By Lily Firth
People all over the world had been waiting more than 13 years for the sequel to the beloved Disney Pixar classic “Finding Nemo.” This summer, fans were not disappointed with the finished film. “Finding Dory” shattered records upon release and raked in more than $140 million in its opening weekend alone.
“Finding Dory” is guaranteed to drag fans along on a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and your heart will be warmed with pure joy.
The return of the all-star “Finding Nemo” duo, Ellen DeGeneres as Dory and Albert Brooks as Marlin, set a strong foundation for the film right from the beginning. As usual, DeGeneres makes viewers laugh out loud with her famous sense of humor.
Honestly, no one could have voiced a better Dory than DeGeneres. She played the role with conviction, which has made Dory such a believable character for all these years. She acts funny yet vulnerable throughout the film, and these dueling emotions make her character relatable.
For those who never saw the original, “Finding Nemo” tells the tale of a clownfish, Marlin, and his journey to find his missing son, Nemo, with the help of his new friend, Dory. She is extremely fun-loving, but has short-term memory loss. In “Finding Nemo,” Dory is primarily there for the comic relief — the foil character in relation to the strict, uptight Marlin.
However, in “Finding Dory,” fans are finally given more of Dory’s backstory, which helps her grow beyond just a comedic character. Fans learn how she lost her parents when she was young, and how she grew up to be the Dory we see throughout “Finding Nemo.”
This turns her once-funny affliction into a heart-wrenching illness. It is clear that her parents loved her very much, but due to her memory loss, Dory can’t even remember who they are anymore. This sparked a new desire within her to finally find them, to feel as complete as Marlin became when he found Nemo.
Of course, Marlin and Nemo agree to accompany Dory on her journey, since she helped them reunite in the first movie. As she travels, fans get a peek into Dory’s life before she met Marlin and Nemo: her old friends, talents, home and self. Dory is finally portrayed as a complex character rather than a two-dimensional sidekick.
As always, Disney was sure to include outrageous, fun scenes for the audience, such as a goofy bird who helps transport fish in a little green bucket and even fish driving a truck. The story was made for anyone who loves the classics, as “Finding Dory” will inevitably become one. No matter what age, the whole family can watch “Finding Dory” together and enjoy it. It reminds us of what it means to have a family — people who will always have your back.