1. Will my kids like it?
Yes! If they like Finding Nemo, they’ll love Finding Dory: I just don’t see how anyone who likes one could not like the other at least as much. In fact, my 13-year-old daughter, who accompanied me to the preview screening I attended, says she thinks Dory is even better than Nemo, and that’s really saying something.
2. Will I like it?
If you have a sense of humor, an appreciation for beauty, and more emotional depth than a robot, you will love it. It’s Pixar at its best, and even Pixar at its worst is pretty good. You’ll laugh, you’ll get a bit verklempt at times (but nothing like the first 20 minutes of Up, in case you’re worried), and you’ll appreciate a lot of things about it that your kids likely won’t get. There’s even a relatable representation of what it’s like to suffer from short-term memory loss – and what it’s like to live with someone who suffers from it.
3. What about Piper, the short that precedes the movie?
Piper is drop-dead gorgeous. It tells the story of a newly-hatched and very hungry sandpiper and his mom, and if you didn’t know you were looking at animation, you would easily believe it was filmed live. It’s funny, and it will get you a bit in the feels, but mostly you’ll sit there in slack-jawed amazement at its beauty. Not that that is in any way a bad thing.
4. Is it worth paying more to see it in 3D?
I’ve thus far only seen it in 2D, and it certainly lacked nothing. That being said, I think the depth that 3D would give it, particularly considering how well Pixar usually renders their films in 3D, would add to the experience. It is by no means necessary, but if you can handle 3D movies, and enjoy them, I think it’s worth paying a little more on top of the already exorbitant ticket prices.
5. Do I need to stay until after the end credits for a bonus scene at the end?
YES, and you really don’t want to miss this one. Trust me.
6. When is the best time for a bathroom break?
Finding Dory is just over 100 minutes long, so this might be a concern. There’s nothing extraneous in the movie, really – it’s solidly entertaining from start to finish – so there’s no great time to go. But I’d say that right around the time Marlin and Nemo find a way into the Marine Life Institute would probably be the least bad time a decent way into the movie to scoot out for a few minutes.
7. So what’s the resolution to the hullabaloo about the possibly-lesbian couple from the trailer?
This is so ridiculous. There are two women who are standing near each other who are on screen for a minute or so, and one of them has had her hair cut short. Are they a lesbian couple? The answer to this is that it doesn’t matter one little bit. Like all the other humans in the movie, these women are extremely minor characters – only the animals are multi-dimensional. Their sexuality doesn’t matter any more than, say, that of the scuba diver or the dentist does in Nemo, and that’s as it should be. There’s no way to determine if either has a family (the stroller that you also see in the trailer does not belong to either of them), let alone if they’re a couple. They’re exactly like all the hundreds of strangers you pass by every day: you have no idea what their gender identity or sexual preferences are, and that’s fine because they’re none of your business.
8. What toys are my kids going to want after they see the movie?
I think Hank the octopus would be high on most lists – he’s such a terrific character, and Ed O’Neill does such a perfect curmudgeon-with-a-heart voice that you can’t help but love him. The otters, despite not being very important to the film, are adorable, so they might be popular. I know that when I’m next at a Disney Store, I’m going to be looking for a plush of the sea lions (one of whom is wonderfully voiced by Idris Elba), and particularly Gerald, because Gerald is awesome. You’ll see.
Disclosure: I attended a free screening of Finding Dory. All opinions expressed here are my own.