Finding Dory Parent Review

This animation offers an amazing visual feast, along with a plot full of food for thought.

Overall A

In this sequel, Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres) is the one looking for her family -- loved ones she had forgotten about. So this time Nemo and Merlin (voices of Hayden Rolence and Albert Brooks) agree to help the memory-challenged tang fish find her way home.

Violence B+
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

Finding Dory is rated PG for mild thematic elements.

Movie Review

Picking up where Finding Nemo left off, Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks), his son Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence) and their good-but-forgetful-friend Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres) are happily settled in the clown fishes’ coral reef. Then a discussion about aquatic animals migrating home suddenly reminds the blue tang fish that she once had a family. Eager not to let the memory slip away, Dory determines to search for her mother and father (voices of Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy). Although she usually doesn’t remember important things, Dory knows she will need someone to go with her so she can stay focused on her quest.

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Reluctantly the risk-adverse Marlin and the naïvely-optimistic Nemo agree to accompany her. With only a cloudy clue about a California location, the trio crosses the ocean. However, once within the shadow of their destination (which turns out to be an aquarium for injured and/or endangered marine life), Dory’s reckless enthusiasm, coupled with her memory lapses, soon separates the group. And that leaves the father and son desperately trying to find Dory, while she distractedly seeks the whereabouts of her parents.

Both hijinks and peril ensue as the befuddled Dory evades predators, swims in and out of trouble, and befriends an octopus named Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill) who is on the run from the Institute’s staff. While the danger never seems too intense, the many times the tang fish gets lost and is left all alone may generate some emotional destress for young audience members – especially if any of them have ever had the misfortune of misplacing their caregivers.

Yet in true Disney/Pixar style, this animation offers an amazing visual feast, along with a plot full of food for thought. Using Dory’s short term memory loss as a spring board, the script explores learning disorders and other types of challenges. While her friends and some strangers aren’t always as patient with her shortcomings as they could be, the feisty fish’s determination in the face of obstacles soon solicits their sympathy. Meanwhile, her disability becomes a motivation for her to find other hidden abilities. Her example is an inspiration to all, because everyone comes with faults and failings – including many of the other depicted characters. The trick is to learn how to have our strengths compensate for our weaknesses, while in the process remembering to show kindness and understanding to those who have imperfections different from our own.

With a minimum of content issues and plenty of creative humor, this powerful message, plus themes of teamwork and the importance of friends and family, are sure to make Finding Dory unforgettable.

Directed by Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane. Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release June 17, 2016. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Finding Dory here.

Finding Dory Parents Guide

Dory has a short term memory problem. Which of the other characters also have disabilities? How do these challenges affect them? What things do they do to work around their handicaps? How do these shortcomings help them discover their hidden strengths?

What would you do if you became lost? What techniques do Dory’s parents use to try and help her remember important information? Could any of these ideas be helpful for you?

Hank does some amazing things to evade the Institute’s staff. While the character depicted here is a bit of an exaggeration, the octopus really is an intelligent creature that can change color and squirt ink. Learn real facts about the octopus.

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