The story of Finding Dory starts off a year after the events of Finding Nemo where we see Dory having settled with her family consisting of her friends Nemo and Marlin at the coral reef. Despite a happy and peaceful livelihood with her friends, Dory feels she's missing something and gets a constantly reminded of something in her past which she quite can't seem to recollect owing to her short-term memory loss. After having glimpses of her past in random flashbacks, Dory musters the courage to set out to find her parents and in the course embarks on an adventure of her own leading up to California. What all obstacles she overcomes, the characters she meets, whether she is successful in catching up with her past forms the rest of the Finding Dory plot.
If you loved Finding Nemo, there's a good probability you will enjoy Finding Dory too. Although the original was superior in its own ways, the sequel has its own moments of charm and delight. Thirteen years after the first film came out, a lot has changed in terms of technology implemented in the film. And, as any Pixar film in the past, the need to keep improving is relevant and noticeable. This Disney/Pixar film hits the bulls-eye on several occasions and leaves us amazed with its stunning visual and 3D effects.
On the film's plot, there are several instances where we feel the tension on whether Dory will make it on what she's set out to accomplish. There are moments that will thrill you, leave you chuckling for a longer time that you would have imagined, and, emotional moments that will hit you right in your heart.
The voice cast for the film sees many of Finding Nemo's cast members returning and they are flawless. The best way to judge their prowess is to just for a few moments close your eyes and listen to their voice and you will realize they really do live their voice roles. Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, Albert Brooks as Marlin are both energetic in their roles as in the original film. However, it's the new characters in Finding Dory that leave a big impression namely Idris Elba and Dominic West as the two seals that aid Nemo and Marlin in trying to find Dory. Ed O’Neill as Hank the Octopus or "Septopus" as Dory would refer to him, Kaitlin Olson as Destiny, the whale shark and Ty Burrell as Bailey, a beluga whale along with a surprising cameo by Sigourney Weaver add to the excitement of the film.
The direction by Andrew Stanton, a Disney/Pixar regular has done a deft and impressive job once again with these characters. The musical score by Thomas Newman is what we all could have hoped for - perfect. The veteran composer has brought in all his experience to play and produced one of his best scores ever. It takes a lot to nail the musical score for a kids film considering children are mellow and delicate and the score needs to be the same. And, he does a smart job while at it. The film is cut excellently and shows us Axel Geddes' editing skills along with Jeremy Lasky's smart cinematography at many instances. There are many shots where we are shown from a character's point of view (POV) and it's picturized to a T.
Although Finding Dory is fun and charming in its own way, it lacks a wee bit on the story front as Finding Nemo did. The tension in the sequel is evident, but not as heightened as the original. Nonetheless, the sequel is a film you should check out if you've watched and loved the original. Kids are surely without a shadow of a doubt going to leave smiling after watching the film. And, adults too.
So, there's that. In short, Finding Dory is strictly for kids. And, adults.