Finding Dory may not be first-rate Pixar, but even when Pixar aims lower with what could be dismissed as a lazy sequel, the result is still almost always an entertaining watch. Just don’t go expecting another masterpiece like Inside Out.
The plot beats are familiar, although this time Dory’s Memento-esque short term memory becomes the main plot rather than a subplot. Dory regains fractured recollections of her long lost parents, leading to a journey via sea-turtle to the Californian coast and her being fished out of the sea by marine conservationists. Marlin and Nemo set off on a rescue operation, but this time the set pieces are not so much ocean based as marine institute based.
The ensuing film has plenty of comic thrills, some fun new characters (especially Hank the Octopus), but the pace lags at times, and the plot is, let’s face it, rather predictable. That said, directors Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane do know how to tug at the heartstrings, the vocal performances are all top-notch (including returning cast members Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, and an amusing Sigourney Weaver cameo), and it scarcely needs to be said that the animation is never less than staggering.
In short, this is a perfectly harmless piece of family entertainment, hardly likely to challenge any all-time-greatest film lists, but nonetheless acceptably diverting.