Finding Dory (2016)

(In theatres, June 2016) Given Finding Nemo’s enduring commercial success, a sequel was inevitable … especially considering Disney-owned Pixar Studio’s increasingly tight relationship with predictable box-office results. Given this, it’s best not to expect too much from its sequel other than impeccably crafted set pieces, gorgeous animation and an approach that doesn’t demean the characters. Since even those basic expectations go well beyond what we’d expect from any other studio, it’s no surprise if Finding Dory manages to be a good film even if it just meets expectations. Picking up a year after the events of the first film, this sequel delves deeper in the backstory of Dory, a process that takes us to the American West Coast, in a marine theme park filled with new characters. The result isn’t one of those Pixar expectation-shattering masterpieces: Finding Dory does everything expected of it and does so with an impeccable degree of polish. Some of the new characters are fun (Grouchy octopus Hank is the intended highlight), and the set-pieces can be impressive: the ending sequence, climaxing in “What a Wonderful World”, has a particular surreal kick to it. The quality of the animation is astonishing and it hits its intended emotional targets. All in all, it’s hard to find anything bad to say about Finding Dory: Kids will love it, adults will like it and the box-office results will help finance more conceptually ambitious Pixar movies. What’s not to like?

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