Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Under the Sea

The ever-reliable Pixar has released the follow up to 2003's wildly successful Finding Nemo and I'm glad to announce that it's well worth the overpriced popcorn bucket. Finding Dory has Nemo and his daddy Marlin, but focuses the story on Dory, the blue tang fish with a short-term memory problem. (That element, by the way, is played beautifully. Dory isn't quirky; she's disabled by her condition and she's learned a vast array of coping mechanisms that would be excellent conversation-starters with kids.)

It's Pixar (Disney; doesn't the Mouse own everything yet?), so I don't need to tell you that the film is almost unearthly in its beauty. The underwater world gives the artists so much to play with - color, the play of light on plants and sand, wave and water ripples, shafts of sunlight that cut through the top few feet of water, and animals galore. But what's always set Pixar aside for me is not just the beauty of their work; it's the strength of their stories. While Finding Dory isn't Up, which for me continues to be the high-water mark of Pixar's films, it's a solid movie.

Some of that has to do with the vocal talent. In addition to Ellen DeGeneres reprising her role as Dory, you have Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy as Dory's long-lost parents, Albert Brooks as the long-suffering Marlin and Idris Elba as a quite rude sea lion. Modern Family is well represented with Ty Burrell playing a echolocation-challenged beluga whale and Ed O'Neill nearly steals the show as an octopus who desperately wants to get to Cleveland. Oh, and Sigourney Weaver as herself. Go - you'll understand.

Finding Dory is one of those rare gems - a kids' movie that looks great and has enough going on to keep the interest of the adults in the crowd as well.

You could do far worse for summer!

But please - no matter how much your children like the movie, don't buy a blue tang as a pet. Or a clownfish, for that matter. Leave Nemo and Dory to the salt water they belong in.