Finding Dory indeed has its perks. Entertainment is one of them as it never failed to thrill the audience with comedic, adventurous scenes as well as with Dory’s hilarity, and the emotional vibes it brings can be another given how touching yet teary eyed it felt. Behind these positive lights lie the golden lessons the movie taught in terms of how differently-abled individuals are accepted and included by the individuals that matter most in their lives (despite the negative perception of society and being misunderstood by many), the familial bonds existing between Dory, her family and her friends, and her positive approach to solve the problems by not letting her own “disability” and external challenges hinder her goal to find her parents and remaining optimistic that there is always a way in every will. Likewise, environmental awareness regarding sea animal captivity is raised to show (it may be unintentional) that like humans, animals deserve their right to live freely.
Growing up “different”, I personally admit that Finding Dory is a relatable film. It is indeed one of the reasons why this film touched me and like Dory, I grew up being misunderstood for my unusual stress intolerance towards “difficult” situations most perceive to be “easy” and for my personal difficulties in solving problems including the ones many perceive “minimal”. I equally have unusual difficulties in dealing with frustrated people and those with negative behaviors, and am having a hard time tolerating people with loud voices that make them sound frustrated even though they are just talking loud. These personal experiences of mine make me sympathetic to Dory, who, suffering from short term memory loss, is unable to trace directions unless helped and is often misunderstood by other sea creatures. My sympathies have further been extended seeing how her parents took time to understand her, taught her to make friends and find her way home with the use of shells – making them role models of parents of differently-abled children.
Similarly, witnessing the help from her fellow differently-abled friends (Hank the septopus, Destiny the blind whale, Nemo, the clownfish whose fin is smaller than the other fishes of his kind..) gives me hope that it is possible for a differently-abled individual to be included in a certain group of friends he or she consider true friends (thus, the inclusion). Friendship and familial bonds are further emphasized through Dory’s close relationships, highlighting expected values in both family relationships and friendships that include love, care, empathy and time for one another.
So what would Dory do in times of difficult situations? She would just keep swimming! Herein lies other life lessons that Finding Dory seeks to deliver, most particularly remaining positive in difficult situations. Dory is taught by her own parents that there is always a way to overcome difficulties (hence Charlie’s quote) and while it may be difficult for her to confront challenges that include her lack of sense of direction, it is seen that she still remains hopeful that she will still find her way back to her family despite the encountered obstacles. She did everything she could instead of giving up and relied on her friends for help instead of holding herself back to ask for it. Her approach to problems inspires and teaches us that despite having our own weaknesses and threats coming our way, there will always be ways in surviving our own storms as long as we hold our heads high and we are determined to solve our problems. As an individual who have difficulties solving her own problems, the film itself gives me more optimism to handle them on my own.
And finally, it looks like Finding Dory is increasing awareness on sea animal captivity and human greed to capture the animals for the sake of entertainment. These creatures are placed in grand aquariums for the public to see and children to play with, and the sad looks on the creatures’ faces gives us a message that like humans, they deserve their own freedom. The importance of sea animal freedom is further emphasized by their bigger smiles after they are saved from the captivity and were finally brought to the ocean. I am really hoping that this film will also serve as a lesson on how we are supposed to treat our environment, as much as it entertains and touches our souls.
The mentioned life lessons and environmental awareness made this film more worth than entertaining. I find its story line more elaborated with more twists than Finding Nemo, its own prequel – which I find more simple and straightforward. Thirteen years is indeed worth a wait especially for an unpredictable, beautiful and vivid masterpiece like Finding Dory. Not forgetting to mention that the art and animation is as clear and vivid, and I can personally imagine seeing it in 3D which gives more underwater feels.
Definitely recommended to both children and grown ups. More kudos to Disney Pixar for producing such masterpieces!
Release Date June 17, 2016 (USA)
Directed By Andrew Stanton and Angus Maclane
Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell
Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Length 97 min long
After losing her parents due to short term memory loss in finding her way back home, Dory struggles to search for them, yet is filled with hope that she will soon reunite with them.
Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)