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Take 2 Says ‘Finding Dory’ Is Adoryble

June 23, 2016

Rebecca’s Take In the cherished classic “Finding Nemo,” Dory, the forgetful blue tang voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, doesn’t want to leave overprotective clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks), who she’s helped in a feverish search for his son, Nemo. “I look at you … and I’m home,” Dory says, her voice brimming with emotion. The powerful line is fully realized 13 years later in “Finding Dory,” Disney Pixar’s touching, funny and beautifully rendered sequel to “Finding Nemo” that finds Dory searching for her ownlong-lost family. Picking up one year after “Finding Nemo,” the lovable Dory continues to suffer from short-term memory loss. But she starts having flashbacks to her younger self (adorably voiced by Sloane Murray) and her kindly supportive parents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy). The ever-hopeful Dory decides to set out across the Pacific Ocean to reunite with her family, accompanied by still-cautious Marlin and youthful Nemo (now voiced by Hayden Rolence). Their journey leads them to Monterey’s Marine Life Institute in California, where new friends, adventures and obstacles await. The dazzling animation in “Finding Dory” is on par with the 2003 original, from the blue hues of the ocean to its brightly colored creatures. The fast-paced story cleverly bounces around its underwater settings and above-ground locales. The film even manages to integrate a car chase, though it’s a bit over-the- top. Though lighter in tone than the original, “Finding Dory” isn’t afraid to swim deeper and activate your tear ducts. Dory’s sparks of memory show why she wants to get back to the loving family she lost, while also being protective of the family she’s found with Marlin and Nemo. The heartwarming sequel features some of its predecessor’s familiar beats, with nostalgic references and callbacks. But make no mistake — this is Dory’s story. The spotlight shines on the terrific DeGeneres in a perfect meshing of character and voice actor. The film paints a sympathetic portrait of Dory as she struggles to explain her disability to others. “Finding Dory” deftly shows those with special needs can overcome adversity and develop their own special talents when they have a strong support system. In one stunning sequence from Dory’s point of view, the blue tang panics. But then she must stop, take stock of the situation and figure out what to do next. Her “keep on swimming” motto carries a good message of solving problems as they surface. The film also emphasizes the willingness of its characters to help. In addition to some old friends, Dory is aided by Hank (Ed O’Neill), a cranky octopus missing a tentacle. O’Neill nearly steals the movie as the “septopus,” who has more of a heart than he lets on. Let’s hope the character is further explored if Disney Pixar decides to do “Finding Hank.” Also lending a fin are delightful additions Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a near-sighted whale shark; Bailey (Ty Burrell), an anxious beluga whale, and Fluke (Idris Elba) and Rudder (Dominic West), sea lions overly protective of their space. Kids and adults will feel right at home with “Finding Dory,” a worthy sequel to “Finding Nemo” that was worth the long wait. Be sure to stick around after the credits for a fan-friendly bonus scene.

Rebecca Kivak considers herself representative of the average filmgoer. Her favorite films are “The Illusionist” and “The Avengers.” Tamara’s Take

Two minutes — that was how long into “Finding Dory” it took for the waterworks to start flowing. One look at a lost young Dory invokes the feeling that someone from Pixar has started cutting onions in the dimly lighted theater. Laughter and silliness are sprinkled in for balance and old memories of the 2003 prequel are dusted off. Had it really been 13 years since the first dip into the deep blue sea? In animated fish time, only one year has passed after clown fish Nemo (voiced by newcomer Hayden Rolence) is reunited with his father Marlin (Albert Brooks) and their blue tang friend Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is living with them. Plagued by short-term memory loss, Dory suddenly has a memory of her family and begins a quest with her friends to find them. Their cross-ocean voyage leads them to a California marine life institute where animals are rescued, rehabilitated and released (a continuing theme throughout the film) into the sea. Dory is separated from her pals and taken inside the institute where she is forced to rely on her own instincts and new friends to be reunited her with her parents and to find her friends. “Finding Dory” is a continuation of what Pixar movies do best – entertain with a mix of heart and jokes. It does not break new ground as far as the studio goes, but it is a sequel that is worth to follow “Finding Nemo.” Dory evolves from a sidekick with a handicap to a mature character gaining courage to overcome her fears. Her “act first, think later” attitude is on full display as she navigates her way through the human-filled institute and is infectious among her new partners-in-crime, like Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark, and Hank (Ed O’Neill), a seven-tentacled octopus. Dory’s partnership with Hank is the most enduring. Like Marlin in “Finding Nemo,” Hank finds Dory’s disability to be annoying, and at first sees this pairing as an opportunity for him to leave the institute. Dory, instead, sees a friend and is more sympathetic to his handicap. While her short-term memories fail her, Dory’s long-term ones give her strength. They also provide some of the biggest tearjerkers. To help young Dory find her way home, her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) create a path out of shells leading to their house. Some may not be able to see seashells on the sea shore in the same light. Some of the biggest laughs are reserved for a pair of helpful but bullying sea lions Fluke and Rudder (Idris Elba and Dominic West). They constantly try to protect their rock from fellow sea lion Gerald (Torbin Xan Bullock), but this inclusion runs afoul with the film’s message of acceptance. The visuals in this sequel are not as striking as they were in “Finding Nemo” as an institute cannot compete with the depths of the Pacific Ocean. However, this film has fewer scary predators (an important factor for fraidycats). “Finding Dory” is a fun trip with familiar friends. Hit the water and just keep swimming.

Tamara Dunn is a T-shirt-wearing cinephile. Her favorite films are “The Battle of Algiers” and “Traffic.”