Oceans of fun with fishy gang

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

Pixar’s se­quel out­put thus far has ranged from the sub­lime (Toy Story 2 and 3) to the av­er­age (Mon­sters Univer­sity) – and the less said about Cars 2 the bet­ter.

Fall­ing some­where in be­tween, Find­ing Dory can’t match the magic of its pre­de­ces­sor, but still has plenty go­ing for it.

The fo­cus this time switches from Nemo to for­get­ful tang fish Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) as she tries to find her long-lost par­ents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Char­lie (Eugene Levy).

A sad, af­fect­ing open­ing sees a cutesy young Dory strug­gling with her mem­ory and find­ing her­self sep­a­rated from her mum and dad in the type of heart-tug­ging se­quence we’ve come to as­so­ciate with Pixar.

But An­drew Stan­ton and Vic­to­ria Strouse’s screen­play rarely hits those emo­tional heights again, with Dory’s es­capades very much mo­tor­ing on into comic ca­pers.

Stan­ton – who co-helmed Find­ing Nemo – also shares di­rect­ing du­ties with An­gus MacLane, who makes his fea­ture-length de­but af­ter nearly 20 years work­ing on Pixar’s an­i­ma­tion de­part­ment.

At one point the re­turn­ing Nemo’s dad Mar­lin (again voiced by Al­bert Brooks) says “not again”, and it’s a fairly ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of this se­quel as many beats and plot-points are re­hashed from the orig­i­nal.

You know what they say about ‘if things aren’t broke...’, though, and the fishy gang’s ad­ven­tures – that take them from the ocean to the Ma­rine Life In­sti­tute – are never dull.

The an­i­ma­tion team clev­erly use prams, buck­ets, cof­fee pots and cups to get Dory and co across dry land and their hel­ter skel­ter min­imis­sions re­sult in a brisk pace.

We take it as a given that Pixar movies are go­ing to look stunning, but Dory re­ally is a tech­ni­cal tri­umph, serv­ing up some of the stu­dio’s best vi­su­als yet.

From the wisp­ing sands, flow­ing sea­weed and bub­bly jet­streams of the ocean to a Ma­rine Life In­sti­tute that looks and feels like a liv­ing, breath­ing en­vi­ron­ment, at times you gen­uinely for­get you’re not watch­ing a live-ac­tion flick.

Only the world of an­i­ma­tion, how­ever, could de­liver a se­quence bristling with joy, jokes and minute de­tails as the slo-mo de­scent aptly sound­tracked to Louis Arm­strong’s What a Won­der­ful World.

The voice cast are all top-notch too, led by an en­er­getic, lov­able DeGeneres. Mod­ern Fam­ily’s Ed O’Neill’s cranky, seven-limbed oc­to­pus Hank is a wel­come ad­di­tion and Idris Elba (Fluke) and Do­minic West (Rud­der) are a riot as a pair of mouthy sea lions.

Brooks and Hay­den Ro­lence – the new voice of Nemo – re­store their touch­ing fa­ther-son bond, Keaton and Levy are warmth per­son­i­fied and there’s a neat voice cameo from a big name ac­tress.

It’s no in­stant clas­sic, ala In­side Out, but Find­ing Dory takes what worked in Nemo and uses it to sup­ply cute ca­pers full of fun for all the fam­ily.

Mud­dled mem­ory Dory hunts for her miss­ing par­ents

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.