Yesterday I spend the afternoon with my 2 year old seeing finding dory in theaters, big bucket of popcorn and all. If you haven’t seen it, you should go! I was a bit nervous because we love finding nemo in this family, and I didn’t want finding dory to ruin that. Aside from all of the cute flashback from baby dory,to grown dory, the message of the movie was what got me thinking. Disney is awesome at the hidden messages, so here is my take on finding dory’s message to the audience.
Dory is a fish who has short term memory loss. She has a moment where she has a flashback of her as a baby, and she’s with her mom and dad, and thats when the hunt for dory’s parents begins. I believe Disney gave dory short term memory loss to signify special needs. The same way nemo has one fin that’s smaller than the other,making swimming a bit more difficult. These differences don’t make their life impossible, but does make it more challenging. This gives kids the message to despite life’s struggles, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Things in life don’t come easy, and you have to work hard achieve your goals. Everyone has their own struggles, whether you can see them, like nemo’s tiny fin, or not, like dory’s short term memory.
Throughout the movie dory has some setbacks in the quest to find her parents. She loses her direction many times, but finds her way, either by herself or with the help friends. She gets caught by a the marine institute boat, which ends up seeming like a setback, but leads her closer to her parents. She hurts others by focusing on herself and not working with others. Some things may seem like a setback at the time, but end up being a blessing in disguise. If you give up before you work through the hard times, you won’t push through to achieve your goals. Dory pushes through her setbacks and ends up reuniting with her parents.
Aside from the main moral of the story, I also took another lesson from the movie. Dory lived in the open ocean exhibit in the aquarium as a baby, and returns there by accident whens she got caught by the boat. It’s a rescue aquarium for animals who can’t survive in the ocean until the are rehabilitated, and once they are healed are let back into the ocean, if they can’t be fixed they are sent up to an aquarium in Cleveland Ohio. At the ending of the movie some fish are being transported by truck to Cleveland, and marlin and nemo are trapped inside. Some animals make a plan to get them out of the truck, and long story short an octopus drives the truck into the ocean to free the fish. Animals should’t be trapped in cages for their entire life, the need to be free and live in their natural environment. I believe this is another hidden message in finding dory. Aquariums are taking animals from their natural habitat, and they aren’t meant to live in a glass tank, being poked at by little kids.
Finding dory did a fantastic job with the sequel to finding nemo. It taught my daughter some very valuable lessons, that I hope she took from the movie. She can do whatever she sets her mind to, no matter the obstacles. This is a huge lesson that I try to install in her, and Disney is doing great backing up that lesson. We aren’t a huge TV family, but I fully support Disney and the values they are teaching to todays youth.