Dear Movie Goer:
The mind is a funny thing. Sometimes we forget things that we shouldn’t and other times we remember the smallest of details. Do you remember where you were when you first watched Finding Nemo?
I can vividly remember where I sat in the theater. It was the first movie I took my then 6 month old to see. I didn’t typically take an infant to the theater, but we wanted to take our older children so we gave it a go. I was amazed as he sat wide-eyed watching the screen. He watched about half the movie before he fell asleep.
Thirteen years later, Finding Dory hits the screen as the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo. We met Dory in the first installment. She is Blue Tang fish who suffers from short-term memory loss. We really don’t know much about Dory, where she grew up, or her family. All we know is her name and that she is forgetful.
In Finding Dory the facts about Dory slowly unfold in a touching, funny, and entertaining fashion. We encounter some of our favorite characters from the original movie, but we are introduced to new characters that endear themselves to us.
Ellen DeGeneres brings Dory back to the screen. Albert Brooks returns as Marlin (Nemo’s dad). Nemo is played by Hayden Rolence. Hank (who I think is my new favorite character of all time) is voiced by Ed O’Neill. Hank is a shape-shifting octopus who is missing a tentacle. His camouflaging capabilities are amazing.
Last month I had the pleasure of viewing 33 minutes of this film at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. As I watched tonight I was left with the feeling that even though there are horrible things going on in the world, there are people who see the good in everyone and everything they come across. Even the characters who are difficult have endearing qualities. Everyone has talents and are special in a way that no one else is. It is our differences that are our strengths.
These are the things you need to know about this sequel:
1) It is rated PG. There are a couple of scenes where I was surprised by a character. It was not in a scary or intense way. I think the biggest problem some children may have with this film is just the fear of separation from their parents, and that was already dealt with in Finding Nemo.
2) Dory has short-term memory loss. People often say that having a child die is the worst thing that a parent can endure and that is a pretty horrific thing to happen. But I believe there is something far worse. I have written a blog post about it: Why Finding Dory Is This Mom’s Worst Nightmare!
3) Dory represents anyone with a disability, and we all have disabilities. A disability by definition is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses or activities, and if we are honest with ourselves, we all have something that we struggle with. Watching this film encourages us to focus on our strengths and not our weaknesses.
Dory has short-term memory loss. Destiny (voiced by Kaitlin Olson) is a whale shark who has poor eyesight. Bailey (Ty Burrell) is convinced that he has sonar problems. Nemo has a short fin. Hank (the octopus) is missing a tentacle.
4) I found nothing offensive in this movie. If someone tells you that there is something they find offensive, then maybe it is because they view the world through a critical lens.
5) Piper is the animated short shown before Finding Dory. It is absolutely, positively delightful.
Thirteen years ago, I held a baby in the theater to watch Finding Nemo. That same baby had the following to say about Finding Dory, “It’s so adorable that it’s a must have when it comes out on blu-ray.” This 13 year old boy doesn’t say “adorable” often.
Thanks for following along!