The wait is fin-ally over, Finding Dory is now in theaters! This is especially a day of celebration for all the 90s kids like me. I have wanted this movie since Finding Nemo! Join me and learn to believe in yourself with Finding Dory.
Playing in front of Finding Dory is the new animated short Piper. Piper is about an adorable sandpiper chick who is terrified of going onto the beach for his food. His mother encourages him to leave the nest and just try. We get to see what life is like for a young Sandpiper and I really enjoyed having the point of view of the baby. The tide does look terrifying from that angle. But he meets a little hermit crab and gets a new perspective on his world.
Finding Dory is a sequel technically, with a lot of flashbacks as Dory remembers things about her past and family. The movie begins when we meet baby Dory (who is tooooooooo cute) and her parents, Jenny and Charlie. They are playing a game of hide-n-seek. She asks in that truly innocent child way “Will you ever forget me?” *heartstrings pulled* Then she gets lost and we follow along as she tries to find her family. This brief beginning takes us up to the point where she and Marlin bump into each other in Finding Nemo.
One year later. Mr. Ray is taking his class to see the Stingray Migration. The kids ask Dory about her family which sparks a bit of her memory. She knows they are out there somewhere and has to find them. Marlin, being Marlin, wonders why they can’t just enjoy the view instead of crossing an entire ocean again.
The trek across the ocean doesn’t take long thanks to our favorite Dude- Crush. I just love that turtle! They end up at the Marine Life Institute and Dory is positive she will find her family there. Humans see her in the Bay outside the institute and scoop her up to take her inside, leaving Marlin and Nemo wondering how to get her back.
Meanwhile, Dory reunites with an old friend, Destiny the Whale Shark, and new friends Bailey the Beluga Whale, and Hank the cantankerous septopus.
What really stuck out to me was the theme of learning to believe in yourself. Believing in yourself and overcoming whatever obstacle or disability that might stand in your way. Finding Nemo had that same lesson. Despite having a little fin, Nemo could do it. He just needed to believe in himself. Each of the main characters has a disability. Destiny with her eyesight, Bailey with confidence, Hank is missing a tentacle and is afraid, and of course Dory has her memory issue.
As a parent it hit me that our words have power. Power to give life or to tear down the people in our lives. Marlin must not have learned that the first time around, but I think maybe now it has gotten into his head! On the other side of that, Dory’s parents are always encouraging her and lifting her up. The Just Keep Swimming song is something they made up for her. After she apologizes again for forgetting, they tell her not to be sorry to just keep swimming. They love her unconditionally and they make sure she knows it. Shouldn’t we all aspire to be parents like that?
I want my kids to know that they can do whatever they put their minds to. They can succeed because I have faith and believe in them. Each person or fish, is unique in their own amazing way. It doesn’t matter if someone else doesn’t see it if we just believe in ourselves.
Will I cry? I am a definite Disney crier. This movie made me tear up but not in a sad way in a sweet way.
Is it scary? Remember when Bruce went all Jaws on them in the first one? There is a moment like that with a giant squid. Also, when Dory is trying to navigate some places in the Marine Life Institute you are taken along in a dizzying first person way. Not necessarily scary but might be a bit disorienting.
Will lovers of the original be happy? Yes I think so. The jokes, the love, the heart, and the inspiration that we can do anything we set our minds too are all there. It is the perfect family movie for old fans and new.
End Credit Scene: This might not be a Marvel movie but there is definitely something at the end of the credits. And I think you will love it. Also I would like to see a third film made or maybe just a short about our friends at the end. Hint hint Disney Pixar 😉
Random note: I will never look at the “touch tanks” in aquariums the same way!