MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By Walt Disney Pictures/PIXAR
Directed by Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane. Animated Feature
This summer movie season is full of sequels since “the business that is show” refuses to turn away from another trip to the well of abundant profits. Pixar Animation is no exception and has cranked out follow-up films that have previously veered from wonderful (Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3) to so-so (Monsters University) to abysmal (Cars 2). And Toy Story 4 and (yikes!) Cars 3 are both in production.
Finding Dory comes somewhere short of wonderful, but it surely is a fun time at the movies. There is no denying the wonder and endless creativity that were a part of 2003’s Finding Nemo, the Pixar classic that told the story of Nemo, a young clownfish gone missing, and his father’s (Albert Brooks) efforts to find him, assisted by Dory (Ellen Degeneras), a blue tang with short-term memory loss. That film’s adventure took its characters from the ocean to the bay to a pet store with amazing agility, combining suspense, humor and heart alongside memorable characters.
This film is so calculated to strike a chord with the audience who loved the first film that it is called Finding Dory although it is actually about Dory trying to find her own parents (and to recover some distant memories along the way). Instead of the big blue sea, most of the action is situated in the Marine Life Institute, an aquatic park. To make sure that no one confuses this setting with Sea World, the place that captured and exploited whales, the park is dedicated to “rescue, rehabilitation, and release”.
Dory’s desire to find her parents seems to come out of nowhere, but even more so Marlin and Nemo’s willingness to drop everything and put themselves at risk to join her in this quest. Sometimes you have to set aside your objections to a weak storyline and just keep swimming. Finding Dory is filled with beautiful animation, puns galore, and a great new character. That would be Hank (Ed O’Neill), an octopus (or septapus, since he is missing a leg) who can not only change color when necessary for survival but has the ability to learn new maneuvers when necessary. Hank also wants to live in Cleveland, the town of my birth, so that’s something.
Like so many other Pixar offerings, the value of teamwork is a key element as well as the way in which individuals can come together as family in unconventional ways. The church right now is called to minister to a world in which the concept of “traditional family” is no longer understood or normative. We would do well to remember that whenever we swim alongside of others and their search to become who God has called them to be, we are truly learning what it means to be a part of the family of God.
Four halos: A good natured, positive film that simply seeks to entertain families.
One pitchfork: Mild scares, but no real peril for little kids.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
COMMENTS! Do you have comments about this movie or movie review?
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