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(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)
(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)

“I’m so sorry, see I suffer from short-term memory loss,” Dory says to Marlin.  

“Short-term memory loss? I don’t believe this.”

“No, no it’s true! It runs in my family,” Dory says. “Well, at least I think it does. Hmm. Where are they?”

Thirteen years later, it’s time to find out.

Viewers who have been looking forward to this since its prequel won’t be dis­ap­pointed; the story is original, but the main char­acters are back. Even Crush and Squirt make an appearance, showing that friendship and family are just important as they were in “Finding Nemo.”

The story begins just where “Finding Nemo” ended: Marlin, Nemo, and Dory have returned to routine life as close friends. When Dory sud­denly remembers she lost her parents as a child, the three fish begin (another) ocean-wide journey toward a reunion.

In part, it was the friendly char­acters that made “Finding Nemo” such a success, so the new char­acters really bring the film to life. Dory finds a long-lost com­panion and makes an unlikely friend, depicting  the impor­tance message of caring about others.

In part, it was the friendly char­acters that made “Finding Nemo” such a success, so the new char­acters really bring the film to life. Dory finds a long-lost com­panion and makes an unlikely friend, depicting clearly the impor­tance of caring about others. Specif­i­cally, Baby Dory. 

(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)
(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)

With eyes that big and bright, it’s easy to fall in love with the guppy Dory, who appears in flash­backs throughout the movie as Dory’s mem­ories return little by little. Watching baby Dory dis­cover what it means to have “short-term remembery loss” and learn to play hide-and-seek with her parents enriches the “family comes first” message. But Marlin and Nemo, are clearly present throughout the journey, showing the important balance between family and friends.

These friends actually help high­light the main char­ac­ter’s traits. Hank, the grumpy yet helpful “sep­topus” (he lost a ten­tacle) travels from room to room showing off his impressive cam­ou­flage abil­ities. Though he’s deter­mined not to befriend Dory (or anyone, for that matter) Hank’s pes­simistic attitude and deter­mined spirit is per­fectly bal­anced by Dory’s dis­tracted thoughts.

(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)
(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)

While the movie focuses on Dory’s journey to her parents, she’s not afraid to stop and help others on the way, and introduce the audience to some lovable char­acters. Dory has time to reassure a fun-loving whale shark named Destiny, that she looks great as she swims, and she helps teach a curious baby beluga named Bailey how to use echolo­cation.

(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)
(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)

Even long lasting char­acters  Marlin and Nemo learn from Dory’s cre­ative mind and unin­tim­i­dated spirit. They even ask each other, “What would Dory do?” when they encounter trouble.

Among the other lovable char­acters are Becky, the silly yet loyal loon, and Rudder and Fluke, the sea lions who (attempt to) aid Marlin and Nemo.

Directed by Andrew Stanton (director of “Finding Nemo”) and co-directed by Angus MacLane, “Finding Dory” main­tains the themes of “Finding Nemo”—the impor­tance of family and friendsthat made it so lovable. Although a large portion of Stanton’s audience is now 20 years old, rather than 7, Stanton directed the film just as he did with “Finding Nemo,” allowing those 20-year-olds to take a step back and relive a portion of their childhood.  

(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)
(Photo Courtesy: Pixar Studios)

There’s a reason “Finding Dory” broke box-office records this week as the biggest opening by an ani­mated film ($136.2 million): Dory was worth the wait.