Finding Dory was mostly intended as a ‘friendly’ alternative to seeing the latest Bourne film (totally not my scene). However, once we got past the first half an hour, which was quite slow, it turned out to be a pretty good film!
Finding Nemo obviously was about Nemo, so there had to be some ‘catch up’ involved to set the scene in order for Dory’s story to make sense. This bit was a tad slow, although the film is aimed at kids, not adults, so it might have been the perfect pace for them. In general though, it was a long film for a children’s film. The gist is, Dory gets lost and and Nemo and his Dad have to find her. But, as the story unfolds, it turns out that Dory got lost years ago from her parents, so it becomes a story of her finding herself as much as about her being found.
Once the story moved to the ‘fish hospital’, the pace picked up and a lot happened. (Spoiler: they find Dory). I liked the octopus character, an unlikely but warming friendship, and the perfect ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ moral right there. There was some pretty awful parenting from Nemo’s dad, with a clear reminder that adults do get it wrong sometimes and can learn a lot from their children. Plus some great team work involved with the help of a shark and a whale (I loved these characters) showing that help can come from even unlikely or unexpected sources.
Two main lessons came out of the film for me: everyone has value and a ‘place’, even those with poor memory (or SEN if I put my teacher hat on); and family is just as much about who you choose as who your parents are. There was a lovely moment at the end where Nemo said something along the lines of ‘Dory would work it out, she never gives up. Think about what Dory would do and we’ll solve the problem’. And he was right- everyone came together as a team to help find Dory and for Dory (and everyone else) to realise her value is worth more than being ‘just another fish in the sea’.