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Dory is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory now knows that her family reunion will only happen if she can save mom and dad from captivity.

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Finding Dory movie full length review - A Journey Over Waters Not to be Easily Forgotten

To tell the truth, I was at first worried about how Finding Dory would turn out. I originally feared it would become nothing besides the writers taking advantage of nostalgic fan service to overuse the famous character's short-term memory loss solely for laughs.

Worst of all, it would dumb her down into an offensive stereotype toward people who actually have her condition. But you know what? Finding Dory instead did the opposite, showing how tragic short-term memory loss can really be for a poor little fish.

It all appropriately starts with Dory as a cute little tyke being taught by her parents how to explain her short-term memory loss to others. Then this touching opening turns immediately devastating as she wonders if she would ever forget her parents. Mom and pop simply affirm to her: follow the shells to find her way home. Then suddenly, she unexplainably appears in the middle of a dark kelp forest, separated from her parents. What happened to them? Where are they? How can she find her way home?

It would be easy, except she doesn't remember.

Now little Dory has nothing to do other than wander the ocean asking random fish where her mommy and daddy are. Yes, only five minutes in and it's already the second most devastating way to start a family movie (number one being Up). Eventually, she forgets what she's even searching for, left only to wander the ocean for the rest of her life, questioning her own existence. Here is where Marlin comes in. ? One year later, she's living in a coral bed across Marlin and Nemo's anemone. Life seems just fine, until a freak accident causes her to remember something: her parents are in California! Thus, she talks Marlin and Nemo into going with her across the ocean to find her parents. Once a traumatizing giant squid attack follows after a trip through the EAC, Dory gets separated from her clown fish friends, ending up in the Marine Life Institute, quarantined and tagged for shipment to the Cleveland aquarium. Yet she'll stop at nothing to find her family! Picture Yes, it is unbelievably tragic to see how her short-term memory loss got her into such a bad place; it makes her character in Finding Nemo so much deeper, accomplishing exactly what any sequel should accomplish. But she thankfully has some friends to help her along the way.

There's Hank the cranky octopus, whose slippery tentacle movements create some phenomenal visual gags with his camouflage ability. There's Destiny the ditsy whale shark, who can't stop running her head into things. There's Bailey the beluga whale, who adds some fantastic comedic material with his whale shark friend. There's Becky the silent loon, who pecks at anything that moves. There's Rudder and Fluke, the lazy sea lions who are relatively weak in spite of some definite hard-hitting laughs. There's the irresistibly cute otters who you just want to cuddle with. Then there's Dory's loving parents, who undeniably care for their little girl.

Along with the memorable new characters and intense emotion, the world's setup also adds tremendous influence on Dory's journey of literal self-discovery. While it's not in the ocean, it's for the majority of the part in the amusement park reminiscing Sea World. The film's director Andrew Stanton has stated that Finding Dory features a new upgrade for their usual RenderMan system, allowing the animators to craft indirect light. Now let me tell you something: it pays off? each individual location has its own set of colors and textures to brim its own unique feel, making you feel like you're there. It's incredible to see how the barnacles and kelp decorate the environment, as well as how the soft, vivid memories of Dory are rendered as they come back to her. The aquarium's brilliant blue fish tank looks the most visually satisfying of all the set pieces, all even more of an immersive delight in 3D. It almost seems like computer animation exists specifically for underwater animation.

In the end, the stunning animation adds so much power into Dory's discovery of her past. It's all a matter of asking, "What would Dory do?" I felt surprisingly empowered while seeing a seemingly hopeless fish like Dory resolved a major issue independently by learning the way around her disability. Contrary to my thoughts coming into the theater, the mentally disabled can learn quite a bit from Finding Dory.

Whether if you have Alzheimer's, dementia, down syndrome, autism, Asperger's, or even are a bit short on remembering things, keep in mind one philosophy for you to live by: whatever seems to hold you back from everyone else will never hold you back from yourself. If Dory can ignore her mental situation to make it all the way to a Californian aquarium, then you can do similar. If Dory can remember little things by seeing related items, you too can do similar. Dory has her own unique way of remembering things which works toward her survival. As for you, you too have that one unique thing to help you to overcome your one unique obstacle. Therefore, I recommend Finding Dory to family, kids, teens, everyone.

You've already heard this said many times before but here it is: Pixar, you've done it again!

Overall Grade: B+