By Flynn Geraghty, associate editor-in-chief

As a little girl, one of the first movies I ever saw in theaters was Finding Nemo. At that age, I was drawn to its bright colors and fun characters.

However, since there were no princesses or large-scale musical numbers in the film, I thought it was just OK. But I found I appreciated it much more with age. Currently, it is in my top three Pixar films (see Flynn’s Faves).

That’s when I saw there was a sequel coming out. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew that no matter what happened, I would always love the original movie, but I wanted its follow-up to continue to give me those same warm, fuzzy feeling.

The film starts with the side-character-turned-main-heroine Dory (Ellen Degeneres), a lovable blue tang with short-term memory loss. After having a brief eureka moment, Dory realizes that she has a family out there that she had accidentally left behind due to her forgetful tendencies.

She then sets off with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and the now-found Nemo (Hayden Rolence) on a journey to the Jewel of Morro Bay, a marine institute where she last remembers being with her parents.

As standard for a Pixar film, the animation is gorgeous. There’s just something about the way they animate underwater life that takes my breath away. The bright colors and the realistic textures all add to the film’s fantastic and immersive atmosphere.

Finding_Dory_Poster_01I also want to give a special shoutout to the character animation for Hank the Septopus (Ed O’Neill). Octopi have such fluid and rubbery movements that they are very difficult to replicate. However, with lots of dedication and probably a smidge of Disney magic, Pixar was able to pull it off, and it looks fabulous.

Along with the lovely animation, the film also benefits from having an extremely likable main character. Despite being written as a sidekick, Dory is able to hold her own.

I was a little worried her short-term memory antics would start to get annoying after a few times, but, thankfully, I was proven wrong. Granted, they aren’t my favorite part of the film, but Dory is so likable and tries so hard to remember that you end up sympathizing with her more than anything else.

Another thing to add is that the movie is surprisingly funny. Pixar films aren’t meant to be comedies, so it wasn’t nonstop laughs throughout, but there were some definite laugh-worthy moments.

I won’t give any specific jokes away, but I will say that Sigourney Weaver’s “character” has the best jokes in the film.

However, the movie, despite its best efforts to hide it, is still a sequel. Many characters from the last film are solely there to be a cameo. Not to mention, Marlin and Nemo are not given much to do, and it really shows.

These two were the biggest part of the plot in the last film, and now they are just pushed to the side to make room for Dory. I really wish they had been given a better storyline because they were such strong and active characters, and now they’re just kind of there.

When a sequel is like that, I usually find myself disliking it, but I just can’t seem to not like this movie. There is honestly just so much else to like.

Plus, these characters were such a large and vital part of my childhood that I can’t stand to hate them. So, yeah, I might be a little biased, but Finding Dory is still a splash in my book.

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