Family is everything—everything—in Finding Dory. Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane’s sequel focuses on forgetful Dory’s (Ellen DeGeneres) quest to find her parents. Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) tag along. Most of the movie is set at the Marine Life Institute, where sick marine life is “rescued, rehabilitated, and released.” And so we come upon The Message of Finding Dory: that disabilities are in fact opportunities to marshal one’s idiosyncrasy to achieve success. For example Dory’s short-term memory loss becomes a springboard for effective free-associative thinking that gets her and her pals out of many a jam. The side-characters—a reclusive “septapuse” (Ed O’Neill); a loony bird; Gerald, a nutty-looking sea lion, and his indolent sea lion friends (Dominic West & Idris Elba)—are the source of most of the humor while Dory provides the heart and Marlin and Nemo some drama.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White