In theaters from directors Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane and Disney Pixar comes the highly anticipated reason to keep on swimming with “Finding Dory.”

Back on the reef, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) has made a life with Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and Marlon (Albert Brooks). Her memory hasn’t improved very much but everyone on the reef knows the little Tang’s story.

While out with the reef with Mr. Ray and the class, Dory has a memory that sets her on fire. She remembered her parents Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) and more remarkably where she last saw them. Dory knows that she must go to them right away and turns to Marlon and Nemo for support.

Of course Marlon isn’t to keen on another big sea adventure but realizes that this is something Dory needs to do. Calling on Crush and the shelled gang, they hitch a ride to Monterey Bay in California following Dory’s memories.

Arriving at the Marine Life Institute, Dory, Marlon and Nemo become separated when she is scooped up by scientist and taken in the building. Dory is tagged and that’s when she meets Hank (Ed O’Neill), an octopus with one goal in life — to get tagged. After talking to Dory, Hank realizes this is his chance!

The two set out on an inside adventure as Dory remembers more and more bringing her closer to the last place she saw her Mom and Dad. Outside, Marlon and Nemo are discovering that sometimes you need special help from unlikely friends to get inside the Institute. Marlon’s fears for his son almost get the better of him until Nemo tells him to think like Dory which is a game changer.

Dory also finds her childhood friend Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a whale shark that has a problem with her eyesight. That doesn’t stop her from being excited to see Dory again. In the next tank is Bailey (Ty Burrell), a neurotic white beluga whale who thinks his biological sonar doesn’t work.

When Dory comes within fins reach of her childhood home, she learns that the search isn’t over. That’s when old friends and new friends who believe in the little blue tang won’t let her give up — because what do you do when you feel that way?

That’s right…

DeGeneres is and always will be Dory. I absolutely adore this character because of her ability to be so accepting of almost everything around her. Granted she doesn’t remember much of what’s around her but there is a grace and purity to the fact that she doesn’t remember. In that are no preconceived notions, no judgments, and no history of bad feelings and in its place is a free floating swimmers joy, love, understanding and acceptance with an added warm wrapping of friendship and family. Thanks Ellen for reminding us all that it is possible to be all those things. Thirteen years later I am proud to introduce my granddaughter to the love and hilarity that is Dory!

Brooks as Marlon is once again on the fright train but not nearly as bad as before. Once again son Nemo reminds him that fear does nothing but keep them from every bit of life — even the bird-carrying-bucket kind! Rolence as Nemo comes in strong and a little more grown up from his crazy adventure. Still adorable and still cute as a clown fish can be!

O’Neill as Hank is absolutely hilarious and as grumpy as he wanted to be, Dory managed to untangle his heart. I have a sneaking suspicion I know which character is going to be a show stealer of this film and I have no problem with that at all (she says heading to the Disney store to get the Hank stuffed animal immediately!).

Keaton and Levy as Jenny and Charlie are so cute that I couldn’t absolutely stand it. Flashbacks of Dory as a baby tang (be prepared to awwwwww yourself like crazy!), Keaton and Levy are loving and supportive of their baby girl and it carried them one shell at a time back to her.

Olson as Destiny is hilarious and thrilled to find Dory once again. She just has such a light personality that is strong but mushy at the same time. Burrell as Bailey is adorable and neurotic all wrapped up in the white beluga whale package. Just watching him panic made me laugh because that’s probably what I look like minus the ability to have sonar.

The film includes Sloane Murray as young Dory, Eugene Levy as Charlie, Idris Elba as Fluke, Dominic West as Rudder.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Finding Dory” four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. DeGeneres should be extremely happy with the end result of her little tang’s story. Seeing Dory on screen again is heartwarming, very funny, and challenging but all wrapped up in love, determination and believing in herself.

Dory is such an inspiration to everyone, not just children, and “Finding Dory” is an opportunity for us all to come together and experience her return. At the screening I can tell you there were more adults attending than children. That’s because “Finding Nemo” appeared in 2003 and we’ve all been waiting with Ellen for her return and nothing is going to stop Dory’s followers from sharing her journey.

It has been a wait but one that is totally worth it. The animation is absolutely stunning with such rich colors and a flow that is a feast for the eyes. The story is one that needed to be told and with the addition of the new characters I can guarantee an enjoyable family time at the movies.

In the end — it’s an unforgettable journey that she probably won’t remember but that’s okay, she has family!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.