Disclaimer: Disney*Pixar, Disney Channel and Disney XD sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, which included the FINDING DORY red carpet world premiere. All opinions are my own.
Just days ago I had the amazing experience of attending the FINDING DORY Red Carpet World Premiere in Hollywood, CA…..and knew I had to report back to you right away with this FINDING Dory Movie Review!
If you haven’t read my post about it all yet, be sure to stop by to see all the pictures from the night – from Ellen’s arrival on the red carpet just as I got there (selfie time), to the celebrity sightings and after-party. But the highlight of the evening was walking into the El Capitan Theatre and sitting just rows in front of Ellen DeGeneres to watch FINDING DORY, a movie we’ve been waiting 13 years for.
Let’s face it, a story to follow up Disney*Pixar’s Academy-Award Winning Film, FINDING NEMO, had to be good. It had to be better than good. There were high expectations.
Yes, FINDING NEMO won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2004, the first Pixar film to do so.
So with popcorn in hand (they handed out the cutest little FINDING DORY themed baskets), I sat in my front row seat, and watched…….
First up was the Pixar short, PIPER, created by Director Alan Barillaro. As with any short film, time is of the essence, and I was so impressed with the amount of emotion that you could feel after so few minutes of watching PIPER on the screen.
This short was made using new animation techniques and the result is simply stunning. Focusing on a sandpiper who is afraid of the water, I dare you to walk away without it touching your heart.
And speaking of touching one’s heart………..let’s jump right into FINDING DORY.
No matter how many times I watch this preview, it “gets” me. Have you seen this one? With little Dory?
Happened to you to, didn’t it? The music playing in the background just adds to the moment…….we knew it was coming. We knew Dory suffered from short-term memory loss. We knew there was a story there, but actually getting to see it play out……well, that’s something altogether different.
She was a little blue tang once, with a mommy and a daddy. And somewhere along the way, somehow, she got separated from them. Though I knew the story was coming, I didn’t expect that voice. Little Dory’s voice gets me every time. It pulls at my heartstrings as a mom……and I knew this going into the premiere (I’d seen this preview already and actually had seen the first 33 minutes of the movie thanks to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in May).
It takes me back 13 years ago, when I first sat in the theater watching FINDING NEMO and held my breath at the heart-wrenching first minutes. Little did I know that I would soon understand what life without a mom would be like, losing my own mom just 3 years later. I can’t help but cry, even now, when I think of Marlin and Nemo and that scene, but one lesson I have learned is that family is at the heart of everything.
Family……..it’s at the heart of FINDING DORY.
Unlike Marlin and Nemo, who knew what they had lost, Dory didn’t really know what her story was. She didn’t know who her parents were or if they were even alive. And coming into this sequel, we certainly didn’t know what she was going to find out. And while I won’t tell you the story, and while I refuse to tell you the ending, I will let you know that Disney*Pixar has given Dory an incredible story – an incredible story for all of us, adults and children alike. It will make you feel. I dare you not to tear up. But I believe you will be absolutely delighted.
Parents might recognize themselves in worrier Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) or in Dory’s parents, Jenny and Charlie (Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton), who have a child facing certain challenges in the world. No matter what, the saying “Just Keep Swimming”, which we heard in the first movie, is a continuing theme in FINDING DORY, and now we find out why. It’s an important theme for the movie and dare I say for life.
As always Disney*Pixar does what it does best – entertaining all of us while making us think a bit about our world and those in it. Life is hard. It’s difficult and challenging, there’s no getting around that. But it’s worth living. It’s worth the memories, both good and bad.
It’s that last part where I think we’ll find yet another Disney*Pixar movie to add to this successful line of movies. This is all just my little opinion, though I hope we won’t have to wait another 13 years. You see, in FINDING NEMO, we fell in love with Dory, yet she had no story. There were clues though.
This time, in FINDING DORY, I see something similar happening with Hank. You see, in one very serious conversation with Dory, I hear something in him that makes this grumpy septopus (an octopus who is missing one arm) more relateable. He’s been hurt. Somewhere. Somehow. He thinks it’s better to be like Dory, and forget the past, the memories. There’s a story here and I want to know what it is……..just in case Pixar is listening.
PG rating (for mild thematic elements), though unlike previous movies where I’ve mentioned some scenes to better prepare your kids, there’s not anything here I feel like I need to tell you other than there’s a squid scene which reminds me of the shark chasing scene in the original movie. It’s all Disney*Pixar goodness!
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Sia performs “Unforgettable” as the official theme song for FINDING DORY. You can grab the Finding Dory soundtrack here! I couldn’t think of a more perfect song choice to end this movie with.
FINDING DORY………it’s unforgettable. Thank you for giving Dory her story!
UPDATED: Do not forget to stay through all the credits. There is one scene at the very end that you do not want to miss….might be a hint to a future story? Stay all the way to the end.
Be sure to come back every day this week and next for more blog posts on the trip and check out these already done:
- Like FINDING DORY on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarFindingDory
- Follow FINDING DORY on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FindingDory
- Follow Disney/Pixar on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PixarFindingDory/
- Follow Disney Studios on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/finding-dory/
- Visit Disney/Pixar on Tumblr: http://disneypixar.tumblr.com
- Visit the official FINDING DORY website here: https://disney.com/findingdory
FINDING DORY swims into theatres everywhere on June 17th!