Back to the pond for Pixar, where we find things largely unchanged from the end of 2003's Finding Nemo. As the continually-forgetful blue tang Dory has a sudden enduring flash of her childhood, a rush of recall, she gathers the clownfish for one more globe-spanning adventure. The setup is a little soft, lingering too long in the shadow of the first film, but eventually we break free of that sentiment and forge a new (if similar) identity for the sequel. The closed-in landscape of an aquatic themed zoo/amusement park feels a bit claustrophobic at first glance, but as hijinx ensue and we learn more of Dory's early years, it all fleshes out nicely. No shortage of colorful new characters there, literally and figuratively, not the least of which is Ed O'Neill's escape artist "septipus" (having lost a tentacle in the touch tank), who treads dangerously close to becoming a deus ex machina with his versatility. O'Neill brings his usual disgruntled pessimism to the role, though, and some genuinely clever sight gags using the creature's natural assets go a long way to smoothing that over. He's overly convenient, but we're always glad to see him again. Witty and fast-paced, with a good mix of gags for the adults and their kids, plus a potent dose of the studio's famed poignancy. I laughed, I misted up, but I never quite fooled myself into thinking it was superior to the first.