Finding Dory sees the return of Pixar’s beloved blue tang fish with short-term memory loss. Finding Dory sees the return of Pixar’s beloved blue tang fish with short-term memory loss. Finding Dory sees the return of Pixar’s beloved blue tang fish with short-term memory loss.
I’m not sure how fish clocks work, but in the 13 years it’s taken to make this sequel, only one has passed for the characters. In that time, Dory has settled into her new life with clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence), while the writers have been coming up with a new reason for them to go on another transoceanic adventure. Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) starts to recollect some of her childhood memories, which prompts her to go in search of her parents. Finding them is a feat that could take her a lifetime, meaning us humans would presumably have to wait about 260 years to see the outcome.
Pixar might have recycled the premise of Finding Nemo, but tackling the issue of disability – much like Inside Out did and inadvertently simplified depression, like a man explaining the offside rule with salt and pepper shakers – is by no means playing it safe. But even though they handle the subject delicately, the film’s underlying message about dealing with personal struggles is often as clear as a faeces-filled fish tank. It’s sloppily intertwined with another message about family coming in all shapes and colours. Aquatic life is really with the times.
Speaking of sloppily intertwining, one of the most interesting things about Finding Dory is an octopus (or technically septopus) called Hank. His skin adapts to his surroundings and he carries Dory in and out of the water, operating as an extremely useful plot device. He’s the main source of originality in a sequel that never quite manages to recapture the magic of the first and, ironically, is filled with an array of forgetful new characters. It’s also ironically filled with an array of forgetful new characters.