It was 13 years ago that Disney/Pixar released its fifth animated feature, Finding Nemo. It was not only a critical darling and Academy Award-winner but was huge at the box office and became the best-selling DVD of all time.
It seemed conclusive that there would be a sequel, but that is not always the case. The powers that be at Pixar were originally not interested in producing sequels to their movies (even though they had already made Toy Story 2 and later did sequels to Cars and Monsters, Inc.).
In 2005, Disney announced it was developing a Finding Nemo sequel without Pixar’s help, but that was cancelled, probably when the Mouse House bought Pixar outright. And then when writer-director Andrew Stanton’s schedule freed up after the sequel to his John Carter of Mars was postponed (and most likely cancelled) and with Ellen DeGeneres’ constant campaigning for a sequel, Finding Dory was officially announced in April of 2013.
Even though it is 13 years later, Finding Dory is set just six months after the events of the first film, with Dory suddenly recalling her childhood memories of being separated from her parents. Accompanied by Nemo and his father Marlin, she sets out on an epic adventure to find her family. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species including her parents.
As well as DeGeneres, Albert Brooks returns as the voice of Marlin and Stanton is again voicing the sea turtle Crush. Other voices include Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bill Hader and Sigourney Weaver.
Unfortunately, the original voice of Nemo, Alexander Gould, is all grown up now and his voice has changed. Therefore, Nemo is now voiced by Hayden Rolence. Gould does lend his voice to another character in the movie called Passenger Carl. And just in case you are wondering, John Ratzenberger, who has provided his voice to every Pixar movie thus far, is back in Finding Dory. However, the school of moonfish that he voiced in the first movie is not returning. Instead, he will be the voice of a crab named Bill.
Because of the stars of Central Intelligence, it has the best tag line this year: “Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson.” Of course, the stars are Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson as former high school classmates who reunite at their reunion. In high school, Hart was in the popular crowd while Johnson was a bullied nerd. Now, Hart is a mild-mannered accountant and Johnson is a lethal CIA agent. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, he is dragged into the unpredictable spy world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that get them both killed.
The two stars appear to have great chemistry on-screen and, as the tagline suggests, the huge difference in their size is played up in the movie. It looks like another fun check-your-brain-at-the-door action comedy that will play on the strengths of both lead actors.