The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

Waiting for ‘Finding Dory’ is Well Worth the Wait

Finding Dory
Ed O'Neill and Ellen Degeneres as Hank and Dory (Disney/Pixar)
Better late than never, right? While it may not seem that long ago, but the Disney/Pixar hit, Finding Nemo, swam into theaters in 2003 and is just now getting a sequel. Hey, you don’t want to rush things, do you? Pixar doesn’t believe in creating sequels just to create sequels, they need a compelling story and for Finding Dory, it just took time. And the result? It was worth the wait.

Though many feared that Finding Dory would just be a rehash of the original, they can all share a deep sigh of relief. While it is true that America’s favorite blue tang fish goes on another adventure with her buddy clownfish it is not because she is lost.

The story for Finding Dory takes place one year after Marlin (Albert Brooks) found Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and something triggers a memory in Dory (Ellen Degeneres), a fish with a short-term memory disorder. She has a home and parents! Now, if she could just remember where Charlie (Eugene Levy) and Jenny (Diane Keaton) live. After some prodding and pleading, Dory is able to convince Marlin and Nemo to help her find them and in the process, find herself.

Through the new adventure, Dory, Marlin and Nemo are reconnected with old friends, Crush (voiced by director Andrew Stanton) and Squirt (Bennett Dammann) and meet new ones … including Sigourney Weaver. For real. It’s a great bit, but I don’t want to give anything away. Other new friends include the cantankerous octopus Hank (Ed O’Neill) who can blend in his surroundings, Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a whale shark who has trouble figuring out her surroundings and Bailey (Ty Burrell) a beluga whale who discovers he has a superpower he wasn’t even aware of.

Like all of Pixar’s films, Finding Dory has a lot of heart. In the first movie, Dory’s handicap of short term memory loss is used as an extended gimmick, but in this story, we see Dory as a little fish and her worried parents who try every trick they can think of to help their little daughter remember things. The look of worry on their faces and their kind reassurances to their daughter is both heart-warming and breaking. It is more than just a cute story. It demonstrates the importance of family, friendships and will encourage viewers to be brave and to “just keep swimming” when necessary.

The technology has changed a lot since Finding Nemo. So much so, that the Pixar animators found that they had to recreate all of the characters from scratch, but you would never know it. Everything looks the same only crisper and even more beautiful to watch. It fascinating that the film even captures tiny specs floating in the water.

As with other Pixar films, Finding Dory is paired with a new short, Piper, which is about a very young sandpiper learning how to find food for himself in the ocean. As beautiful the artwork is for Dory, Piper exceeds that. As the short begins, you'd swear that the film is a live action film and in the span of just a few short minutes, tells a complete coming of age story.

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