Just got back from seeing the late show (so as to avoid the screaming hordes of horrible children), and I'm happy to be able to say that I found it quite good; a hell of a lot better than any of the trailers I saw led me to believe.
I should preface my comments by mentioning that despite the hype I remember for it back in the day, Finding Nemo was never really my favourite Pixar film. At the time it came out, I placed it above A Bug's Life, but below Pixar's other efforts. As the releases rolled on, up until Toy Story 3, all but Cars impressed me more than Nemo. Then we entered the post-TS3 era, and the chinks in Pixar's previously nigh-impervious armor started to show. Before, it seemed like they could do little wrong (not unlike Marvel Studios today), and even their "worst" efforts were still light-years ahead of the competition. But after TS3, we got a sequel and a prequel that didn't really live up to the originals (also, not The Incredibles sequel that so many wanted), a movie that felt more like a Disney Princess film than something from Pixar, and the truly bizarre Good Dinosaur, which really didn't resonate with me at all, personally. Inside Out seemed the closest to capturing that traditional Pixar spirit, and it surely had a unique way of tackling emotional issues and depression in a children's film, but for whatever reason I never really fell in love with its characters in the way I have most of Pixar's earlier films. Inside Out also lacked (for me, anwyay) that moment that most Pixar films seem to have where you really have to work to hold back a few manly tears, which I think is a moment most people secretly enjoy. WALL-E remains my favourite Pixar film to this day, and probably for the foreseeable future.
Finding Dory definitely feels like a true return to the original Pixar spirit. It's not Toy Story sequel good (but let's face it, how many sequels improve on the original?), but it still is very good, and fans of the original, or just fans of good animated films with touching stories won't be disappointed. Despite the 13 year gap in production between the two, it effortlessly recaptures the tone and world of the original without feeling stale. I never even really liked Dory all that much while watching original film (relative to the comedic foils in Pixar's previous films, anyway), but Finding Dory really lives up to its title, and we get to learn more about who Dory is (at the same time she does). One word of caution, though - this movie obviously contains flashbacks of Dory's childhood, and young Dory is almost painfully sweet and adorable... I actually felt mild physical pain at some points from the feelings her relationship with her parents dredged up in my cold, dead heart. I don't recall seeing any images of young Dory in the trailers, so maybe it's something Pixar wanted to save for the film.
All in all, I'd definitely recommend this one. If this resonates with audiences as much as I recall the original Finding Nemo did, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Disney has its third (or fourth, since The Jungle Book is now over $910 million and has yet to open to open in Japan) billion-dollar movie this year. Jeez... time to buy more Disney stock.
Edited by TM2-Megatron, 18 June 2016 - 12:44 AM.