Finding Dory | Third Space

Finding Dory

It's time to get back in the water + the top 10 Pixar rankings
Thu 16 Jun 2016

4.25 out of 5 stars

"What would Dory do?”

It has been 13 years since audiences were introduced to Marlin (Albert Brooks), Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and Nemo (Alexander Gould) and joined them on their family adventure. After so many years, will audiences remember this aquatic trio and does anyone care about the next chapter in their lives? For fans of the first outing, the answer would be a resounding, yes!

Pixar and veteran director Andrew Stanton bring audiences back to the Great Barrier Reef one year after the rescue mission to save Nemo. The friendship has continued for the beloved trio, Marlin and Nemo have found a place for Dory in their lives, even with all of her forgetful tendencies. Through a series of events and familiar phrases, she begins to remember her family and she decides she needs to find them. With the help of the father and son clown fish team, Dory takes them on an adventure to the other side of the world. Their journey brings them to the shores of California, where the inhabitants of the Monterey Marine Life Institute try to help her reconnect with her parents. Finding Dory is a fresh perspective on the familiar aquatic tale from over a decade ago that will make you fall in love with this cast of characters all over again.

Outside of the utilisation of the familiar storyline, there is very little to complain about with Dory's family adventure. Pixar continues to show that they are still the standard bearers when it comes to computer generated animation, but the difference between this film and most of the other CGI driven films on the market is the magic of the story. Although it may be predictable at times, Stanton and the Pixar team manage to find the necessary elements to deliver something extraordinary. Bringing back some of the original cast and introducing the right number of new characters, they provide the balance that is needed for a refreshing twist to this underwater adventure. Children and adults will enjoy the introduction to Hank the septopus (Ed O’Neill), Destiny the whale shark (Kaitlin Olson), Bailey the beluga whale (Ty Burrell) and vast array of quirky, but endearing ocean friends.

There are unbelievable components to the storyline, but they do not diminish the joyful side of this water-based narrative. This story of family and the importance of celebrating every aspect of life, even aspects that seem to be weaknesses in individuals will make for a few laughs and tearful moments. The new cast of characters, the fresh setting and the value of the journey make this a film that all families should go and enjoy together during this cinematic season.

What should parents know about Finding Dory? There have been some controversies that have come about in the lead up to the release of Finding Dory. They are unnecessary concerns from people who have too much time on their hands. This is a great film for families to go and enjoy together. No need to read into the storyline beyond the celebration of family and the need to value individuals for how they were beautifully made.

Also, the short film, Piper, continues the Pixar tradition of providing a joyful experience prior to the main feature.

Reel Dialogue: What are the bigger questions to consider from this film?

1. What should we know about disabilities?

2. What does the Bible say about family?


  • Alt
    Tue, 19/07/2016 - 9:19am reply

    Astonished that you don't have Cars in your top Pixar films. I think it's their best, particularly that opening scene with Sheryl Crow. 

    • Alt
      Tue, 19/07/2016 - 9:30am reply

      Sorry Mr Martin, Cars was the worst of the Pixar films. Yes, even most of the sequel, except for the Cars sequels. Glad you are reading the reviews.

      • Alt
        Tue, 19/07/2016 - 9:35am reply

        Why was it so bad? I watched it time after time. My kids loved it as well. Maybe we're just too sophisticated for 'Russeling Reviews' ;-) 

        • Alt
          Tue, 19/07/2016 - 9:38am reply

          Not too sophisticated, just in comparison to the rest of the Pixar world, it does not measure up. 

          My kids enjoyed it too, but it does not have the sentimental value of Finding Nemo or Up, the humour of Toy Story or Monsters Inc and or the depth of story of all of the above list. 

          Just not on the list of the best!

          • Alt
            Tue, 19/07/2016 - 9:46am reply

            Ok, fair enough. I still enjoyed it more than Finding Nemo (I found that a bit too soppy) and Monsters Inc. I agree with Toy Story - thought that is a classic. 

            I do think that you've underrated the depth of the story of Cars. I think there are wonderful themes of going too fast to miss the things that are really important and not judging on appearances and the triviality of "achievements" - real resonance with Ecclesiastes. I just love the scene when Lighning McQueen realises that Hudson Hornet has won three piston cups (and there is the double entendre when McQueen goes and tells Mater that he has a Piston Cup and Mater says, 'he did what in his cup?'). I also just love that opening scene (it's up there with the Thunderstruck in Planes Fire & Rescue)

            • Alt
              Tue, 19/07/2016 - 10:04am reply

              I did misspeak... the worst Pixar film, just pipping Cars for that award is... drum roll please!

              The Good Dinosaur... the film Pixar forgot. 

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