

It’s re­fresh­ing to see Pixar let­ting their manic com­edy loose like this, gen­er­at­ing an en­er­getic insanity that even­tu­ally es­ca­lates to ‘‘ Looney Tunes on a sugar high’’. But when Dory’s search reaches its end, her dis­cov­ery can make the dri­est of eyes go misty.

It’s a sweet tes­ta­ment to par­ents who find unique so­lu­tions to their chil­dren’s unique dis­abil­i­ties – how­ever long that takes. And it’s also a sub­tle ‘‘screw you’’ to Sea World.

While Find­ing Nemo was an against-the-odds ad­ven­ture, Find­ing Dory is more of an in­fil­tra­tion com­edy.

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