The sequel to the 2003 Pixar animated movie, Finding Nemo (good god has it really been that long?), Finding Dory follows the adventure of your favorite fishes, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence) and Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres). This time under the ocean, Dory begins to have memories of her childhood and, specifically, her parents. Wanting to find them, the trio go on an adventure to find them.
First of all, was it entirely necessary to make child Dory have eyes bigger than her internal organs????? Was that absolutely necessary??????
The first thing that comes to mind with this film is that it’s cute. It does everything in its power to be cute. The thing is, I didn’t mind. There’s an inherent charm to this film that just makes me accept the over abundance of cuteness. That said, at first, this film didn’t really have the power and impact of other Pixar sequels. Namely Monsters University.
I felt that the message in Monsters University was a million times stronger than Finding Dory. I realize now that my first impression was like that because I had seen Monsters University after I had graduated from college, so it was timely. With Finding Dory, I realize now that I didn’t feel it was as strong simply because I don’t know anyone or have a strong relationship with a mental handicap like Dory.
The overall theme of Finding Dory is that people with disabilities can function quite well in the world. All they need to do is trust themselves. There are several animals with disabilities in this movie. A baluga whale that can’t use echolocation. A whale shark that’s nearsighted. An octopus with only seven tentacles (making him a septapus).
It took me a while of thinking about the film to realize that this was the message Pixar wanted to get across and I support their decision wholeheartedly. Kids needed to know this lesson and be comforted by it. No matter how handicapped you are, you just need to trust yourself and you can do anything you want.
That said, that message was definitely not aimed at me and as such, I didn’t leave the theater feeling wowed and touched. I left the theater feeling like I had seen a funny and thoughtful animated movie. Which is never a bad thing.