Back to the sea!  Over a decade after Finding Nemo introduced us to a fun underwater family, Pixar/Disney return to the characters with Finding Dory.  This is a different search for family, but the movie still maintains the hope, friendship, and creativity of the original.

A year after the events of Finding Nemo, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is living happily with nervous Marlin (Albert Brooks) and adventurous Nemo (Hayden Rolence).  Dory is an unofficial member of the family, helping out while telling almost everyone she meets how she suffers from short-term memory loss.

When Dory suddenly starts getting memories of her parents Jenny and Charlie (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) living at the Jewel of Morro Bay, Dory, Marlin, and Nemo head to find her.  Crossing the ocean to California turns out to be the easy part.  It turns out that Dory's memories are of an aquarium -- where Dory gets separated from her friends.  While Marlin and Nemo try to find Dory, Dory keeps looking for her parents.  She finds help from Hank (Ed O'Neill), a seven-legged octopus ("You're a septopus") who's great at camouflaging himself, hates being touched, and agrees to help Dory in exchange for her tag that would get her sent to Cleveland; Destiny (Kaitlin Olsen), a friendly but near-sighted whale shark; and Bailey (Ty Ferrell), a beluga whale whose concussion keeps him from using echo-location.
 Meanwhile Marlin and Nemo get more outside help, whether from the pair of rock-obsessive sea lions Fluke and Rudder (Idris Elba, Dominic West) or a seemingly scatter-brained bird called Becky.  There are the perils of a touch-the-fish exhibit, the ticking clock of the truck heading to Cleveland, and assorted creatures -- plus Dorys working with others so she doesn't forget why she's there in the first place.
Finding Dory works on so, so many levels.  As with most Pixar movies, the animation is amazing: The underwater creatures and environment are stunning, as is Hank's ability to blend in whenever he needs to.  While there are plenty of jokes little kids will enjoy, there's a lot of humor for adults, from a H.P. Lovecraft joke to the repeated intercom announcement "I'm Sigourney Weaver."   The voice talent is great (especially Ellen's rambling chatter and Ed O'Neill's grumpy ally) and there are plenty of both funny and touching moments through the movie.  Finding Dory is one of the best movies I've seen this year.
Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch

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