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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will learn about the various marine animals featured in the movie -- like the fact that sea otters cuddle, that octopi "ink" themselves when threatened (and have three hearts), that loons imprint, etc.
Parents never give up on their kids. Home is more than a place, it's wherever your family/loved ones are. Family and close friends don't let you just "go," and they love you unconditionally. The movie also makes it clear that disabilities don't define you, that you learn how to live with them (whether it's Dory's memory loss or Nemo's small fin). Teamwork and collaboration are also promoted, as it's the only way Dory and Marlin/Nemo accomplish their missions.
Positive Role Models
Dory perseveres in her mission despite her short-term memory loss. She enlists help and brainstorms ways to problem solve based on instinct and whatever her present circumstances are. Marlin and Nemo help Dory even though it puts them at risk, and they won't stop looking for her because she's family. Dory's parents are supportive and loving and made thoughtful decisions in case she forgot her way and might eventually make her way back to them. The supporting creatures help the protagonists in various ways. Teachers are wonderful and caring.
Violence & Scariness
Some emotional, potentially disturbing scenes/sequences. Early in the movie, young Dory, separated from her parents, looks for them all over the ocean (until she forgets what she was looking for). Peril and danger: A giant squid grabs Nemo and tries to eat him; Marlin and Nemo must temporarily struggle, without water, to cross a courtyard; Dory's friends think she's been eaten, but she's just being hugged. The aquarium transport truck drives wildly and gets into an accident, but no one appears injured. Some slapstick moments and other near misses, as well as additional separations between friends, some of which are upsetting.
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No swearing, but some substitutes for curse words (i.e., instead of "crap," Hank uses "carp"). One "suck it."
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Products & Purchases
Although there are no real product placements in the movie, all Disney-Pixar titles have a ton of tie-in merchandise, from video games and apps to toys, clothes, accessories, and gifts.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Finding Dory is the sequel to Pixar's 2003 classic Finding Nemo. This time, instead of a parent searching for a child, the story revolves around Dory looking for her family. Like most Pixar movies, there are some very emotional moments, including an early montage in which young Dory -- separated from her parents (a situation that may very well upset younger kids) -- searches the ocean for them ... until she forgets what she was looking for. There are other stressful separations between friends, too, as well as some peril and tense moments (like a predator giant squid the characters need to get away from and action-packed escape antics), as well as slapstick and near misses. But in the end, the "happily ever after" adventure is still appropriate for viewers of virtually all ages, and Dory's story is ultimately uplifting, as is the movie's treatment of her disability, which is never ignored. Finding Dory's themes of teamwork, perseverance, family, friendship, and unconditional love are relatable for even the littlest kids. (Tip: Be sure to watch through the end of the credits to see the extra scene featuring friends from the first film!) To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This poignant, beautifully voice-acted adventure is everything a sequel should be: emotionally satisfying, full of lovable old and new characters, and, just as Dory would want, utterly unforgettable. DeGeneres' performance is pitch perfect -- as is that of her younger counterpart (Sloane Murray) in flashbacks to Dory's youth growing up with her loving parents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy), who cleverly work around her memory condition by encouraging ways she can remember to get back home. DeGeneres' voice beautifully evokes Dory's loneliness, sadness, wonder, confusion, hope, and joy.
Audiences will also love new characters in Finding Dory like the chameleonic, curmudgeonly Hank, who wants Dory's tag that grants her transfer to the Cleveland Aquarium as a way of avoiding his eventual release back into the ocean. Dory also reacquaints herself with her old pal Destiny (Kaitlyn Olson), a nearsighted whale shark, and meets Destiny's neighbor, Bailey (Ty Burrell), a beluga; the whales have a fun, bantery vibe. And a pair of sea lions voiced by The Wire co-stars Idris Elba and Dominic West provides comic relief as they help Marlin and Nemo hitch a ride into the institute via a kooky loon, Becky. Although Dory's adventure is subtler than Nemo's, it tugs at the heart strings; teaches valuable lessons about disabilities, teamwork, and the unconditional love of family; and is as memorable a movie as Pixar's finest.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.