Finding Dory was on the top of our ‘Must Do Things’ for the Father’s Day weekend.
Its predecessor had been reigning on the top spot of ‘my favourite movie’ in its genre since I had seen it. There is definitely something about PIXAR movies that I and my family just can’t resist.
Finding Dory is about the sidekick fish from ‘Finding Nemo’ who is now the star of the movie. Instead of the gorgeous open sea, we now have visuals of the Marine Life Institute. She, with her short-term memory and continuous chanting of ‘Just Keep Swimming’ is determined to find her lost family. She concludes that she had come from SOME where and continues to swim the ocean with Marlin and Nemo to find her lost parents. She gets a glimpse from her past and these guide her towards finding her parents.
The other star of the movie though, is Hank. He is a sneaky octopus wanting to use Dory’s situation to his advantage and wants to get out of being released into the ocean. Hank is a very dramatic and comic presence in the movie. He is a perfect foil to Dory’s impish eagerness.
Finding Dory has taken the feelings of the otherwise laughed at Dory and used it as the nucleus of the movie. It’ll still thrill kids and move grown-ups to tears, but now there’s a very specific subset of the population that will likely find resonance. This is a movie for everyone, but especially for parents of kids with special needs.
Some people may find it jarring because Finding Dory gets a lot of comic mileage out of Dory’s disability. There is the disoriented whale-shark Destiny and a Beluga named Bailey who has little faith in his sonar, a moronic sea lion and also a seriously queer bird. As the movie progresses, there are ample instances and messages that suggest that if you have sufficient heart and faith you can triumph over all those limitations.
What I Want My Kids To Learn From Finding Dory.
This film is a wonderful opportunity for the kids to see the world of the ‘differently abled.’ When Finding Dory gives you glimpses into the terrifying disorientation of the world through Dory’s eyes- spinning objects, things dissolving along with her memories, a world where she is lost and alone, that she longs for her family; it allows them a sneak peek into the feelings of the differently abled. There are many more such instances during the narration of the movie.
It also teaches about faith, perseverance and helping each other. This is echoed in nearly every major character, and handled with grace, subtlety, and tenderness that is quite subtly noticeable. Whenever a character thinks “I can’t,” there’s something — or someone — there to prove, that they can. I can’t swim. I can’t see. I can’t go in the ocean. I can’t lose you again. I can’t take care of you. I can’t forgive myself. I can’t trust this crazy-looking bird. But they can, and therein lies the triumph of the story.
This is also something I would want my kids to learn from Finding Dory.
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