Movie Review: Finding Dory loses some magic by leaving the big blue sea

Finding Nemo has never been Pixar’s deepest dive, except in a very literal sense: If its story of a clownfish braving the Pacific to save his son isn’t as sophisticated as the studio’s (ahem) high-water marks, the careful rendering of every errant bubble, great reef, and finned attraction proved that oceans were made to animate. So it’s a little odd to report that Finding Dory, director Andrew Stanton’s belated sequel to his own 2003 under-the-sea smash, mostly ditches the world’s largest body of water in favor of a more confined environment—a coastal marine park, where the sea creatures mingle in smaller pools and tanks, mostly above the surface. On the one hand, this change of scenery keeps Dory from feeling like a complete rerun. On the other, it drains away much of what made Nemo so transporting, from the shimmering beauty of its …

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