Second Opinion: FINDING DORY
I was personally disappointed to read Kate’s initial review of FINDING DORY and see that painful verdict of “DO NOT RECOMMEND” at the bottom of the page. A title with a pedigree like that couldn’t possibly deserve such a low mark. I had already experienced DORY myself, and I thought it was perfectly fine and functional. But who knows? It had been a while, and maybe I missed something the first time around. It was only fair that I give DORY a second chance. So as any responsible critic would do, I got in my car, drove down to my local Ralphs, and picked up a fresh box of FINDING DORY.
Everyone deserves a second chance
FINDING DORY’s initial presentation is simple but effective. Dory the blue tang is featured prominently on the cover, accompanied by her friend Nemo the clownfish. The simple labeling and soothing backdrop echo many brands’ simplifications in the past years, and I assumed this to only be a good thing. FINDING NEMO made waves back in 2003, and this humble return to roots signalled that FINDING DORY would try to recapture the genius of the first film without sacrificing the integrity of the property.
Down where it’s wetter
The back of the box only further raised my hopes. New character Hank the octopus has prominent placing here, though true to form, he is clandestinely framed behind various obstructions. This goes to show that DORY’s creators were unwilling to compromise character for the purpose of mere marketing, instead allowing Hank to act naturally within a manufactured environment. This dedication to cultivating the new while maintaining the old is something that we simply see too little of in sequels.
But enough hype building! Daddy can only be teased for so long. It was time to dig in and taste the fish. I opened the box, salivating over the prospect of being privy to a mouthful of deliciousness that only Pixar and Kellogg could deliver. Instead, I was treated to this:
What was this? I was expecting salt-water delicacies, not rebranded LUCKY CHARMS. But, sadly that’s all there is to be found within FINDING DORY. Grain squares are accompanied by the marshmallow shapes of Dory, a clownfish, and generic white and yellow fish. From their miniscule appearance and dearth of detail, it’s impossible to tell if the clownfish is supposed to be Marlin or Nemo. I was also disappointed by how easily I was able to find Dory. I poured out maybe 20 of her with my first bowl. It was impossible to miss her! This glaring bogart completely misses the point of the title.
But I still had hope. This was dry cereal, and fish need hydration, so I drowned those suckers in milk. Unfortunately, this liquid addition did nothing to change my opinion of the product. Dory and friends float lifelessly in the drink, nothing like their lively counterparts in FINDING NEMO. Instead, all I was left with was limp disappointment, nothing like what I felt during the original.
Ah, yes, my favorite characters…
There’s a few gems to be found here. Hank is conspicuously missing from the lineup, despite a cameo on the back of the box. How true to his character then to hide from sight on the inside. Still, this is FINDING DORY, not FINDING HANK, and the privileged treatment of a new character completely contradicts the focus placed on our returning heroine.
I want to like FINDING DORY, I really do. But I couldn’t recommend in good faith a product with such blatant false advertising. FINDING DORY promises all of the magic of the original, but fails to deliver on nearly every front. It’s with a heavy heart that I must reaffirm Kate’s original verdict. That old adage holds true: “Fish are friends, not food.”
Verdict: Do Not Recommend