Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Finding Dory Review

Are you ready? It’s time to take a look at the Finding Nemo sequel. I saw the original quite a few times over the years and even purchased the game recently. It’s definitely a fun series. Finding Dory takes itself a little more seriously at times and makes Dory’s past a little sadder than is used to be. It’s a pretty solid film that actually has a great ending so don’t listen to the doubters. Everyone told me what a bad ending the film had so I was expecting something really sad or tragic, but it was actually solid. Ah well, maybe people weren’t ready for a happy ending this time.

Dory wakes up one morning and realizes that she has parents. She sort of knew this deep down, but now she realizes that she has to go find them. They’re over by the aquarium/sea world park that Dory used to be at. It’ll be quite the journey, but it’s worth it to find her folks. She gets Nemo and Marlin to help her out with this. Getting across the planet would be tough for most fish…but Marlin knows a guy. The three of them set out and prepare for a big adventure, but little do they know that the team will be splitting right away.

Marlin was surprisingly a great character here. Maybe he always was and I just forgot about it. His “I know a guy” line was easily the best one in the film thanks to the great delivery (Pause and slow build up) and the way that he looked to the side while saying it. Marlin’s a little more confident than he used to be and since he did rescue Nemo from crazy circumstances, he has a right to be. He also comes through in the clutch when it matters and shows that he is a team player. I can’t say the same for Nemo though. Nemo’s very annoying in this film as he constantly takes shots at Marlin and acts like a know it all. Any scene with Nemo is one where I had to wince a little inside. It feels like Nemo hasn’t improved at all since the fist film and if anything…he’s gotten worse.

Dory is a nice character as always. Her origin was especially tragic this time as he memory got a lot worse. It was mostly just used as comedy in the first film while it’s very serious and dramatic this time. I would have preferred if it wasn’t so serious, but Dory gets through her trials with determination and persistence. She comes up with a plan in the end and has her big moment. Dory may not be as likable as Marlin, but she’s a good character. Dory’s just not my kind of protagonist and I don’t think she can hold her own film, but the subplots had enough screen time where it wasn’t too much of an issue. I still think that this film should have been about finding Nemo’s Mom, but maybe that’ll be for the third film in the trilogy.

Hank is one of the new characters for the film and he is definitely great. Hank is one of the standouts here as he plays the tough James Bond esque role. He has a lot of experience and has seen things over the years. He just wants to give up and head to the land of peace, but Dory is in his way. He agrees to help her in exchange for a pass that will get him there, but it’s a tougher ordeal than he would have thought since Dory keeps forgetting the plan. He had a lot of the witty banter and great lines in the film. It’s safe to say that he made the film a lot better.

Dory also had other friends who appeared like Destiny and other aquatic animals who wanted to pitch in. They were a little too quirky, but weren’t bad characters in the end. They’re nice pals to have around and it was good for Dory that they showed up. Still, they could have been a little more interesting. The main cast from the first film are the ones who really had to hold the film on their own with the exception of Hank since he was a really good new character.

One thing that subtlety holds Finding Dory back is the character roster. Even the best characters are only pretty good. There are no downright great characters. The closest two are Marlin and Hank. The problem is that Hank’s character was already used in Zootopia, but handled better. Marlin’s character type hasn’t been done all that often, but while he is fun, he isn’t a show stealer. Aside from those two characters, the rest of the cast struggle to be passable. Some of the characters are just really annoying like the two seals and the bird. The bird should have been cool, but did the film have to give him the worst design possible? I actually had a problem with quite a few of the designs. Even baby Dory looked a little off as the eyes were so big that it looked physically painful.

The animation was good overall though so I don’t want to take shots at it. It’s the character designs that are to blame here. I can’t say that the animation is much better than Finding Nemo’s though and considering how old that film is…it’s certainly worth noting. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a soundtrack to be found here. You won’t remember any of the tunes afterwards, which is a little regrettable. On a technical level, the film is all right. It gets the job done, but nothing more to that.

Finally, another problem is that you’re just never invested in the film. It goes through the motions and you follow along, but that’s about it. The story isn’t boring or anything….but it’s just not that exciting either. This last bit of the review may sound rather negative, but it’s just because the film could have been so much more. As it is, it’s a good film that is good for a quick watch, but you probably won’t want to be re watching it anytime soon.

To end this review on a high note, lets go back to the ending. After everyone told me how bad it was, I expected the parents to either be A. really mean or patronizing once they were found or B. Dead. If either of those scenarios had happened, this could have dropped to a 5. Luckily, the ending was really good. I’m guessing people thought that it was too happy and perfect or something like that, but I could definitely get into it. I also ended up liking Dory’s parents. Their roles were naturally very small, but they were likable and I’m sure that a third film could find a good role for them.

Overall, Finding Dory was a good sequel. It’s not quite as good as the original Finding Nemo if you ask me, but the film goes along at a brisk pace and doesn’t get boring. The writing is certainly on point and I actually really liked the ending. It was a highlight. While this film won’t move you the same way that Inside Out, Zootopia, Frozen, and other big animated films as of late have, it is still a good movie. I’d recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. You don’t really need to watch Finding Nemo to enjoy this film since they recap it through dialogue anyway, but you should check out the first film as well. It’s a classic at this point.

Overall 6/10

Game Records

Finding Nemo Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 4h 44m

4/60 Stars

Stage Stats Record Stage Completion Time and Shells Collected

Going to School 2m 14s
Field Trip 4m 13s 4670 Shells
The Drop Off 2m 37s 236t0 Shells
Mask Chase 4m 53s 1920 Shells
Catch Dory 5m 7s 810 Shells
Minefield 12m 28s 9020 Shells
Submarine 65m 43s 4020 Shells
Mine and Seek 17m 57s 550 Shells
Mask Search 32m 56s 2120 Shells
Anglerfish Chase 1m 26s 600 Shells
Mount Wannahockaloogie 19m 51s 700 Shells
Jellyfish Race 6m 39s 9790 Shells
Training with Gill 6m 22s 820 Shells
East Australian Current 5m 8s 470 Shells
The Plan 11m 22s 1180 Shells
Whale Chase 4m 42s 9490 Shells
Treatment Plant 18m 41s 3520 Shells
Fishing Net Rescue 21m 19s

2 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Finding Nemo Review

It’s rare for me to actually dislike a video game, but sometimes you just end up pulling out a bad egg. This was one of those times and it is safe to say that without exaggeration…Finding Nemo is one of the worst video games of all time. It is simply a sad experience and the puzzles will frustrate you to no end. Mix that in with the bad graphics and drawn out story mode, and you’ve got yourself a broken game. It’s too bad since I went to great lengths to finally get this game again after selling it many years ago. Of course…I can see why I sold it the first time around.

The plot of the game is just like the movie of course. Nemo gets kidnapped by some humans so his father and a fish that he meets along the way must travel to save Nemo. This leads to a lot of missions which will have you solve puzzles, navigate through dark tunnels, and play tag sometimes. In theory, this sounds pretty good…maybe that’s a stretch. It doesn’t sound bad anyway, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, I was about to be amazed as how sad it was.

For starters, the graphics are really bad. The whole game is so dark that you can’t really see where you are going a lot of the time. You just have to crawl forward and hope that an enemy is not there to greet you. The dark levels are almost unbearable at times and you have to alter the brightness settings on your TV to keep yourself from dying over and over again. It helped a little, but I feel bad for my TV. I definitely should not have to adjust my settings just for the sake of this video game.

Let’s jump to the worst part of the game right away though. There are puzzles in this game that are so long, so boring, and so artificially difficult that I can’t imagine how it ever lived in the final version. There is no way that the kids in this game’s target audience would be able to complete the puzzles. It was so boring that I would have to play the game while on the phone to keep myself from falling asleep. It’s essentially a Rubix Cube and you have to arrange the pictures without harming the others. That’s not terrible in theory, but with no way to reset the puzzle once you’ve started, you can constantly set yourself back quite a few plays and never even know about it. It’s madness. One level took me over an hour as a hour on a single puzzle. That’s not cool.

The average level is more like 1-4 minutes so you can see the contrast. The puzzles don’t seem like they’re supposed to be so long, but it just ends up happening that way because of how they are constructed. It’s a shame since the rest of the game could have probably gotten a 5 or so, but the puzzles destroyed it. They’re hardly the only issue of course, but certainly the most important one.

Even the final boss is fairly annoying because Nemo dies due to a single hit. That’s present in the whole game of course, but you can at least gather little fish to protect you in certain levels. In the final boss, that is not the case. You have to tag Dory 10 times while dodging falling rocks that move very quickly and appear out of nowhere. It took me quite a while to finally beat the level and it’s not an experience that I would want to have again. The game is really just annoying and I feel like the developers did not know what they were doing. Just about any company could make a better game than this.

It’s also a little hard on the hands. You have to keep pressing the A button to swim faster and faster during the levels and it’s really hard to keep up the pace. There are booster rings that help with that, but it’s hard to hit them because of the graphics. It’s a bad mix of elements that combine to make each one all the worse. Let’s also talk about the long loading times, which are pretty sad.

I usually don’t even bother with the loading times in my reviews, but these are infamously bad. You have time to go and make a sandwich while the game is loading between levels. They just drag on for minutes at a time and it’s very uncanny. It’s not surprising once you actually play the game, but it’s like adding insult to injury. My salt levels would always rise when playing Finding Nemo so you should be sure to have a bottle of water at the ready during your playthrough of the game.

How about replay value? I’d say that it’s basically at a 0 since the game is no fun to play. There are some collectibles though. You can get 3 stars during each level by doing certain things. Of course, these things aren’t actually explained so you’re completely out of luck unless you’ve picked up a strategy guide or can find a good walkthrough. It would be a very loooooong case of trial and error otherwise to find out the requirements for each star. They’ve thought of everything haven’t they?

Overall, Finding Nemo is a game that I highly recommend avoiding at all costs. The graphics are terrible and make games from 20 years ago look good. The loading times make Super Smash Bros look instant and just having the fish float around while staring at the audience doesn’t look very impressive. The soundtrack is very bland and while the game only has 18 levels, the puzzles really stretch out the play time. If you’re curious about this game, watch some Youtube videos of it. It’s definitely not worth purchasing at any price and you will likely regret getting this game. There really aren’t any positives to say about Finding Nemo. The only promising parts of the game, like hopping across little lily pads, are wrecked by the fact that any contact with any enemy will send you back to the last checkpoint. Not having any health in a game where enemies pop out of nowhere is definitely not cool.

Overall 2/10