Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $200 million
After the abomination of a short preceding Inside Out, Pixar seemed to have stepped up their game. This short, Piper, was about a sandpiper hunting for shellfish. Why not, right? They’ve already done all the work for the sky, sand, and water. The animation was actually superb. Maybe Pixar just wanted to show off how far their visuals have progressed. The rendering must’ve taken forever. The poor intern probably put the short in the render queue and left to finish college before it completed. Anyway, they created a good, self-contained story.
I’ve noticed a trend in all the good Pixar shorts. Guess what they all have in common. They’re told without words—unlike Lava. We should all try applying that advice to our lives. Here, I’ll start:
Okay, I tried. Hard to make a blog without words. Onto a real review:
I really thought Pixar did a good job with the movie. Again, the visuals were a solid “A.” The real trick is pairing that with a compelling story—and they did that admirably. No major complaints in that department.They somehow flushed out an entire, believable backstory for Dory.
In the end, I think the biggest theme of the movie was exploring limitations. For one, they are fish and limited to water in some form. However, most of the characters—major or supporting—had limitations that reached beyond that, whether it was a physical disability, mental disability, or just mental blocks. They really stuck to that and delivered some corny messages in a palatable way, as opposed to in-your-face and cheesy. Those touching moments should serve as encouragement for those suffering from disabilities and mental illnesses. Unfortunately, it also comes with some suspect lessons. Hopefully kids don’t take it all to heart…like those kids that flushed their fish after the first movie came out. Some drains lead to the garbage disposal unit or a septic tank. Ugh.
The character Hank was essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card for their oceanic obstructions. They could’ve cheated by making him the solution to all their problems. Luckily, they Pixar team put some constraints on themselves, allowing other characters to thrive and problem-solve. That crazy octopus was one of the highlights of the film.
Surprisingly, the movie had more humor than even some comedy movies. And while there weren’t any sharks this time, the movie sure jumps the shark at some point. Towards the end, everything goes wild before it all comes together. It was like one of those well-crafted sitcoms, where everything comes back together to create one final super gag.
Overall, great film. I’d tell you to go watch it, but I bet most of you already beat me to it.
The CommBro Breaker Strikes Back
Nemo was easily the worst part of the movie. Why did they bother to find him in the first place? It kind of makes me think that Pixar knew what they were doing when they made Nemo disappear for half of the first movie. Makes me want Finding Nemo 3 to be Finding Nemo 3: Left in the Aquarium. I’m not advocating for child abandonment, by the way—even if they’re annoying brats.
Hopefully Hank doesn’t go on to join the Flying Dutchman’s crew after after Nemo bugs the crap out of him.
Or he could also become Zoidberg. He would get to go to space!