On July 4, I saw Finding Dory, starring Ellen DeGeneres and Ed O'Neill.
Dory (Degeneres) is a blue tang with a short term memory impairment. As a baby, her parents tried to train her to come home, but when she was young she got separated from them. She made friends along the way, but never got over the loss of her Mom and Dad.
As an adult, she sets out to find them using techniques she's learned and taking some friends with her—like Hank the Octopus (O'Neill)—to keep her focused.
Her voice, Ellen DeGeneres, hits all the right notes to trigger empathy and sympathy. You can't help but root for her as she navigates the wild waters she first explored with her friend Nemo (Hayden Rolence), who makes an appearance here as well. In fact, all of the voices are great from legend Diane Keaton (Dory's mom) to the 7-year-old Sloane Murray, who gives a precious performance as the young version of Dory.
It's frankly hard to find fault with anything that Pixar does and Finding Dory is no exception. Excellent animation? Check. Brilliant casting? Check. Screenplay that ignites tearful waterworks? Check. Charming jokes to keep us laughing as we cry? Check.
The film is thoroughly engaging and enjoyable—my only complaint would be that as a sequel, it took too long to come out after the original.
Let's hope we don't have to wait as long for the third.