It seemed like a risk for Pixar to turn comic relief character Dory from 2003’s endearing Finding Nemo into the lead character of its sequel. But Finding Dory, again directed and written by Andrew Stanton (with the help of co-writer Victoria Strouse), is a delight, full of emotional twists, funny jokes and loveable characters.
A year has passed since clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) was reunited with his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence). They now live with their friend Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a blue tang with short-term memory loss. When Dory gets a sudden flashback, she’s determined to find her parents, even though she can’t remember their names, faces or where she lost them.
With a reluctant Marlin and an ever-supportive Nemo in tow, Dory finds her childhood home, a Marine Life Institute in California. There, she befriends Hank (Ed O’Neill), a cranky octopus with chameleonic powers, who helps Dory travel around the aquarium. Their adventures aren’t as gripping as in the original, and times feature logic-defying action, but a hilarious scene at the touching pool is particularly thrilling.
DeGeneres carries the movie with her spirited performance, navigating her way out of danger with fully-charged optimism. The great cast is rounded off by Dominic West and Idris Elba, who contribute humour as a pair of lazy sea lions obsessed with their rock. For bonus sea lions, stick around after the credits. It’s well worth the wait.