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This is such a special film to me.
First of all, I am a HUGE Dory fan. She is probably my favorite fictional character. So I'm a little biased about the movie given the fact that it's is about her. But even so, it's such a good one!
Every element that makes a Pixar film fantastic is there. The animation (just beautiful), the storytelling (a truly heartbreakingly beautiful story), the characters (they are fantastically written), the music (there are truly no words for it), and so on.
As someone who suffers from OCD, the fact that this film addressed mental health really means a lot to me. In the last several months, I've started to tell myself to "Just keep swimming" when things are rough.
All in all, a fantastic movie. Not just my favorite Pixar, but my favorite movie, period. Thanks so much, Pixar.
So I went today to watch this movie in cinema. But before I did, I made sure to rewatch the original first, so that I could compare the two movies better.
My opinion? While overall this sequel is pretty damn good, and does a fairly good job recapturing at least some of the spirit of the original, I still feel that it ultimately ends up coming a bit short of the level of greatness achieved by its predecessor.
Don't get me wrong, there's quite a bit of good stuff in here. Dory's journey, with her trying to remember everything piece by piece, is very interesting and engaging. The new octopus character is fun to watch, as well as some of the other newcomers (the friendly whales especially). And I did almost tear up during one particular moment of the movie. The climax is amazing as well.
However, I did notice certain problems that took the whole movie slightly down. For one, there's no sense of a grand adventure, unlike the first movie.
In the original, Marlin and Dory had to traverse an incredible distance through the ocean, coming across various obstacles and having to overcome both them and their fears through sheer determination and courage. Here, however, the majority of the story takes place largely in one location, with the trio just stumbling around from room to room trying to find each other (or Dory's parents). It's still interesting to watch, but doesn't feel quite as grand and epic.
Another problem is that Marlin and especially Nemo feel kinda shoved to the side, with the focus being put almost solely on Dory. After the first movie spent so much time and focus on Nemo and how important it is to find him, it does feel a bit cheap to have him become almost a background character that just follows his dad around, only sometimes being allowed some input of his own.
Ultimately, while I still feel that it's a pretty good movie, and definitely worth watching if you liked the first one, I must state, unfortunately, that you shouldn't expect something as grand as the original. It's competent, but not amazing.
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