My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is that I am shocked with how dark this film is. They touched on disabilities pretty well in this film, and people never really take things through that perspective, so it was nice to see. Unlike some other films, they continued the story from the original film, and I…… I really like this film, and I hope it does not get disbarred from being nominated, because it is truly one of the stronger animated films. It still holds the integrity of Finding Nemo.
Like Monsters University and Toy Story 3, there were plans for a sequel to Finding Nemo by Circle Animation Studios when Pixar was debating about leaving Disney for distribution, but those plans were all cancelled when Disney bought Pixar. Reports got around in mid 2012 that there is a sequel to the fifth Pixar film in the works, which Stanton denied, tweeting “Didn’t you all learn from Chicken Little? Everyone calm down. Don’t believe everything you read. Nothing to see here now. #skyisnotfalling.” It was clear he was just trying to cover the fact that he was developing the project, since it was reported that Ellen DeGeneres was in negotiations to reprise her role in August of that year. He later confirmed the news, but many claimed that it was only because John Carter underperformed, so he could not make a sequel to that film, and had no choice but to come back to animation. But he claimed that the case involved timing, and not conceit, but people will believe what they want.
The conception of this film came to be after the crew rewatched its predecessor in 2010 for the 3-D re-release, and he kept on thinking about how Dory pretty much stayed the same, and it would be easy for her to get lost from the clown-fishes again. If that were the case, his parental side would want her to reunite with her family, since it was clear she was alone for a lot of her life. The thought simmered in his head for a year and a half until he pitched the story to Lasseter in early 2012, which he accepted. Overall, the leaks were true.
Victoria Strouse wrote the script for the film, and found it stressful, since having the main character carry a plot, while being extremely forgetful was obviously going to be a challenge. The production team went to various aquariums for research, and the ending was changed after the Pixar crew saw Blackfish. After watching that, they knew it was not good for whales to stay in captivity, so the ending was changed for everyone to be released (SPOILER, but you would not be here if you cared about spoilers). The film got pushed back 7 months because The Good Dinosaur was struggling with production, so they gave that film an extra year and a half, taking this film’s initial November 2015 release date.
The film starts with a few scenes in a past, which shows Dory (Ellen DeGeneres, Sloane Murray, and Lucia Geddes) being trained by her parents Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) how to handle her short term memory life, and to see how easy it is for her to drift off. Seeing how Dory herself, and the parents handle the situation is heartbreaking, and she mentions that she hopes that she will never forget her parents, and they will never forget her. After the credits roll, we see Dory as a child isolated from her parents, trying to ask anyone to help her find her parents. She soon starts to forget more and more about what she is looking for, and it causes everyone in the ocean to avoid her like the plague. I never realized that she spent most of her life swimming around all by herself, and how she can sometimes forget what she was saying in the middle of her sentence, which of course weird people out. We are taken to the scene in Finding Nemo, where she bumps into a frantic Marlin (Albert Brooks), and decides to help him.
After the lesson ends up turning into parents, Dory remembers that she has a family, which causes her to instantly go after them. Marlin stops her, claiming that it is too unsafe, and that California is all the way across the ocean (which she remembered as well). She wants the two of them to go with them, and I have to say that it gets a bit irritating that they keep on mentioning “last time”, what happened “last time”, and how this is “deja-vu”. Marlin decides that Spud (Andrew Stanton) and his clan of turtles is the best way to go to California, as they ride strong water currents. I was curious as to how they would handle the cameos of the previous characters in this film, and they work mostly everyone in nicely.
They end up in an area that involves a batshit crazy squid, which Dory happens to awaken. Nemo almost gets eaten by the squid, which causes Marlin to snap at her for putting them in danger, and that she’s only good at forgetting things. Dory leaves, and tries to find someone to help them. Nemo snaps at his father for making her feel worthless, and to run off, which Marlin just so happened to do to his son in the last film.
Dory is put into quarantine, and ends up meeting Hank (Ed O’Neill), who wants to take her orange tag, since those animals go to Cleveland. He is convinced by Dory to help her find her parents (since she is from the marines), and we see a flashback of her being trained to get shells by her parents. The flashbacks will be a recurring presence in the film, being used to conveniently push the plot. Marlin and Nemo meet these seal lions (Idris Elba and Dominic West), who tell them that the location they are referring to is inside the building.
After intentionally falling into a bucket named Destiny, she is with a bunch of dead fish, which is used to feed a whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), who suffers from being near-sighted. Dory ends up speaking whale, and this is how Destiny realizes that she is Dory from her childhood, and that the two were friends. Apparently the both of them would speak whale through the pipes. Beluga whale Bailey (Ty Burrell) is next door to them, and he lacks echolocation due to a cuncussion. I like that these characters have their own disability that they need to use as an advantage, and to get over their insecurities regarding it.
Hank has his own dilemma with fearing the ocean, and interacting with other people, which is why he wants to go to Cleveland so bad. He dumps Dory in the large aquarium to find her parents, and after seeing a path of shells, she finds her home, but not her parents. It is here where all of her past memories add up, and she got split from her parents due to hearing her mother cry of worry for her daughter not being able to take care of herself. Little Dory tries to swim to them, but an undercurrent blew her through the pipes, and into the ocean. She is told that all of the blue tangs are being taken to Cleveland for their own exhibit, but are currently in quarantine. Despite being scared of going in the pipes again, she communicates with Bailey and Destiny, and they help her get to quarantine through whale language.
Nemo and Marlin are in the pipes as well, and Bailey is worried because he thinks some animal attacked her (which he saw through his vision powers), only to learn the truth soon after. Hank reunites with the three of them, and is dumped into the tank that contains all of the blue tangs, and they tell her that Charlie and Jenny left years ago; right after Dory was taken. We are under the illusion that her parents are dead, and we know that they aren’t, since……. this film would have been a waste of time. Hank grabs Dory, which causes the clownfish to be stuck on a train to Cleveland. Hank is captured by the workers (who have been looking for him for eons), and Dory ends up back into the ocean after having a panic attack.
Charlie and Jenny tell her to not apologize, since she found them, which the both of them knew she would. It is why they stayed right there, and made countless shell paths. After the reunion is over with, she tells them that Marlin and Nemo are in danger, and they need to save the two, since they are her new family. Dory calls out for Destiny, and she gets over her fear of going into the ocean by jumping in it with Bailey. It is nice to see the two get along and support one another for once. The seals soon join them, and all of the animals are doing anything to save Hank, Nemo and Marlin.
If anyone knows me, they know that I hate to summarize the climax scene, since it is just action, delay, struggle, so on and so forth for a very fast-paced 10 minutes. Dory tells Destiny to flip her on the road, and long story short, it caused Marlin and Nemo to be saved, while Dory and Hank were trapped in the trunk. It got overtly wacky, with Hank and Dory driving…….. I can’t with this sequence. The truck is driven into the ocean, with all of the blue tangs released, and all of the animals rejoice. Epilogue time, and we see Hank replace My. Ray for a substitute teacher, with Bailey and Destiny helping out with the kids as well. Charlie and Jenny swam off, and the last sequence involved Marlin and Dory looking at the ocean off the edge.
What I will say about the characters is that it seems that they are all self-realized, especially the older characters regarding to the franchise they are in. Some might have an issue with it, since they are a bit too similar, but I am not shocked with anything. I do enjoy the newer characters, and they all had their own sense of charm and humor to them, so they were definitely welcome additions.
I do not know if it is because its predecessor has animation that stood the test of time, or that this film’s animation has not evolved that much, but I do not have much to say about it. Pixar is one of the only companies to portray underwater in motion, and the animals have realistic designs. Kind of standard.
The music was composed by Pixar regular Thomas Newman, and he did a pretty good job. Very melodic, with a lot of instruments from the orchestra to give a more oceanic feeling to it. It ranges from very comforting and light, to heavy and emotional whenever the plot requires it. Pretty similar music to its predecessor though, which isn’t really a bad thing.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on June 17th, 2016, it made $486,188,497 domestically, and $540,123,232 in other territories, with a worldwide total of $1,026,311,729. It is the second Pixar film after Toy Story 3 to reach a billion dollars in the box office, and is the second highest-grossing Pixar film. As of right now, it is the second highest-grossing film of 2016, the highest-grossing animated film of 2016, and is the twenty-third highest-grossing film of all time. It also has the largest opening ever for an animated film.
It did well critically (big shocker), with many claiming that it continued the story of the predecessor with the same entertainment and some claimed that it was more emotional than its predecessor. Overall, people are glad it exists, though no one was really asking for a sequel to Finding Nemo. It might suffer regarding awards due to that damn Moana.
The film was released 6 months ago…… the reputation has not changed. It has won two Teen Choice Awards so far, but that’s really it. Also, since Andrew Stanton is a troll, he claimed that hints in the end of the film might hint at another sequel. Whomever hates Pixar and their sequels will hate this film, but the people who like it, still like it.
= 32.5/40 = 81%