REVIEW: “Finding Dory” swims home on Blu-ray and Digital HD with a pleasing collection of goodies

in Disney, Movies, Pixar, Reviews

Finding Dory is coming home today on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On-Demand as well as Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) with over two hours of bonus features sure to please the whole family.

Proudly proclaiming the long-awaited Disney•Pixar sequel to “Finding Nemo” as the biggest animated movie of all time, according to the front of the Blu-ray packaging and Box Office Mojo, this release gathers up an impressive collection of goodies for every Pixar and “Nemo” fan including an insightful audio commentary from director Andrew Stanton, co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins.

Many of the extras are gathered together in one disc and there’s plenty to choose from and there’s even more to watch on the movie disc. I was amused to see the return of the peaceful and tranquil Living Aquariums that almost act as old-school screensavers for your TV. These are similar to the ones from the original “Finding Nemo” DVD release all those years ago, though these new ones obviously look stunning in crystal clear high definition. These are nice to have them in the background but you can easily find yourself just staring into the watery abyss as you see hundreds of rays beautifully gliding by.

As a skateboarder myself, my favorite bonus feature was “Skating & Sketching with Jason Deamer,” in which the “Finding Dory” character art director discusses how he used inspiration from everyday items such as an oven mitt or a traffic cone to come up with the shapes and designs of the characters. A good lesson for kids and adults to take from Deamer, who was first hired by Pixar in 1997 to move furniture around and worked his way up after his sketches got noticed, is how he points out that in drawing as in skateboarding, failure is part of the process to get better at it.

Fans will also be treated to seven deleted scenes with an introduction from the director (with a bonus deleted scene exclusively available digitally) as well as a new mini-short “Marine Life Interviews” that features some amusing interviews with your favorite characters from the movie. The best of the bunch is the adorable “Piper” short which played before “Finding Dory” in theaters and makes its welcome return here on Blu-ray. (My kids were very pleased that it was included on this release, as all Pixar shorts that accompany a feature film are.) Elsewhere you get an assortment of behind-the-scenes mini docs that discuss how the story took shape as well as the fine actors that make up the stellar voice cast. You even get to see trailers from Spain, Russia and Japan!

The complete list of special features on the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & Digital HD are:

  • Theatrical Short: “Piper” – A hungry sandpiper hatchling ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The only problem is that the food is buried beneath the sand where scary waves roll up onto the shore.
  • Marine Life Interviews (All-New Mini Short) – Meet the inhabitants of the Marine Life Institute as they remember our favorite blue tang.
    The Octopus That Nearly Broke Pixar – Pixar’s “Team Hank” unravels the challenges, frustrations, and rewards of bringing to life the studio’s crankiest and most technically complicated character ever.
  • What Were We Talking About? – This piece showcases the complex routes Dory’s story took as the filmmakers worked to construct a comprehensive narrative involving a main character with short-term memory loss.
  • Casual Carpool – What’s it like to commute with the voices of Marlin, Charlie, Bailey and Hank? Join “Finding Dory” writer/director Andrew Stanton as he drives Albert Brooks, Eugene Levy, Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill to work.
  • Animation & Acting – How do you create a connection between a human audience and a fish? This behind-the-scenes look behind the curtain examines the process of constructing believable performances through a unique collaboration between the director, voice actors and animators.
  • Creature Features – The cast of “Finding Dory” share cool facts about the creatures they voice in the film.
  • Deep in the Kelp – Disney Channel’s Jenna Ortega guides us on a research trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to show how far the “Finding Dory” crew went to make Dory’s world feel real.
  • Skating & Sketching with Jason Deamer – “Finding Dory” character art director Jason Deamer talks about how he got to Pixar, how he draws the characters in the film, and how falling off a skateboard teaches you lessons you can use in art and life.
  • Dory’s Theme – A spirited discussion among the composer, music editor and director of “Finding Dory” about the musical elements that shape Dory’s quirky and joyful theme.
    Rough Day on the Reef – Sometimes computers make mistakes. Here you’ll see some of the funny, creepy and just plain bizarre footage the crew encountered while making “Finding Dory.”
  • Commentary – Director Andrew Stanton, co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins deliver their personal perspective on “Finding Dory.”
  • Hidden Seacrets of Finding Dory (Digital exclusive) – Take a deep dive to catch secret Easter Eggs throughout the movie.  And just like Hank, they’re hidden in plain sight.

The deleted scenes (introduced by director Andrew Stanton) are:

  • Losing Nemo – While watching the stingray migration, Dory starts to follow two fish that remind her of her parents, leaving Nemo all alone.
  • Little Tension in Clown Town – In this alternate version of the film, Dory tries to “follow her fins” to her parents, but ends up in a strange place with even stranger fish fashion.
  • Dory Dumped – In this early version of the story, Dory’s parents had short-term memory loss as well.
  • Sleep Swimming – Dory begins to talk and swim in her sleep, revealing what seem to be clues to her past.
  • Meeting Hank – Wandering the Marine Life Institute’s elaborate pipe system, Dory happens upon the abode of Hank the cranky octopus.
  • The Pig – Frantically navigating the pipes of the Marine Life Institute in search of her parents, Dory crosses paths with a terrifying cleaning device.
  • Starting Over – Director Andrew Stanton presents four different versions of the movie’s opening scene to illustrate the filmmakers’ search for the best way to introduce Dory’s backstory and to connect this new film to “Finding Nemo.”
  • Tank Gang (Digital exclusive) – After a close encounter with a squid leaves them separated from Dory, Marlin and Nemo unexpectedly meet up with the Tank Gang from “Finding Nemo,” who make it their mission to get to the Marine Life Institute … by any means necessary.

The movie alone is practically a no-brainer for the family to enjoy whenever they want but with both discs packed with bonus features, this is one release that offers up plenty of value.

Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” is now available on Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand.

Finding Dory

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