Disney Pixar’s latest film, Finding Dory, is released in theatres today. Like any Disney animated film, the graphics are incredible. Do we even need to say that anymore? Maybe not. But the storyline this time is what really got me.
Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favourite forgetful blue tang Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), who’s living happily in the reef with Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence). When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, the trio takes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium. In an effort to find her mom (voice of Diane Keaton) and dad (voice of Eugene Levy), Dory enlists the help of three of the MLI’s most intriguing residents: Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey (voice of Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz; and Destiny (voice of Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark. Deftly navigating the complex inner workings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family.
OK, so that’s the official blurb. Sounds great, right? Entertaining? Probably funny? What they haven’t mentioned is that the biggest underlying storyline is one of acceptance despite your differences.
You see, while Dory’s short term memory loss provided for some plot twists and laughs in Finding Nemo, her problems remembering are literally the backbone of this story. Her forgetfulness is how this whole thing got started. But you know what? Her parents never let it hold her back. Instead, they gave her tools to work with. They never made excuses for her, only encouraged her to try again. Her friends and family rallied around her and even find that, sometimes, the Dory way is actually a better way of doing things. As the mother of a child diagnosed with both ADHD and Asperger’s, I can’t tell you the number of times my square peg has been forced into a round hole. It just doesn’t work and leads to frustration, anger, and disappointment for everyone. Just because there is a way that most people do things, doesn’t mean that another method wouldn’t work just as well. And what might be your ‘shortcoming’ can be complemented by someone else’s strength. Bailey, the sonar-inhibited Beluga whale, and Destiny, the near-sighted whale shark, are a perfect example. On their own, neither one is likely to survive long. But together, they make a formidable pair.
Finding Dory is all about the meaning of family – both the ones we are born into and the ones we choose for ourselves, acceptance of differences, and embracing yourself for who you are.
And to keep all of your little fishies swimmingly busy, click here for some free Finding Dory printables.