Finding Dory Reviews: What Critics Say About Ellen DeGeneres-Starring Finding Nemo Sequel
Thirteen years after the smash hit “Finding Nemo,” Pixar and Disney dive back into the ocean for the sequel “Finding Dory,” this time focusing on Ellen DeGeneres’ memory-deprived blue tang fish as she searches for her parents.
With a 94 percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes, “Dory” finds the critical waters inviting, particularly for a sequel, as reviewers praised the lush animated film for avoiding the usual second-helping pitfalls and even at times surpassing “Nemo.”
“Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, the co-directors of ‘Finding Dory,’ have made a beautiful, rambunctious, and fully felt sequel — a movie totally worth its salt water” — Owen Gleibergman, Variety
Why Finding Dory Reviews Say Sequel at Times Exceeds Finding Nemo
While most reviewers noted that “Dory” follows the same comic beats and structure as “Nemo,” this is usually to its credit, only sometimes to a detriment. The one place “Dory” goes beyond its predecessor is in the nuanced way it approaches its central character, who suffers a memory loss every 10 seconds or so.
“What it lacks in originality and narrative momentum—even more than ‘Nemo,’ ‘Finding Dory’ is in essence a loosely connected series of comic-suspenseful chases, bookended by heart-tugging moments of family separation and reunion—this new movie makes up for in psychological acuity and sensitivity” — Dana Stevens, Slate
The key to making Dory so compelling, critics say, is the performance of DeGeneres.
“‘Finding Dory,’ the satisfying follow-up to the 2003 smash ‘Finding Nemo,’ amplifies the defining characteristic — short-term memory loss — of the blue tang fish voiced, then and now, with subtle warmth and unerring comic timing by Ellen DeGeneres. What began as comic gold, with a delicate, bittersweet undercurrent, is now a sensitively handled disability” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Some Finding Dory Reviews Say Sequel Falls Short of Finding Nemo
Still, for some reviewers, this new element to the story isn’t quite enough to lift “Dory” above the very high bar set by “Nemo.”
”Finding Dory,’ bright and clever like most all Pixar releases, has the animation studio’s familiar blend of wit, heart and visual detail. But it’s missing its own magic. Like Dory’s questions, it feels a bit like a repeat. It’s certainly no ‘Cars 2’ (Pixar’s low point), but neither does it approach the glory of ‘Toy Story 2′” — Jake Coyle, Associated Press
And a few critics simply left disappointed.
“‘Finding Dory’ isn’t so much a sequel to ‘Finding Nemo’ as it is a Looney Tunes spin-off: Wilder, sillier, broader and instantly disposable” — Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald