Last night my 5-year-old daughter and I screened Finding Dory. This girl was READY. I’m talking countdowns, was dressed in blue when I came home, with her “talk like a whale” pinned to her top. The only movie we’ve been waiting this long for is Moana, and we still have a lot of waiting to go.
She’s watched Finding Nemo on the last week of school with her kindergarten class, so her memory was refreshed of the original. I’d seen it enough times (and watched the musical at Disney World last month) so I felt ready to go as well, though watching Finding Nemo beforehand isn’t needed to understand the second movie, I’d suggest it if it’s been a while, just to understand more of the humor. Now, on to our thoughts.
“Two thumbs up!”
“The best movie ever!”
“So so funny!”
I’ll let you guess who said what. When it comes to Pixar sequels, you can expect a much much higher quality than Disney Animated sequels that are mostly direct to DVD. However, with the exception of Toy Story 3, I haven’t been a huge fan of the Pixar sequels. Finding Dory is definitely one of the better ones, if not the best in my opinion. Why?
Without giving anything away (this movie was too good to give spoilers away, you can read those elsewhere, but I’d love you to experience it as I did.):
The search for a family
The strong family storyline, like the first keeps you cheering for Dory and her friends throughout the movie.
Friendship and new clever characters
Dory meets some interesting friends along the way, but everyone is so willing (or slightly unwilling but motivated–I’m looking at you Hank) to help. Such a beautiful message of teamwork. In Finding Nemo the sharks and other characters helping Marlin and Nemo reunite were cute and make us chuckle. In Finding Dory, the whales, birds, and seals had me roaring. Oh but thankfully our favorite sea turtle still makes an appearance.
No “bad guy”
I’m racking my brain to think of the last time we’ve seen a Disney animated movie without an obvious villain… Ok well I guess Inside Out didn’t. But it was so heavy and the depression aspect was over my daughter’s head I’m not really putting it in the same category. Finding Dory was a good funny film and the story was all about a journey with Dory and her band of friends.
Ok now let’s talk about this movie and little kids.
My 5-year-old isn’t a huge laugh out loud kind of girl but there were a few times I caught her giggling during this flick. I laughed a lot more than she did and a lot of the jokes were over her head, though not in an off-color way. Like with most movies, I think the more we see it, the more of the humor she’ll get. I want to bring my 3-year-old to see it but I’m going to wait until a slower matinee morning in case he loses interest. The movie is a little long (1hr 45min runtime). My daughter and I didn’t mind, but I did hear some fussy younger ones by the end of the film.
As far as scary parts, there’s one scary scene near the beginning with a giant glow in the dark squid that almost captures Nemo, but once you move past that, it’s all adventure and laughs.
The ending dragged on a little longer than I felt it needed to, but it kinda wrapped around and tied it back to the beginning.
But enough of my opinion, keeping with the tradition…
Here’s a 5-year-old review of Finding Dory:
Q: What did you think of the movie?
A: It was great! Better than Alice Through the Looking Glass
Because there were funny parts and silly parts. I thought seals were funny, and the cute distracting otters.
Q: Did you think the movie was scary?
A: Not at all.
Q: Should your friends go see it?
A: Yes, because I think they’ll love it.
Q: What was the moral of the story?
A: To always remember your family. And always be kind to your heart (trust yourself). And always be kind to your friends and always help one another and that anything is possible.
Q: Tell be about one of the characters
A: Hank had to learn a lesson. He had to learn to always be kind. Mommy, write this down… My mom’s favorite character was Hank!
Q: What aged kids do you think would like this movie?
A: 5 and 6. Little kids would like the short film (Piper–Which was SO adorable).
Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Destiny, because she was funny cool and brave.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say about the movie?
A: Yes! I want to see it again. I liked it more than number 1 (Finding Nemo).
And there you have it! A 5-year-old’s take. Hopefully it helps you decide whether or not to take your kiddos!
Are you planning to see Finding Dory this weekend?
Here are some free Finding Dory coloring sheets you can download for free to get your little ones excited about the movie, or to keep talking about it after! Just click the image to download and print!