— Jeff Schultz

Kind of a butt-itcher. Small children may be as lost as Dory figuring out what’s happening in this talky, slow-to-get-going sequel, which is short on big set pieces, and which only deep into the second half hits some of the emotional notes we look for in Disney animation. Although Dory and her octopus friend Hank (not to mention Nemo and Marlin from the original) are continuously having to get out of perilous situations, there’s a sameness to the “danger” and no real sense that “this time it could be curtains”. The message — that you can accomplish anything you desire if you just put your “mind” (literally, here) to it — is getting pretty shopworn; weren’t we just taught this in ZOOTOPIA? I’d add that these thoughts, coming from a cranky adult, may not apply because DORY’s target audience is youngsters, but on the basis of the showing I was at, those youngsters were more interested in walking up and down the aisle and babbling to their parents than watching the screen.

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