Finding Dory


One year after the events of Finding Nemo, Dory begins to have flashbacks of her childhood and sets out on a journey to find her parents. Along the way, she becomes captured and taken to a California public aquarium, where Marlin and Nemo attempt to rescue her within.

Finding Dory is a movie we’ve all been awaiting for thirteen years (just a year short of how long I’ve been alive). Its beloved predecessor Nemo is a film I’ve grown up with and watched more times than any other film in my life, so Dory isn’t just another newly released animated movie for me, it’s practically the sequel to my childhood. So for such an anticipated movie, this one definitely did not disappoint. Ellen DeGenres once again brings such charm and fun to the iconic amnesiac fish, and Albert Brooks is able to hold on to what made him so great as Marlin in the first film. Not to mention the newcomers of the cast,  Modern Family‘s Ed O’Neill as an octopus and Ty Burrell as a beluga whale, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton as Dory’s parents, and The Wire costars Idris Elba and Dominic West as two hilarious sea lions, who all do a remarkable job in their roles. The animation in this movie is absolutely beautiful, with more vividness and color than before. The way the ocean, fish, and underwater habitats were animated doesn’t try to be as photo-realistic as The Good Dinosaur, but focuses more on bringing back the familiar settings from the first film and much more, and still pays off just as well (and adds a lot more to the overall film).

The one thing I loved about Finding Dory more than anything else is the messages it tries to convey about family. Pixar’s movies are known to touch your heart and make you shed a few tears, and this film is no different. Unlike its predecessor, its title does not refer to a journey with the purpose to find someone physically, but this time around, our protagonist is trying to find herself. Dory’s journey to find her family is more emotional than physical, as she struggles to remember her past and who she really is. The message in this film about how family will never give up on you and that nothing is closer than your family was very touching. This movie, however, also explores the theme of living with disability. As all you viewers of the first movie know, Dory struggles with short-term memory loss, and you can see how this adds challenges to her everyday life. Her friend Destiny, a near-sighted whale shark from the aquarium, struggles with her visual impairment and always has to make sure she never crashes into any walls. Pixar’s ability to bring depth to fish and make them feel human in both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory is so intriguing and applaudable, as it’s something no other studio is really capable of doing. We’ve seen them do this before to toys, bugs, and other different things we’d never imagine be done. This is something that makes Pixar unique, as many other animated studios have similarly tried these things but it’s never really worked that well. Pixar can practically do anything with the amazing potential they have. My one problem with the film is that a few messages and lines get somewhat repetitive, but this did not bother me too much. Also, the way the movie’s climax plays out feels too forced  and unrealistic, and was probably only done to bring some excitement for younger audiences. Nevertheless, Finding Dory is another wonderful Pixar summer feature that you should definitely go watch with your family, not not just alone.

Also, there is a short film called Piper that plays before the feature film. The short is about  a young sandpiper bird learning to behave like her flock, searching for clams on a sandy shore with some of her mother’s instructions. On the way, she learns how to be resilient, brave, and try new things. Not to mention that all this is told without any dialogue. This short is animated marvelously, and it’s overall a very cute short that you should look forward to before the film begins.

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Inside Out


Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for 11-year-old Riley, whose family must relocate to San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Just like every Pixar movie, Inside Out is a very original treat that both children and adults would enjoy. Its depiction of the brain and what happens inside it is brilliant, and it all ties up with scientific accuracy. The animation is beautiful, from depicting real-life issues to situations in the brain. The cast are all stunning, especially a joyful Amy Poehler as the lead (the only positive emotion of the five), a perfectly casted furious Lewis Black, and a sweet, tearful Phyllis Smith. All the stars are able to carry the movie along in such an excellent way, I never wanted to turn my eyes off their characters. Inside Out is less of a fantasy or science fiction movie than most recent animated movies, and I love how realistic the writers made this movie. Director Pete Docter definitely put in a lot of hard work into this movie, and it sure does pay off (considering that he took inspiration from the movie from his preteen daughter’s behavior, and that he also directed Monsters, Inc. and Up) Unlike Pixar’s last three films, Inside Out is more of a mature drama than a family comedy. I am very glad Pixar is aiming this direction once again, and that by next year, it will be as successful as it was 10 years ago.

Overall, Inside Out is brilliant, hilarious, touching, and definitely brings Pixar back in its game – bringing Joy to us all.

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Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

Without question, Tomorrowland is the most inspiring, thoughtful, and interesting movie I’ve seen in a long time. With excellent directing from Brad Bird (The IncrediblesMission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), and wonderful acting from Britt Robertson and George Clooney, Tomorrowland perfectly captures Walt Disney’s imagination, and inspires audiences that they can all make the world a better place. Personally, I was very attached to the film’s sci-fi setting, characters,and screenplay. The movie’s setting is not your cliche, post-apocalyptic world, but a very original and intriguing setting. I loved the way the future is depicted. It symbolizes what we can do if we reach high enough. Britt Robertson does a great job portraying a young, curious heroine. George Clooney also does a great job in front of the camera, despite the fact that his character is unlikable at first.  There are a few scenes that aimlessly drag on and don’t deliver the information that they are meant to, but other than that, I do not understand why everyone is complaining so much about this movie (it has an unbelievable score of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes). People haven’t quite understood it for what it is, unlike me, who deeply appreciated the movie and disagrees all the critics who are ranting about it.

Just when we thought Hollywood ran out of originality, we received this movie. Tomorrowland is truly astonishing, fascinating, brilliant, well-acted, and definitely a must-see for audiences age 12 and up. Brad Bird, you deserve your applause once again.

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Big Hero 6


Big Hero 6 is the latest movie from Disney animation. It follows a boy named Hiro Hamada, who lives in the city of San Fransokyo, who teams up with his huggable robot Baymax and 4 other people to defeat a supervillain who is using Hiro’s technology to take over the city.

I saw this movie today, and it surprised me. It turned out to be a very fun movie. The humor was smart and very well written. Some of the supporting characters were stupid. Baymax is definitely the highlight of the movie. He is extremely likable, he and Hiro have good chemistry, and he is willing to do anything for Hiro. Some parts in this movie were also very touching, including the relationship between Hiro and his older brother Tadashi, which tragically ends after Tadashi is killed in a freak explosion. The animation in this film is very well done. But the movie felt way too short, and could have been a bit longer. I thought the villain would be weak, but he actually had a purpose and a backstory. At parts it feels cliche and predictable like any other animated movies, but it was also unique in its own way. I thought it was a smart movie but the end was predictable, because there is that same type of ending in almost every animated film nowadays, but Disney still did a good job with this film. But I felt that in an aspect Baymax was a weak character. Of course he had a lot of screen time and was very likable, nothing really revolved around him. None of this stuff, like this villain trying to get revenge on someone else, or Tadashi getting killed, had to do with Baymax. Baymax just came in and eventually became Hiro’s best friend.

But overall Big Hero 6 is a fun animated movie that is a good time for the whole family. I think it would be cool if they made a sequel or even a franchise out of this, but they don’t have to. It would be fine as a stand-alone movie. Big Hero 6 proves that Disney can make great movies without the Pixar brand. But honestly, I’d still prefer Pixar’s movies, since most of them are obviously better, but if you want a movie to see with your family, this would be a good choice.

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