Click here to see my ranking of all of Pixar's films.
To tell the truth, I originally feared Finding Dory would become the writers taking advantage of nostalgic fan service to exploit the comedy within the famous tang’s short-term memory loss. You know what though? Finding Dory actually showed quite a bit of the tragedy behind her condition.
While the film does at times play off her disability for laughs, Dory’s disability still comes off as a hindrance in the road to her survival. Yet she eventually recalls some memories by other relatable objects or phrases, such as a path of seashells pointed back home.
I too feel deprived of the same conveniences as my peers due to mental drawbacks; it often takes me longer to register a person’s transparent emotions, and I sometimes say something unintentionally offensive to another. As a teenager, you could almost wonder if I had any control at all over my inappropriate verbal comments. My autism especially made it a challenge for me to understand the rules of friendship; today I am still figuring out the science behind it.
But my own personal methods have helped me out. After going through some self-accommodation courses, I decided I need to limit my social time. As I do enjoy getting to know people, it becomes too draining after a few hours.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #98: Give Them Time on their Own.
Every person faced against some unique drawback can find ways around their roadblock. We should never think less about whoever faces those complications, or worse, demean them for what they lack.
Which leads me to my next point about Finding Dory’s most controversial element: George and Becky. George is a mute sea lion who gets bullied by the other sea lions. Becky is a loon who seems unable to communicate or think for herself. They are both thrown into the plot mostly for comic relief’s sake.
Frankly, Finding Nemo was also rather irresponsible in its treatment of disability as comic relief. Dory’s short-term memory loss played more for laughs about what made her weaker than others. Therefore here, in Finding Dory, the same routine repeats all over again with two minor characters who take up only a few minutes of screen time. I do agree with several who say the treatment towards George and Becky contradicts the message of celebrating differences, although compared to the first movie, the treatment of Dory proves an enormous step forward in acceptance of disabilities.
So whether you have Alzheimer’s, dementia, down syndrome, autism, Asperger’s, blindness, deafness, muteness, or even are a bit short on memory, keep in mind one philosophy: whatever seems to hold you back from everyone else will never hold you back from yourself. If Dory can ignore her mental situation to make it all the way to a Californian aquarium, then you can do similar. You too can find a tactic to overcome your obstacle. It proves that no disabilities exist, just challenges to attack the issues of life from a different angle.
- If you have a child with a mental or physical disability, discuss with him or her about what tangible approaches could help get around the disability, similar to how Dory’s parents used seashells to help her memory.
- Having a disability just means that there is a lifelong trial which requires participation from all friends and family to live comfortably for everyone.
- Unlike some of the characters in this movie, don’t ever demean or pick on somebody who looks incapable. You never know what the other people are going through, or what they are capable of.