|Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.|
In the film, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) are living peacefully with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the chipper fish who has short term memory loss, as a neighbor. But one day Dory has a flashback of the parents (Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton) from whom she was separated as a youngster and, after a few details about where they might be spring into her mind, she sets out on a quest with Marlin and Nemo in tow.
Since this is a Pixar film, there are, of course, a bevy of new characters, including a friendly and blind whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a beluga whale called Bailey (Ty Burrell), a pair of rowdy sea lions (Idris Elba and Dominic West) and a cranky, but ultimately good natured, squid known as Hank (Ed O'Neill). Most of these individuals are - in the Pixar tradition - pretty well fleshed out for animated characters.
As is typical for animated movies that attempt to bridge the gap between young and adult audience members, there's a little something for everyone. If you begin to tire of the numerous scenes in which Dory and pals chase through underground pipes, then you'll likely warm to the camaraderie, character building and heart-string tugging - although earned, also in the Pixar tradition - during the picture's swift 100 minutes.
Pixar has, in recent years, relied more on franchising its most popular movies (for example, sequels to "Cars" and "Monsters Inc.") and it makes sense that they'd focus on Dory in this picture as DeGeneres's personality makes for a bubbly, funny, occasionally daffy, winsome and poignantly sympathetic character.
As I'd mentioned earlier, there's a scene late in the film involving a car chase that is, perhaps, a stretch of the imagination for even the most credulous - and this, mind you, is a film about talking fish - but it's ultimately no matter. "Finding Dory" cruises on charm and is - in yet another Pixar tradition - a film that will delight children, but also give their parents something to smile about.