WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Finding Dory
Thirteen long years after Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo won over the hearts of moviegoers across the world, its sequel Finding Dory has finally been released. Placing the spotlight on the lovable, but forgetful, titular blue tang (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), it tells the story of Dory trying to locate her parents Jenny and Charlie after fragmented memories return to her one day. Numerous segments of the film are flashbacks, depicting Dory as a youngster attempting to overcome her short term memory loss with the help of her family (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy).
Adult Dory is one of Pixar’s most popular creations, but baby Dory (voiced by Sloane Murray) was the real scene stealer in Finding Dory. Arguably the most adorable character the studio has put to screen, the little fish was a main reason why the movie was so effective (read our review). These particular sequences (especially the first moments) were an ideal way to flesh out Dory’s character and make her all the more sympathetic. On the heels of Finding Dory posting the highest-grossing debut for an animated film, Pixar has released a new clip from the film that gives fans a short glimpse at baby Dory. Watch it above.
Taken from the movie’s opening scene, it shows Dory going over a routine with her parents for when she goes off to play with the other fish. It’s hard not to smile at Dory’s pure delight about remembering her introduction (“I suffer from short term me-membory loss”), and there are nice moments of comedy when she forgets her father is pretending to be a “nice fish who wants to be your friend.” This clip also does a good job of highlighting the relationship between Dory and her parents; Jenny and Charlie are obviously trying to aid their daughter in any way they can and are clearly concerned about her when she starts to wander off towards the undertow.
Finding Dory was praised for its inspiring and heartfelt message, seen by many as a portrait of love that spoke to parents of children with disabilities. Much like the Marlin/Nemo dynamic in Finding Nemo, Dory, Jenny, and Charlie make up the beating heart of this latest installment, serving as the movie’s emotional core. The lessons present in the film are poignant and illustrate how parents can work with their youngsters so they’re better prepared to handle the outside world. The more touching moments of Finding Dory come from watching Jenny and Charlie design fun little rhymes and songs (like “Just Keep Swimming”) that are easy for Dory to remember, meaning she can still live a full life. Dory pulls off the difficult task of recontextualizing certain segments of Nemo to make that modern classic all the more impactful.
Prior to the film’s release, director Andrew Stanton spoke at great length how Finding Dory was the product of his own personal desire to know that Dory could always make her way back home if she got lost. By all accounts, he was very successful in that mission, and the narrative provided some closure and comfort for the millions of Dory fans around the globe. Once again, the Pixar formula delivered a rousing tale that could appeal to anyone, and it all started with a wide-eyed baby fish announcing herself to the ocean.
Finding Dory is now playing in U.S. theaters.