Thus far, 2016 has been filled with ups and downs, but one thing I know that cannot be a disappointment will be Finding Dory. The movie, a sequel to Finding Nemo, takes place six months later. After Dory spontaneously remembers something, she sets off on a journey with both Nemo and Marlin to find her family.
I am in love with the characters all over again.
Thirteen years have passed since Finding Nemo came out, so it’s about damn time we get our Dory-filled sequel. Dory was always a special character to me. She really made the movie stand out, and though I didn’t realize it at the time, her character’s psychological issues are much more than a gimmick. Dory suffers from a severe case of anterograde amnesia, and while that is a point of humor in Finding Nemo, the movie never forgets to treat her condition with respect. At one point in the film, Dory says to Marlin, “I just, I remember things better with you”, showing how love and social support are important for sufferers of amnesia.
Dory’s amnesia creates numerous obstacles throughout the movie. She forgets essential information and cannot recall conversations she had just moments prior. All the same, Dory remains cheerfully optimistic, in contrast to Marlin’s pessimism, and it’s only thanks to her help that the two of them do manage to find Nemo.
I look forward to Finding Dory for more than just disability representation, however. According to Ellen DeGeneres, Dory’s voice actress and a vegan animal rights activist, the movie also has an anti-SeaWorld and other marine parks message in it as well. At some point, our main characters are going to discover a bunch of other marine animals living in captivity, and a big theme of the movie will be reintroducing them back into the ocean, where they belong. I might have enjoyed the hell out of SeaWorld when I was five—what small child doesn’t—but as an adult, and especially as someone who’s looked into their abusive behavior toward the animals, I take great satisfaction at this plot point. DeGeneres stated:
“I think that fish should be in the ocean. It’s what this whole sequel is about: It’s about rehabilitation and putting them back in the ocean… And we have to protect our oceans. Hopefully that discussion starts with this film, because we really need to protect that environment.”
I can only hope Ellen is right about that. I know that I’ll be checking Finding Dory out when it hits theaters June 17th 2016.