The phrase “13 years in the making” sounds like the best way to describe this highly anticipated film. After years of campaigning and fan support, Ellen has finally brought this dream sequel into fruition. But is it any good? Does it capture the greatness of its predecessor that is Finding Nemo? Let’s dive right on into it and talk Finding Dory.

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Finding Dory is directed by Andrew Stanton and is the second installment from Disney/ Pixar in the Finding Nemo story. This movie focuses on the very forgetful, yet very enthusiastic fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) one year after the events of Finding Nemo, as she begins to get small pieces of her past memories, realizing that she has a family, and goes on a quest to find her parents with help from Nemo and Nemo’s father, Marlin.

Now, admittedly, I wasn’t that pumped to see this movie. Not because I wasn’t a fan of the original, I absolutely love Finding Nemo. To me, I thought that this would be some kind of rehash of the original. One of my initial thoughts about Finding Dory: Is there really any more story to tell when it comes to just the supporting character of Dory?

I’m happy to say that there is much more to Dory than meets the eye, because this movie is phenomenal and there is not one dull moment to be found.

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Ellen DeGeneres is, without a doubt, the definitive voice of Dory. She is once again, great in her role. She captures everything that is funny, delightful, and adventurous about Dory. Ellen is going to be one of those special voice talents that simply embodies an animated character, much like what Robin Williams was for the voice of The Genie in Aladdin. She’s that memorable and her performance in this role, I believe, will go down in history as timeless. Dory’s forgetfulness never gets tiresome or repetitive, the script makes the effort to make everything about her character fresh and interesting.

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The new supporting cast of aquatic animals are extremely good in their roles. One in particular I want to mention here, is Hank the Octopus voiced by Ed O’Neill, who you may know from ABC’s Modern Family. He was an awesome addition to this film and I gladly welcomed his presence. Hank is the hesitant new friend of Dory that tries his very best to deal with Dory’s disability, as well as help her mission to find her parents. It’s their newly-developed friendship that really carries the movie, they worked very well together.

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The storytelling in this film is very engaging, it constantly keeps you wondering and wanting to know more about Dory and her puzzled past. This is a very fun, fast paced feature film that hooks and reels you right from the get go. (No pun intended) Not only does this film keep its audience invested, but it’s also a very smart film. Both kids and adults can thoroughly enjoy this movie for its beautiful animation and its very engaging, witty dialogue. The best of both worlds, once again, come together, all in thanks to Pixar.

Plus, Pixar has got making movies down like a formula, they know exactly where to hit with an audience. They hit you where it’s funny, they hit you where it’s entertaining, they hit you with the underlining message, and they definitely hit you in the feels. It’s not a Pixar movie if it doesn’t tug at the heart strings a bit.

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All in all, I had a ton of fun watching this movie. It’s a blast from start to finish and a great addition to Pixar’s line-up of fantastic movies. Does it reach the heights of the its predecessor? In my opinion, not quite. But it’s still an excellent sequel to this vibrant story of life under the sea. I really had but one issue with the film and that’s its ending. It seemed like it didn’t know how it wanted to end so it threw in multiple endings. Aside from that minor nitpick, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment.

I’m very happy to give Finding Dory a solid “A” on the movie grading scale. Go check this one out in theaters, it’s the essential movie to see with the entire family and Dory is definitely worth your time.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.

– Frank

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