I brought some kids to see this, and I didn't have a high expectation, believing that it will just be another money making sequel, out to milk the original for a few more dollars, kind of like Independence Day II.. but boy was I wrong!
To put it simply, I found this story to be more interesting, with greater depth, more food for thought, and yet, it was just as entertaining, if not more than the original. Now that I have let the cat out of the bag, allow me to explain why.
This will be consider one of Pixar's best, in my opinion, with the right magical mix of fun, adventure, humor and depth that marks all the hall of fame Pixar productions. Sure, it's another journey that involves fish finding someone and something, but the story writers manage to add the right mix of originality, coupled with elements of the original road trip so those who have seen it have something they can remember, yet there are many more elements of new characters and storylines that will draw in new fans. Both kids and adults will have something for them. My kids were at the edge of their seats, urging the fish on when they faced the odds, laughing at the jokes with their parents, and the parents will have many scenes that will give them much to ponder on especially if they have or know someone with a child of special needs.
A special mention must be given to the traditional 5 minute pre-show snippet, called "Piper" which agains shows how one can let a kid learn to do what he needs to do, but letting him achieve the task in his own way. I believe the snipped alone deserves and Oscar, and speaking of that, I believe with great confidence that we are looking at Oscar material, right now in this show.
As for the surround effects, your surround speakers will get a good workout, dialogue is crisp and clear. There isn't as much bass, so this won't be that kind of demo track, but it's still a solid showing and with such a sweet story, I think this one will be a keeper, just like it's predecessor, Finding Nemo.