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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Finding Dory' And Great Voice Acting

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Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) in <em>Finding Dory</em>.
Pixar
Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) in Finding Dory.

It's a pleasure every week to take a little time to talk about culture, and it's especially a pleasure when we get to welcome a new member to our fourth chair. This week, it's Daisy Rosario of Latino USA, who you might have heard previously during a discussion with me about the upcoming Gilmore Girls return. But this week, Daisy joins us for our regular roundtable, which begins with a discussion of Finding Dory.

With the biggest domestic box-office opening for an animated movie ever, Finding Dory has clearly hit a nerve by continuing the story that began with Pixar's popular Finding Nemo. We talk about the differences between the original and the sequel, the effects of moving from a big ocean to a closed theme park, and the resonance of Dory's place as a kid who thought differently and whose parents worked hard to prepare her to be on her own.

In our second segment, we pull back from the specifics of Pixar to talk about voice acting in general. Some voice actors do a thousand voices, some do only one but deploy it well — we chat about what it means to bend your performance without really changing your sound. And Daisy talks about the ways that voicing comes up even in the making of radio stories.

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As always, we close with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about the NBA championship, obviously, given what he calls his "kinship with bedraggled sports fans." He's also happy about the pride we feel about our pal Matt Thompson and a beautiful piece he wrote this week. (If that post made you want to learn more about why we like Matt so much, hear him on our 2012 show about the first Avengers movie.) And, perhaps most adventurously, he's happy about a particular moment in which he intersected with the world of James Joyce. Glen is happy about an enthusiasm he shares with a previous panelist over an AMC show. He's also happy about a plot development he's been waiting for (Game Of Thrones spoilers in the linked piece, as warned in its first line!). Daisy is happy about the return of a favorite Netflix show and also about a documentary that's rewriting its last chapter. And I am happy about a documentary that lifted my spirits and told me several good stories. (For an extended video version of What's Making Us Happy This Week with me, Stephen and Glen and some different material, you can also watch our NPR Live video from Thursday.)

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Daisy, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus/music director/pal-for-life Mike.

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