Finding Dory

A-

I didn't get a chance to see Finding Dory in the theaters, but I snapped it up blind on Black Friday when it came to Blu-ray. It has been a long time since I watched Finding Nemo, and in fact it has been 13 years since Nemo came out. Not that much time has passed at the coral reef, so we are able to pick up soon after where we left off at the end of the last movie. Dory has short term memory loss, but can remember some things, and goes looking for her family in this sequel. Like the original, a lot of the movie takes place in the human world, and while there are a couple of scenes at the reef, and Nemo and his father, Marlin, have pretty big parts in this movie, there are a lot of new characters in this one, giving the movie a lot of richness. Things move along surprisingingly quickly, but there are any number of complications even after things seems to be nearly resolved.

One of the new characters is a cranky octopus with amazing abilities in camouflage, that the DVD extras say almost broke Pixar, given how hard it was to model and animate a squishy shape- and color-shifting 8-legged character with no mouth. Eventually they settled on 7 legs and the animators say it was a huge relief to be done with the legs after 7. I don't doubt that computer animation has improved dramatically since Nemo, but I would have to go back and watch that movie again to see the differences. Certainly the octopus is a feat, and the fur on the otters is better, but I'm not sure what else would have changed.

Anyway, the movie works quite well, the new characters are a lot of fun, and the story is good, though it gets a little tedious and ever more unbelivable as they make an effort to get where they want to go. Not quite as serious or intense, maybe it isn't quite up to the original, which I gave an A, so I will give this a A-.

The animated short film that goes with Dory is "Piper" about a baby sandpiper having some trouble with the surf at the beach. The animation of the surf and the birds is fantastic, very realistic, and the story is very cute, not to be missed.