Critics and borrowed children agree on ‘Dory’

Critics and borrowed children agree on ‘Dory’

Finally the sequel to the beloved (and super popular) animated feature “Finding Nemo.” It’s a mystery why we had to wait so long considering some fish products begin to ripen after a few days — and not in a good way. It’s been 13 years since we’ve checked in with Marlin and Nemo, the father and son clown fish duo, and little Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) the blue tang fish, with the short-term memory issue.

Since this is a family film with plenty of humor for kids and adults alike, I invited a discerning junior critic to join me for his opinion. Shepherd “Shep” Flatten was kind enough to accompany me to a recent showing, and loaded with popcorn and a bag of some kind of chewy Sweet Tart confection, plus a contraband baggie of candy corn, we settled in, sort of, for the show.

Five-year olds are restless, in case you didn’t know. After about an hour, the rocking seat at the theater was more of an attraction for my wriggly young friend than Dory and her pals. But we persevered as Dory, now hanging out with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and little Nemo (Hayden Rolence), begins to remember her own parents (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) and how she was separated from them.

Once she can recall their location, the three fish swim off on another adventure, this time to a marine institute near San Diego where Dory remembers growing up. Through a series of mishaps, similar to the first movie, Dory ends up in the institute’s quarantine center with a misanthropic octopus, Hank (voiced by Ed O’Neill), the marine equivalent of Greta Garbo in that he just wants to be left alone.

Hank, along with a couple of hilarious seals (Idris Elba and Dominic West) and a Beluga whale (Ty Burrell), all pitch in the help Dory find her parents in what is Pixar’s best attempt at animation yet. It took two years to perfect the animated movements of the octopus alone, not to mention the creative efforts put forth for the entire film. And being that it’s Pixar, there is a fantastic creative team all the way around with a script that hints at ocean pollution, while offering valuable lessons in self-esteem and the importance of family and friends. But this is all just my opinion.

For another viewpoint, this is what Shep had to say (presented in Q & A form):

Q: Shep, did you like the movie?

A: Yes

Q. Who was your favorite character?

A. The dad — the clown fish dad.

Q: What was your favorite part?

A: Actually, the rescue.

Q: The rescue?

A: (spoiler alert) When the truck fell off into the water.

Q: When the truck fell in the water?

A: Yeah.

At this point, the interview came to an abrupt conclusion as young Master Flatten could no longer resist the flashy lure of a nearby video game.

So, there you have it. Make that two of us who liked the movie.

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