Tag Archives: Pixar

Finding Dory

MV5BNzg4MjM2NDQ4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzk3MTgyODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Remember Finding Nemo? If my website hadn’t died while I was getting ready to start this review a couple of hours ago[1], I might have more to say about whether I remember it, but apparently that will not happen anytime soon[6]. But here’s what I remember of relevance: when that one fish whose name I had forgotten lost his kid Nemo, he found another fish whose name I had forgotten to help him out. Later, a sequel!

Thanks to the power of advertising, I now know that the second nameless fish is named Dory, and of course if there was going to be a sequel, they’d keep the name scheme intact, which also necessarily informs the plot. See, Dory, as you may or may not remember from the original[2], suffers from short term memory loss. Which means that once upon a time, she got lost, and she’s been lost ever since, even though she made new friends eventually like Nemo and what’s-his-name. I mean, it doesn’t mean that, but you can intuit it from her previous state of being completely alone in the ocean.

And then she figured out she got lost, and decided she wanted to get found, and there you have it: Finding Dory. That said, it’s a Pixar film, and therefore a kid movie[4]. That said, I actually felt like it was backward from the usual kid movie formula, in a way that maybe Pixar has always tried to achieve but with varying degrees of success. Because, this felt to me like a regular movie that has some jokes and gags thrown in to appease the kids in the audience, but mostly the eyerolling can be kept to a minimum.

I’m not sure this is even a justifiable take, but my reasoning is because of how delicately the concept of a mental disability was handled. On the one hand, yes, Dory causes a lot of her own problems, and it’s clear from both movies that when she’s on her own, she’s in a lot of trouble. She relies on the kindness of others to function in the world. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t improve the lives of those others in countless ways, and the film is careful to stay aware of both sides of Dory’s coin. There’s nothing especially trite here, nor anything especially dismissive.

….okay, both parts of that last sentence are untrue, because it is, after all, a kid movie. But the things that were trite were the inevitable result of a necessary happy ending[5], and the things that were dismissive were in service of the theme. You have to hold up the ugly mirror to see past it, to coin an implausible metaphor.

Anyway, it was pretty dang good. Also, the 5 minute short film with the sandpipers (a type of ocean bird that lives in tidal regions) was freaking revelatory. Not worth the price of admission, probably, but maybe you can find it somewhere on the internets or in the future even if the main event is not your cup of tea.

[1] Not unlike my Pixel C died randomly yesterday; lesson: I should stop touching technology apparently.
[2] I did not[3]; I only remembered that her personality was quirky in some way.
[3] Perhaps ironically? Probably not though.
[4] If you don’t believe me, try sitting through the endless crap parade that informs the previews.
[5] If you think that’s a spoiler, you don’t understand much about Pixar.
[6] Outcome, now that the site is back up: I don’t have a review of Finding Nemo. So, uh, nevermind?

Up (2009)

Yesterday, I learned that my occasional free AMC tickets even count for the 3D movies. That right there is pretty awesome, what with the extra charge they carry. Yay! I also learned that with a little bit of ingenuity and an unreasonable amount of helium, anyone can get a second chance. (Well, anyone who isn’t an obsessed bad guy that’s probably older than God.)

Up tells the story of a couple’s dreams of adventure at Paradise Falls in South America, and of a lonely old man’s quest to fulfill those dreams on his wife’s behalf after a protracted, ten minute long sucker punch delivered as the film’s prologue. Along for the ride are a floating house, a cub scout, a pack of talking dogs, a pretty hilarious giant bird, and the aforementioned bad guy. That’s pretty much all I want to say, because, well, it’s yours to watch now. I’m pretty sure this is the best Pixar movie, and yeah, you should really ought to go see it.

The Incredibles

If this log is to be believed, it’s been 45 days since I last saw a movie in the theater, on DVD, or etc. It, largely, is to be believed. (I mean, not counting classic porn, which frankly I wouldn’t know how to go about revewing, were I so inclined.) But, I finally broke the drought by catching The Incredibles last weekend. So that’s something. I still definitely need to do more, though.

So, yeah, I liked it. Pretty common opinion, so far as I can tell. The thing is, I didn’t love it, which seems to be much less common. Pretty good superhero story. You can’t just have the hero go out and save the world anymore, there has to be depth, because we’re all so damn jaded. Most movies create depth by exploring the psyche of the hero as he (or she) goes out and saves the world. Pixar had the idea of creating depth by making the superheroes unpopular. They cause too much damage while apprehending supervillains, sprain the ankles of people they’ve just saved from certain death, that kind of thing, and so are driven out by a litigious society. They promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them… no, wait, that’s someone else.

Anyway, fifteen years later, the few superheroes that have kept in contact (including the family after which the movie is named) are going about their average lives, but still wishing they could use their powers to keep people safe. And then, opportunity rises in the form of a request to save a government facility from a robot that has broken its programming and gone on a rampage. How is a superhero to resist the chance to save people *and* rake in the dough?

Oh, and then something goes wrong, and, voila, instant plot.

So, yeah. Fun kid’s movie, but I wouldn’t really say it had a whole special section for adults, like is always claimed these days. If a kid’s movie is okay by you, though, this is certainly above the dross. There was a brilliant microsecond reference to World Domination: The Drinking Game[1], though. And a job for Jason Lee, who should pretty much always be working, if you ask me.

[1] Note: May not actually exist. But it ought to.