I’ll get right to it, friends—I absolutely loved Finding Dory! I didn’t have super high expectations as sequels are not usually my fave but I fell in love with Dory’s story. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Here’s a small spoiler-free synopsis: Dory begins to wonder about her family and where she comes from. Marlin and Nemo (plus some new and old friends) help her cross the ocean to find her past.
(Wow. I can’t believe I did that in two sentences!)
Now. Here’s a small spoiler-free paragraph of why it’s worth seeing with all your kiddos: Finding Dory was all about parents loving their kids, friends becoming like family, doing hard things for others and never giving up. It showed parents in a good light, had lots of fun adventure and no bathroom humor or words-you-don’t-want-your-kids-repeating (that I can think of). There were minimal tense/scary scenes. It was absolutely full of love!
OK. Now some spoiler-ish specifics and conversation starters. Ready? If not, come read this part after you’ve seen the movie!
(PS: If you’re new to one of my reviews/discussion guide, I like to use movies as conversation starters about family, relationships, God and His Word. See my other movie reviews for more info.)
WHY YOU AND YOUR KIDS WILL WANT TO SEE FINDING DORY THIS WEEKEND:
Piper. The short before the movie is the most adorable thing ever! Just look at this little guy!
He learns to hunt for food but only after a big ocean scare. It is so so fun—especially after our beach adventure a few weeks ago!
To talk about:
<SPOILERS> Piper was scared when he got hit by the first wave. But once he learned to get inside of it, he discovered how awesome a wave (and the ocean) can be. What scary thing are you afraid of? What big thing do you not want to do EVER? It might be THE thing that you will love the most. It might be something God has for you to do. It seems scary now but if you’ll take a step of faith, you’ll see God’s protection and provision! (See 2 Corinthians 5:7, Jeremiah 29:11)
2. Baby Dory. You guys! Dory begins to have some memories and we see her as a baby! OHMYCUTENESS. When we left the theatre Lydia said, “I want a baby Dory stuffed animal!” Seriously that cute.
3. Dory’s Parents. Dory’s mom and dad are my new heroes!
<SLIGHT SPOILER> As Dory begins to remember her family we see how her parents were training, helping and leading her to live and thrive despite her short-term memory loss disability. They sang songs to help her remember important things, they places shells on the ground to lead her home and they never ever told her it was her fault or that something was wrong with her.
It was a perfect example of empowering your kids–especially kids with special needs. I loved everything about her parents.
<HUGE SPOILER> When Dory is lost as a child, her parents look for her. Then realizing they should stay put so Dory can find them, they begin to make shell paths leading from all over the ocean to their home. They do this for years. And when Dory finally finds them, they recognize her from a distance and say they always knew she’d find them.
To talk about: <HUGE SPOILER> Read the story of the Lost (Prodigal) Son in Luke 15. How does the dad in the story remind you of Dory’s parents? God is always waiting for you. He’s not mad at you. He doesn’t want to punish you. He loves you and is always looking for ways to bring you to Himself and His home.
4. New and Old Friends. Crush and Squirt make and appearance! Righteous! Bailey, the beluga and Destiny the whale shark are new friends with their own disabilities. They help Dory and learn they can do more than they think.
To talk about: Do you have a hard time doing something like Destiny’s eyesight, Bailey’s echolocation or Dory’s memory? Did you know God put your parents (and other trusted adults) in your life to help you with it? He also wants to help you with it! You can ask him to help you overcome that problem–it might be hard just like jumping over a wall like Bailey and Destiny did but he will empower you! (See Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9)
WHY YOU AND YOUR KIDS MIGHT NOT WANT TO SEE FINDING DORY:
- You don’t like fish.
- You hate beautiful ocean scenery.
Seriously, I can barely think of a reason. OK. Here’s a couple of things… <SLIGHT SPOILERS>
- Dory, Marlin and Nemo get chased by the scariest squid I have ever seen in my life. What kind of squid has a beak?! *shudder* It was akin to the shark scene in Finding Nemo without the bonus of happy sharks.
- Dory is very small when she loses her parents. It was very real when she first realized she was alone. If your kids are terrified of being lost or have been lost they may really identify with this emotion.
I think that’s it! There’s one other little part about Marlin putting expectations on Dory and Nemo getting kinda mad about it. (It was a good story-line, not bad! It was about forgiveness and bravery. But right this minute I can’t remember it all because it kinda pales in comparison to the other Dory-centric parts of the movie to me. If I see it again this weekend, I may update this!)
OK. So, who’s going to see it this weekend? Lemme know what conversations you had with your kids and threads of truth you saw in the movie!
I attended Finding Dory as a member of the media. All thoughts and words my own. All photos property of the Walt Disney Company.