REVIEW | Finding Dory (2016)

Thirteen years after the classic Finding Nemo, Disney-Pixar now tells the story of our favorite forgetful blue tang fish, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), and her origins.

Six months after the events of Finding Nemo, during a talk on stingray migration, the amnesiac Dory suddenly experiences flashes of memories from her childhood and begins a quest to search for her home and a family she vaguely remembers.

Finding Dory makes the simple tale of getting lost, finding, and coming home thoroughly emotional and riotous. It anchors on a strong screenplay, focused on delivering a rich adventure story rather than impressing us with gimmickry. Each sequence is inspired and heartfelt rather than self-aware. The comedy is precise and intelligently woven into Dory's predicament, yearning, and unflagging determination,  most of the time triggering prolonged, rip-at-the-seams laughter.

As Dory bravely overcomes her disability to get to her birthplace, the Jewel of Morro Bay, California, she is aided by Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence), and a whole set of new and very likable characters with strong dynamics. And the best of of the bunch is the escaped, grouchy octopus, Hank (Ed O'Neill), whose short temper uproariously complements Dory's short-term memory problem.

All the main voice actors are superbly conversational, with DeGeneres still hilariously deadpan as the disabled Dory. And Pixar's exceptional animation and direction by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane effectively set the mood for pain, hope, love, humor, action, and suspense.

Finding Dory may not make you bawl your our eyes out like the more dramatic Inside Out, but it will nevertheless touch you and sweep you off in endless waves of fun and adventure. Most sequels fail to match their predecessors, but fear not—Finding Dory will swim right into your heart.

5 out of 5 stars
Opens June 16, 2016, in Philippine cinemas

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