December 29, 2016 -- I wasn't all that interested in seeing this film when it opened in the local theater, and it turned out I did not miss much by skipping it until it came out on video. While it is better than “Trolls” it is inferior to “Zootopia.”
This Disney Pixar animated sequel to “Finding Nemo” picks up the outrageous fish-out-of-water stunts of the original and dials it up to insane levels that get more and more absurd near the conclusion of the film. While the film looks attractive and bright in some scenes, there are a lot of very dark scenes in the film, too.
This film brings back the familiar characters of Dory, Nemo and Marlin, and adds a great new character, a seven-legged octopus named Hank, who agrees to help Dory find her parents at an aquarium in return for her quarantine tag. With the tag, Hank will be shipped off to a Cleveland aquarium. That is where he wants to be. He doesn't want to return to the sea.
Dory, a regal blue tang fish with severe short term memory problems, suddenly starts remembering her childhood and goes off in search of her parents, with the aide of Nemo and Marlin. With the aid of friendly sea turtles and manta rays, the fish travel far across the ocean in search of a Sea World-type facility called the Jewel of Morro Bay in California.
Taking a series of increasingly desperate, death-defying chances, Dory enters the aquarium facility, aided by Hank, looking for her parents. Along the way, Dory encounters Destiny, a nearsighted whale shark and Bailey, a Beluga whale. Dory remembers Destiny from her childhood. With the aid of Bailey's echolocation, two sea lions, Fluke and Rudder and Becky, a helpful loon, Dory manages to navigate the various exhibits in search of her parents.
Among the funnier encounters on this journey are people horrified to find Hank, pretending to be a baby in a baby carriage holding Dory in a glass jar, and the high jinks of those two funny sea lions. A final breakout, involving a hijacked truck is monumentally silly.
This film seems funny enough and exciting enough to entertain kids, but there really isn't much constructive in the story itself, which is pretty close to nonsensical. The idea that it is admirable to take insane chances when one's life doesn't depend on it is unsettling. This film rates a C+.
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