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Jun30ThuIn Finding Dory, our forgetful hero heads off on a journey of a lifetime. But will she remember any of it? June 30, 2016 by Jeanette Levellie
Thirteen years after the Disney/Pixar box-office hit Finding Nemo won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, millions of fans got their wish for a sequel when Finding Dory splashed into theatres on June 17.
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- Faith & Friends
Directed by Andrew Stanton, who also helmed Finding Nemo, the 3D animated adventure reunites Nemo's Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, the amnesiac blue tang, and Albert Brooks as Nemo's clownfish dad, Marlin. Since Alexander Gould, who played Nemo 13 years ago, is now 22, Stanton chose Illinois native Hayden Rolence (Beta Persei, Cicero in Winter) for the part of the six-month-older Nemo. (Then he cast Gould with a tiny cameo voice that he claims no one will recognize.)
Out of the Past
When Dory is knocked unconscious by an undertow while swimming with Nemo's “school,” she wakes up frustrated, with an odd feeling that she remembered something while she was blacked out.
After many failed attempts to bring up the memory, Dory takes Marlin's advice to “sleep on it,” which serves to unlock the lost flashback. That night, Nemo and Marlin are awakened by Dory talking in her sleep: “Don't cry, Mommy. Don't cry.”
This is their first hint that Dory has any recollection of a family. Then, while on a school field trip to study migration, a faint echo of the voice of her mother (Diane Keaton)—“We will never forget you, Dory”—stirs up more memories.
The following morning, when Nemo tells Marlin what Dory was muttering in her sleep, a phrase—“The Jewel of Monterey, California”—causes Dory to have another flashback of her parents and growing up.
“I remembered something!” Dory shrieks. “That's not possible. Is it? OK, is it like a picture, in your head? And then you think you've seen this before? I just used the word before which means I'm remembering something.My family! They're out there somewhere! I have to find them!”
Dory determines to track them down, and Nemo and Marlin agree to help their bubbly blue friend.
But how can they find Dory's family when she doesn't recall where she lost them? How can they help Dory on her journey home when no one knows where home is? And what if, when Dory finds her family, they aren't what she expected? These are the questions that drive their hilarious, danger-fraught search for home.
To the Ends of the Earth—or the Sea
The trio finally ends up at the Monterey Marine Life Institute, an aquarium and sealife rehabilitation complex, where Dory discovers she was born. But in a hapless twist of fate, she is captured and tagged by researchers and then dumped into a lab tank.
A white beluga whale, Bailey (Ty Burrell, Modern Family), and Hank the octopus (Ed O'Neil, Modern Family) aid in Dory's rescue from the tank and her search for her family. Another huge helper is the nearsighted whale shark Destiny (Kaitlin Olson, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), a friend from Dory's past.
“Dory? You and I were friends!” she exclaims. “It was so much fun because I'd tell you a story, then you'd forget it, and then I'd get to tell it to you over and over again!”
While Nemo gave us the themes of independence and learning to let go, Dory's story is all about perseverance and family ties. Although Marlin and Nemo may be frustrated with Dory's ditzy behaviour and scattered thoughts, they stick by her side all the way home. After all, Dory is their family now, even though she's a blue tang and they're orange and white clownfish. They realize it's not looks that bind a family together, but their commitment to one another. Nemo and Marlin prove their love when they go to the ends of the sea for Dory.
Home, Sweet Home
In an animated movie, a funny blue fish who can't remember her past makes us laugh. In our very real lives, having a God who forgets our past gives us a reason to not only laugh but shout for joy. God tells us in Psalm 103:12 that He has removed our sins as far away as the east is from the west. “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
Not only does the Lord forget our sins when we look to Him for an escape from our past, He helps us find our way “home.” Like Dory, we can all relate to feeling lost, not knowing where to turn for help. Similar to the faithful friend Nemo, Jesus does not leave us to wander through life alone, without a sense of security. Instead, He takes us by the hand and leads us to our true home and into the loving embrace of God, our heavenly Father. There, we find salvation and our true selves, as God's children.
FUN FACTS ABOUT FINDING DORY
• Finding Dory will be released during Pixar's 30th anniversary year, making it a milestone film for them.
• It took Pixar 13 years to release a sequel to Finding Nemo because the director Andrew Stanton believed that a follow-up movie would diminish the happily-ever-after feel of Nemo.
• Finding Dory is the fourth Pixar movie with its own franchise. The others are Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Cars.
• According to an interview Stanton gave Yahoo TV, he hand-picked Kaitlin Olson for Destiny's voice, saying he'd wanted to cast her in one of his films since he'd first heard her voice in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
• Of all the Disney/Pixar characters, Dory has the most Facebook likes: 25 million and counting!
(Photos: Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)