I know this is a little departure from my normal sleuthing but I wanted to talk about Finding Dory because it’s a strange beast. Thirteen years ago Pixar created a relatively short film about a missing clown fish and the power of a fathers love for his son. If you are a millennial or member of the esteemed Generation Y then Finding Nemo was probably a at least some small aspect of your childhood. For me it became one of only a handful of films I could watch with all my cousins and extended family so I ended up watching it a lot. A hell of a lot. This gave the film an almost legendary status in my family, which made the prospect of a sequel daunting. How could anything possibly compare? Well I’m happy to say that while Finding Dory is only an average film, with a little clever writing, it’s a fantastic sequel.
The spoilers are going to start coming thick and fast so if you want to go into the film ‘unspoiled’ then stop now’.
Fishing For A Plot
The film looks at the character of Dory and her lack of short term memory with a view to examining disability, both mental and physical, this leads the plot to a marine hospital and starts Dory on a quest to find her parents. The events take place a year after the first film and while there are a few obligatory reappearances from past characters the writers have resisted a ‘by-the-numbers’ sequel following the first films plot beat for beat. Instead we get a brand new plot with a very different structure that adds depth to each of the core three character. Dory begins to overcome her disability, Nemo seems to be heading down the teenage rebellion route and Marlin has overcome some of his fear from the previous film (only to realize that he’s still a bit of a douche at the end of the day). There’s nothing ground-breaking but the film is light and fresh.
What Makes A Good Sequel?
Over the years it’s been suggested that the difference between a good or a bad sequel is that a good sequel jumps off from the previous film while a bad one revels in its predecessor and there is nowhere that can be seen better than in Finding Dory. The new introductions to the franchise, namely the Seals, Whale-Shark, Octopus and Beluga all feel like spiritual successors to the fish tank crew or the pelican from the previous film. The universe expands instead of feeling smaller by having the same character repeat over and over. This makes for a great sequel all round and a film I would happily watch with the extended family a thousand times.
…that was this weeks BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!! Check back on Wednesday for a new comic history 101!!!