Sunday, 21 April 2019

Animators aim for an unforgettable sequel

SAY what you like about the sequel to Finding Nemo, but no one could accuse the

SAY what you like about the sequel to Finding Nemo, but no one could accuse the good folk at Pixar Animation Studios of rushing things.

All films take a lot of work to make. A lot of blood, sweat, tears and time. But how many end up being worth it artistically, not just financially?

What marked out the early run of Pixar feature films that began so memorably with Toy Story in 1995 was that each one had been years in the making — and it showed, in a good way.

Released in 2003, Finding Nemo was only the fifth in the sequence of Pixar films that had continued with A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), and Monsters, Inc (2001). On DVD at least it went on to surpass all of them, racking up estimated sales of 41 million copies worldwide — 10 million more than its nearest competitor, The Lion King.

It’s no exaggeration to say that in terms of all-round family entertainment, Pixar succeeded in establishing a new gold standard, with something for everyone to enjoy.

Taken from his home on the Great Barrier Reef and dumped in a fish tank in a dentist’s office, the original film sees Nemo’s clownfish father Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) embark on a momentous yet comedic journey to rescue him.

Along the way he is buoyed by the companionship of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly-but-forgetful Pacific regal blue tang.

This amnesiac trait gives the new film its wry tagline: “An unforgettable journey she probably won’t remember.”

Having unexpectedly recovered some childhood memories, this prompts Dory to set out to find her family. Accompanied by Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (Albert Brooks), she swims to California’s Monterey Marine Life Institute, where she meets bolshy octopus Hank (Ed O’Neill), beluga whale Bailey (Ty Burrell) and whale shark Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) — all of whom agree to help her in her quest.

With Finding Nemo writer-director Andrew Stanton also returning along with his  WALL-E and Toy Story colleague Angus MacLane as co-director, this magical, beautifully rendered tale of rediscovery also affirms the importance of family.

Finding Dory is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday).

Review: Matthew Wilson

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