First of all, before you start reading, please do me and Disney a huge favor: don't read this article until you have seen the movie in its entirety. Thank you.
If you haven't seen the hype already, Disney-Pixar's "Finding Dory" has been the movie to watch since it was released on June 17th. I myself even saw the film on two separate days because I loved it that much. But amidst all the hype, there was something about the film that struck a chord with many specific people, including myself. And as a result, I discovered two powerful forces proving that this movie was more than just a successful sequel to an already amazing Disney classic.
1. No matter what, you will find a way home to your family.
Now, I know that this is a cliché theme that Disney loves to use, but it always is different and impactful for each film. And as for the plot of "Finding Dory," the underlying message captures the hearts of those who feel lonely and isolated. Not everyone has a biological family to turn to. Not everyone has a place to call home or community. But family doesn't have to be mom, dad, brother and sister.
Family members are the people that take part in your life's journey from beginning to end. They come to your aid and support you when the going gets tough. And they show what it means to have unconditional love for you, whether your interaction with them is a only for a few moments or for the span of your entire existence to date. Even if you're just starting to become independent from your immediate family or you're moving forward from an ominous past, your true family will always be there to warmly welcome you with open arms when you least expect it.
2. Your worth is not based upon your disability but what you do in spite of it.
Bailey was able to use his echolocation to track down Dory despite his supposed headache. Destiny was able to communicate to Dory through the pipes despite her near-sightedness. Hank the "septopus" was able to carry Dory to the Open Ocean exhibit despite not having all eight tentacles intact. Nemo talked some sense into his overworked dad despite his lucky fin. Becky was able to bring Nemo and Marlin to safety despite her apparent frailness. And Dory was able to follow her flashbacks back to her family despite suffering from short-term memory loss. For those who are physically, mentally, and socially handicapped, these characters were deeply relatable. Disney finally understood.
As someone who copes with autism daily, I found myself relating to Dory's background story of being oblivious to how mentally and socially retarded I was compared to everyone else, and when Jenny began to cry I could only imagine of all the things my own parents had to put up with as I tried my best to be like everyone else but never could. But now that I've come such a long way, I've realized that my communication isn't limited to concrete forms of writing and speech but has matured into the abstract forms of art and music. And I'm going to be brutally honest, I cried -- both times -- when Dory found her parents because the odds were so much against Dory as they once were for me, but she overcame her obstacles by finding herself in the process. That is what made the entire movie for me.
I hope this gives you a new perspective on "Finding Dory" and a new outlook on loving others as they are. Use this as a reminder not to "diss" people's abilities. You never know what can come from their potential.