“Hi! My name is Dory and I have short term memory loss” would be the dialogue that can actually sum up what Finding Dory is really about. Sure, you can say that is nothing more than a sequel of one of the most famous and loved Pixar movies: Finding Nemo. You can also argue that the movie is really about finding who you really are and where do you came from. I couldn’t agree more, Finding Dory is all of that, but It’s also about learning to respect people and embrace their differences.
Dory, as you all know, is everything but average. She lost her parents at a very early age and had to live with short term memory loss. She’s a survivor, one that has been rejected her whole life because of something she hasn’t control over, something that the movie effectively depicts with a heartbreaking montage of Dory looking for her parents. She had to put up with a constant loneliness and discrimination she was subjected, until Nemo and Marlin entered in her life.
She, however, is not a victim and, certainly, doesn’t feel like one, nor she wants to be treated like one. Dory’s plan this time is to find her parents, in order to learn where she is from and, ultimately, to know more about the story behind the narrative their parents wrote about her when she was a baby.
Narratives, as Dory learns along the movie, are fundamental to our lives, they are the stories about to be told. Hence, narratives operate like stories we create about ourselves and everything that happens to us along the way, they are also the ones that we tell everybody else about us. A carefully well-written narrative can always remain embedded on the mind of even the most forgetful individual, including a plucky blue tang with short term memory loss.
Finding Dory, much as Finding Nemo, focus a lot of its story on the importance of the narrative that parents construct around their children when thye’re growing up on different contexts. Whilst Marlin overprotected, and try to isolate, Nemo from everything outside their home due to his constant fear of the unknown, Charlie an Jenny (Dory’s parents) encouraged their daughter to be always curious but cautious.
As you can imagine, this narratives are representative of the same juxtaposition people nowadays present as an essential part of their own pathos. Whereas Marlin’s fear of the unknown prevails on the blatant expression of xenophobia we’ve seen lately on the extremists parties around the world, Charlie and Jenny’s openness to experiencing and embracing the difference can be found more and more surrounding us, specially in the young people.
The idea of embracing the difference, and the common understanding of respect for the others, is where Disney and Pixar excels at with this movie. Not only because their narrative feels very actual and well-constructed, but because it tells a story from the point of view of an uncommon character, someone as Dory, which doesn’t have a lot of representation on the current media.
Long gone are the stories that aimed to persuade people to be obedient. Narratives nowadays, specially the ones that Disney is crafting within their movies, focus on characters that struggle to live on societies where bigotry and intolerance are everywhere they go. Moreover, their protagonists are independent, confident, and repectful.
Finding Dory ultimately is all about being true to yourself by embracing who you really are as well as the importance to consider the narratives that helped you to get there. Learning about it is just the first step to aknowledge the type of story you want to tell everybody about yourself and the differences you are able to accept.