Today: June 20, 2024
DO I KNOW YOU? -- In Disney•Pixar's "Finding Dory," everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), encounters an array of new—and old—acquaintances, including a cantankerous octopus named Hank (voice of Ed O'Neill). Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

Janet’s Animation Corner: Loving Dory

Can I just start off by saying how much I love going to the cinema? It’s truly one of the most magical places to me. As a natural born dreamer (self-professed air-head) I love being completely absorbed in another world, empathising, growing in wonderment. It’s like the cinematic experience takes everything that’s good and perfect about a film and escalates its ability to WOW. So when Dolby invited me to come and experience (not view, EXPERIENCE) Finding Dory earlier this month I of course jumped at the opportunity. Not only was it a screening of one of the most awaited animations of 2016, it was the chance to view the film filtered through the Dolby Atmos audio technology. If you’ve never tried the Atmos Experience, I suggest you do. It may have been slightly too loud for my nine year-old’s ears at times but I personally loved that crystal clear, rich audio which enhanced every moment. But I digress. In fact, I digressed from the get-go because what I really wanted to discuss was Finding Dory itself.

My interest in the sequel to Finding Nemo has peaked a troughed many times since first hearing it was in the making. It’s ‘rollercoastered’ somewhere from sheer excitement, to disappointment following the release of the trailer. (I mean, was I the only one who was left with the ominous meh feeling surrounding the narrative?) My interest looped through that cycle of lackluster meh-ness to squeal-worthy eagerness time and time again. So when I finally sat down to soak in the magic I was worried disenchantment was on the horizon. Not the case. I can honestly say I was a crying, emotionally feeble wreck five minutes in. Translation: Finding Dory ticked all the right boxes.

The film drew me in instantly and, once again, I was reminded of why I love these characters. Just how much these fictitious little sea-dwellers mean to me and why their underwater plight is so important. I guess, in hindsight,  that’s no real surprise. Pixar have always been good at creating that kind of starry-eyed wonderment. But what I loved most about this film, what made it much more relatable – almost precious in a way – was the way in which it explored the theme of individuality.

I felt that, with Finding Nemo, it was all about how not to let what others see as your shortcomings limit what you are capable of. Just to break that down quickly in case you’ve forgotten, the reason Nemo went missing in the first place was because he defied his father, Marlon. Why did he defy him? Because Marlon felt that Nemo’s smaller fin made him more vulnerable. That he was less able than the average fish.

This time round it, was Dory’s ‘inabilities’ that were under the spotlight. Her poor memory caused her to lose track of more than just recent events. It also contributed to her losing her family. So, of course, now the crew are on the hunt to re-connect her with her with her estranged parents. However Finding Dory quickly stops being about a simple reunion. Without completely ruining the tenderness of the subplot, it’s about how Dory achieves something grand. Not in spite of her limitations – but because of them. How she uses her disability as an ability and relies on her own strength to lead her to greatness.

If Finding Nemo was about not letting your disability define and limit you, Finding Dory is about embracing who you are in it’s entirety and using that to drive you to success.

Have you ever used the phrase ‘just keep swimming’ when life gets hard? If you’re anything like me the answer to that is yes. However I think, from now on instead of simply encouraging myself to keep plugging on, I’ll ask myself ‘what would Dory (or in my case, Janet) do?’ and remember that I have all the answers I need.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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