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25 Weeks of Pixar: Week 21 Viewing

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This week, we watched Piper, Finding Dory, and Marine Life Interviews.

Piper is an adorable short that was shown before Finding Dory in theaters. It takes a look at the life of birds who live near the ocean. This short is not only gorgeous to look at, featuring some of the best animation I have seen in a Pixar short, but it is a charming tale of a baby bird learning to fend for himself and make new friends along the way. He learns how to overcome his fears and see the beauty in life. This is one of my all-time favorite Pixar shorts and works well alongside either Finding Nemo or Finding Dory.

Finding Dory was the much-antipicated sequel to Finding Nemo, released 13 years after the first. Kids who had grown up with the original now had the chance to revisit these beloved characters as teenagers or adults. With the returning voice talents of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and others, we get to see what life looks like one year after the rescue of Nemo. Relying heavily on nostalgia, this film takes many of the aspects that audiences loved from the first film and takes them further while shifting the focus over to the forgetful fish Dory. With all this being said, is it a worthwhile film? My answer is: partially.

The first half of the film really shines. The opening sequence manages to detail Dory’s backstory and show how it fits into the first film while also reintroducing many of the characters we already know. This is not an easy task, but the animators and writers make it look simple and quite naturally bridge the 13-year gap between films. My enjoyment of the film doesn’t stop there as the film continues. It is quickly established what Dory’s objective is as well as the journey we are going to go on with her. However, shortly after Dory arrives at the Marine Life Institute, the film begins to go downhill.

Despite the incredible team that put this movie together, the second half is never as interesting as the events of the first film. The new characters are mostly unmemorable and the charm of being back in this world quickly wears off. A big part of my problem with the second half is the finale. Not only does the big action sequence fall flat but the wrap-up feels too quick and underwhelming.

Even with the disappointing second half, I ultimately like the film. It has great heart and would definitely be enjoyable for kids. The main issue for me is that it is uneven and doesn’t feel like it was really worth the 13-year wait. However, there is still a great deal of fun to be had and, with lowered expectations, plenty to enjoy.

Marine Life Interviews is a fairly pointless short featuring several of the new characters from Finding Dory as they answer questions about Dory. With a running time of about two minutes, this is mostly a waste of time and, unless you love the new characters, easily skippable.

Next week, we will be watching Lou, Cars 3, and Miss Fritters’ Racing Skoool.

Happy watching!

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