So, this isn’t entirely new news. In fact, the idea of a ‘Finding Nemo’ sequel has been circling the web for over a year and it has been met with much speculation over its necessity. It seems that Pixar is running out of ideas and so they keep looking at their past successes as a way to build on what they’ve already created. We say sequels to ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Cars’ and this year we’ll see ‘Monster’s University’, which is more of a prequel (as a side note, the teaser trailer for that film is GLORIOUS and has me totally anticipating it despite initial reservations).
When I look at the Pixar filmography, ‘Finding Nemo’ is not the first choice for a sequel I see. In fact, I wouldn’t have ever followed up ‘Cars’ either, but that’s beside the point. I would have followed up ‘The Incredibles’ rather quickly, considering that the original film and storyline lends itself to an easy sequel. ‘Finding Nemo’, on the other hand, already feels complete. This isn’t because ‘Finding Nemo’ is lesser Pixar; in fact, I consider it their finest film to date (with ‘Toy Story 3’ a seriously close second).
I adore the movie.
As a father, I really connect with the sentiment presented in this film. You can feel the unwavering love that Marlin feels for Nemo. In knows no bounds. He is Marlin’s world. Nemo is Marlin’s only connection to a past he wishes was his present. He lost so much and so he invests every ounce of his time to making sure that he never loses what he still has. This has created within him a deep appreciation for his son, but it also has created an unbalanced view of his parental obligations, something that served as a hindrance and something that he needed to correct (or at least smooth out). I know how it feels to want to smother the innocence of your child with protection. You never want anything to harm them, whether it be physical or emotional. That said; protection when abused can become destructive, and that is something that Marlin needed to realize. For me, ‘Finding Nemo’ beautifully broaches the complexities of parenthood without trying to be preachy or too literal. It simply allows the audience to soak in the purity as it comes.
So that brings me to the news of ‘Finding Dory’. Apparently, this is more of a spin off than an actual sequel. It takes place roughly a year after the events in the original, and while Marlin and Nemo are said to be returning, it looks like this is more of a self-discovery type journey for Dory as she travels the California coast in search of her family. I’m glad that they found a story to follow that feels necessary (backstory to Dory’s character could be interesting) but this has me wondering if this isn’t going to be a little ‘too much of a good thing’. I hate to play devil’s advocate when broaching something I want to be so good, but isn’t Dory more of a supporting character? I’m almost nervous to see her carry an entire film on her own. Some of these hilariously dopey characters need to remain on the sidelines, because their breed of funny serves as a perfect highlight to a film. When they take center stage it can become overwhelming. I love the character, and DeGeneres’ voice work on the original is inspired and already somewhat iconic, but I’m worried that this could be a mess.
Still, it promises to be this heartwarming family film, so I’ll be seeing it opening night; I can guaranty it!