Getting to revisit your childhood is one of the most nostalgic experiences any of us can do (that is, the good parts of it). It’s a funny thing how sights, smells, and sounds can trigger so much within our minds, resurfacing memories we thought to be forgotten.
The long awaited sequel to Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo took 13 years to arrive, but now it’s finally here and worthy of the wait. We see our beloved Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) remember little bits and pieces of her patchy memory as a compass in her search for her long lost parents.
Finding Dory takes on some new water, plot wise, but ultimately, the film has an all too familiar end result fans can appreciate, along with a few tissues to wipe away their tears.
The story begins with little baby Dory in her early years receiving training from her mom and dad. Big and magenta eyed Dory tells us, as she puts it, “I suffer from short-term remembory loss”. The cuteness overload already starts flooding in and, as anyone might guess, things only get heart wrenching from here. A small nod toward those with disabilities with a character such as Dory is both heartfelt and realistic.
Her parents know Dory’s memory is nearly non-existent, as well as her attention span to fixate on any one thing. The parenting duo try to use song and rhyme in order to help Dory remember little things, such as her name and what her condition consists of.
This tactic is naturally unsuccessful with how young and curious Dory is, as we see her wander through life alone, constantly introducing herself to other fish with, “Hi, I’m Dory, have you seen my parents?” Poor Dory is always apologetic by nature, for she is always repeating herself regarding thoughts and events. This can prove to be annoying and a true nuisance to anyone in her life.
Dory remains swimming by herself until she rams into Marlin (Albert Brooks) in a scene we saw from Finding Nemo, and the audience is brought back to where we left off 13 years ago. She found Marlin, the duo found Nemo, and, in a way, Dory has found a new family.
The beautiful thing Finding Dory reminds us of as viewers is the intricacies that play into what the human condition entails. We all have flaws, we all have our strengths; some of us are more heavily equipped on either side of this spectrum than others. And yet, there’s still room for us to treat each other with equal compassion, to play to each other’s strengths as a means of leading happy, fulfilling lives.
In one of the opening scenes that are used in Finding Dory, we see what a typical day is like in the life of the forgetful Dory. She lives with Marlin and Nemo in their secluded condo-like reef. We see her follow Marlin on his way to drop Nemo off at fish school and she helps out a class’s Sting Ray teacher. He knows Dory has short-term memory loss and so do the students, but they love her all the same, and treat her just like they do each other
It’s amazing what valuable lessons kid’s movies teach younger generations, but it’s even more amazing what they can teach, or more so remind, us adults about life. Finding Dory shines light in areas of life that are ironically forgotten about, but, as Dory’s mom told her when she was younger, you just need to keep swimming.