Oscars Preview: 30 Movies to Watch Before the Nominations Come Out!

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Finding Dory, Screencap via Disney

Finding Dory

What it’s about:

A sequel to the beloved Finding Nemo, Finding Dory is about the forgetful fish. Dory has been living a happy life with Nemo and Marlin, until she spontaneously remembers that she has her own family – her parents, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a baby fish. She sets out on an adventure to find them, based on sparse memories which eventually lead her to the Marine Life Institute. There, she meets a curmudgeonly septapus named Hank, a echolocation-challenged beluga whale named Bailey, and Destiny, a nearsighted whale shark who was also Dory’s childhood friend. With their help, along with Nemo and Marlin, Dory attempts to find and reconnect with her parents.

Major Players:

Andrew Stanton directed and co-wrote Finding Dory, with co-direction from Angus MacLane and co-writing from Victoria Strouse. Stanton directed two past Best Animated Feature winners, WALL-E and Finding Nemo. The voice talent boasts a range of impressive stars, including, of course, Ellen DeGeneres, reprising her role as Dory. Also reprising his role is Albert Brooks as Marlin. Additionally, Ed O’Neill voices Hank the Septapus, Diane Keaton voices Dory’s mom Jenny, and Eugene Levy voices Dory’s father Charlie. More supporting cast includes Kaitlin Olson as Destiny, Ty Burrell as Bailey, and Idris Elba as the sea lion Fluke.

What the Critics are Saying:

With a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, Finding Dory is the epitome of a crowd-pleaser. Many critics have praised its poignancy, including A.O. Scott of The New York Times, who writes in his review, “’Finding Dory’ argues, with lovely ingenuity and understatement, that what appear to be impairments might better be understood as strengths.” The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern goes on to say that it “can be touching, sweet and tender, but it’s compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny.” David Edelstein of Vulture notes, however, that “the tears it jerks have been jerked before. It’s not as original, not as deep [as Finding Nemo].” However, he and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone seems to agree that “If Finding Dory lacks the fresh surprise of its predecessor, it still brims with humor, heart and animation miracles.”

Possible Nominations:

Best Animated Feature