Pixar Studios. The home of a whole range of very, very good films, a handful of good films, and Cars 2. For the 4th time in the studios history, we’ve received a sequel to an original Pixar film, which for many is a cause for concern. While Pixar have had some fantastic movies, any sequel not titled Toy Story tends to disappoint. Monsters University was inferior to the superb Monsters Inc, and the aforementioned Cars 2 was the worst thing human kind ever produced. So when Pixar came out with a sequel to what is, in my mind, the second best Pixar film ever made (and that’s saying something), I was worried.
Well, I shouldn’t have been. Finding Dory is classic Pixar, with it’s only shortcomings being the handful of call-backs to the original film, which come across as a film that doesn’t know if it’s good or not. But the capable creators behind the film needn’t have worried. Returning director Andrew Stanton is joined by a cast that includes Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolance, Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), Ty Burrell (also Modern Family), Kaitlin Olson (not Modern Family), Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy and Idris Elba – who has now lent his voice to three Disney films in 2016 (following Zootopia and The Jungle Book). Presumably one day Disney will allow him to show his face on TV.
“At least I get to appear in Star Tre- Oh come on!” – Idris Elba
The film follows the character of Dory, the forgetful blue tang from the previous film, who suddenly remembers she has a family, and she needs to go and find them. Dragging her clown fish buddies with her, Dory heads to California to search for her parents, in a journey that would see our old heroes team up with a near-sighted whale shark, a hypochondriac beluga whale, a very unhelpful wind-up doll and, perhaps most notably, a reclusive and grumpy Pacific octopus named Hank, who is very much the break-out character of this film.
The best way that I could possibly describe this film is cute. Cute and funny. In fact, at times it might pile on the cuteness a bit too much. Pixar can and has done cute very well, but they always balance it with a bit of a rougher edge than someone like Disney or DreamWorks would do. Take WALL-E, an adorable film about a little robot cleaning up after the man-made apocalypse. It’s cute, but there is some darker undertones (I mean, how rude is that robot really? We worked so damned hard on that apocalypse. Cheeky little bugger). This is just cute because “Awww, cute” a lot of the time. There is some emotional depth, but not as much as we have come to expect from Pixar. Which is a bit like saying “This movie is very good, but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to Citizen Kane“. Or “This film blog is OK, but it doesn’t live up to Another Bloody Critic“.
Did this man just compare his stupid review to “Citizen Kane”? That’s it, me and the boys are gonna start a petition against you, buster!
The other word to describe this film is beautiful. The ocean is generally a place that lends itself to beauty – well, a healthy one anyway. It’s nice to know that in the Pixar world the Great Barrier Reef is still colourful. But even parts of the ocean that aren’t as colourful as reefs and the ocean floor still look amazing. Kelp forests, aquariums, everything just looks stunning, and the character designs are flawless. Even the plastic that appears in the ocean during this film is remarkably aesthetic, showing that the animators were perhaps too invested in making this film look really good.
To sum it all up, if you like Pixar and enjoyed Finding Nemo, then definitely check out Finding Dory in a cinema near you. That said, it’s been out for 5 days already, so you’ve probably seen it before me anyway.
4.5/5 – Excellent. Pixar is pretty damn fantastic.
That doesn’t apply to you, you stupid rust-bucket!
ADDITIONAL MOVIE NEWS
- This weekend saw the unfortunate passing of actor Anton Yelchin (the rebooted Star Trek series, Terminator: Salvation, Like Crazy) in an accident in Los Angeles. Yelchin was a star on the rise and Hollywood and films in general is lessened by this loss. Yelchin was 27, and has a few films still to be released, beginning with next month’s Star Trek Beyond. All thoughts are with Anton’s friends and family. RIP.
- Images were released last week from the set of the upcoming superhero film “Wolverine 3”, featuring Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart. In the images, Jackman and Stewart actually look their age, which means either this film is set in the future, or that the disappointing box office results from X-Men: Apocalypse forced Fox to sack the make-up department. We’ll find out in March 2017, when Jackman’s last outing as the Wolverine hits cinemas.
Look at that fine specimen of a man. Also, there’s Hugh Jackman.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe added another popular actor to their stable when Donald Glover (Community) was cast in a mystery role in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, joining Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr and Michael Keaton in the film. With this news hot on the heels of Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban and Cate Blanchett’s casting in the 3rd Thor movie, this leaves Glover’s former co-star Chevy Chase and the cast of Glee as the only working actors to not have a comic book franchise role.
- Speaking of cinema universes, did you enjoy the horror film The Conjuring 2? Someone must have, because it’s making huge profits globally. Now, in addition to the inevitable third installment, and the upcoming sequel to the Conjuring spin off Annabelle, Warner Bros. is reportedly developing a film surrounding the Nun, a demon that haunted the Warrens throughout the latest Conjuring film. You can relive all of the sleepless nights that creature caused you sometime in the next couple of years, provided that Warner Bros don’t make any more Superman movies and lose all of their money in the meantime.
- A trailer was released this week for Disney’s live-action remake of Pete’s Dragon. Featuring a dragon that happens to be green and fluffy, in a move that is definitely not designed to sell plush toys, the trailer contained about 1 joke, which means it was easily a better trailer than the new Ben-Hur trailer.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0Oz0X37Qsg
- Do you like musicals? Well, there’s a lot of them coming up, and unfortunately none of them are based on the music of The Beatles. In 2018, Bradley Cooper will direct Lady GaGa in the 51st official remake of A Star Is Born, Steven Spielberg is set to try his hand at West Side Story after his second attempt to make a fourth Indiana Jones film, and 2019 will finally see the release of the hit Broadway musical Wicked on the big screen. Original theatre stars Kristen Chenoweth and Indina Menzel are said to be unlikely to reprise their roles in the film, presumably as both will be using walkers by the time Hollywood actually gets around to making the film. You can find me not watching any of these films in the cinema, however, as I’ll be at home listening to my Beatles collection. Bah humbug.