Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the happy but forgettable fish from the first film, is back and ready for another journey. After starting to get flashbacks of living with her parents as a young fish, Dory decides to go searched for them, and the more she searches, the more she remembers, which leads her to travel to California where she's taken inside a Marine Life Institution. Here, Dory meets an octopus named Hank (Ed O'Niell), and together they strike up a deal to help get Dory to her parents.
Pixar always manage to up their game with the animation with each and every movie, and while this is textually different to The Good Dinosaur, which featured almost photorealistic environments, that definitely works in this film's favour. It feels a lot like the original, but is also more fleshed out and textured. It's beautiful, and there's some really, really stunning animation work throughout, especially a few moments in which characters poke up out of water to look at something. The detail in the fish designs become really apparent here, and it's rather breathtaking. But we are talking about Pixar after all, the company who started 3D animated movies.
At times, the narrative does feel a little familiar, which is expected when we've seen stories about searching for family before. It does things that aren't all that spectacular, and you can occasionally see where it's going. I could never see too far ahead, but just little things here and there, and while other Pixar films have an unpredictable and shocking narrative, this one didn't. That is until its third act, which went in unexpected, but worthwhile directions, leading to a moment that had me in hysterics. I probably laughed just as much in that one moment as I did in the drug trip scene in The Good Dinosaur. Trust me though, they're for very different reasons.