Parent reviews for Finding Dory

Common Sense says

Delightful sequel promotes teamwork; some sadness, scares.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 37 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 75 reviews
Parent Written byNKross June 17, 2016

Inspirational tale about defying disability and the importance of family.

A great movie that entertains young children and carries important lessons about life, friends, family and living with disability. Children can learn we can help each other and be better if we try without fear.
Parent Written byJenHod July 5, 2016

Not the funny Dory from the first movie...too serious and dark of a movie!

When my husband and I read these reviews and saw that Finding Dory had 5 stars, we were like, "HUH?! First, if you want to see this movie, wait until it comes out on TV and see it for free. Don't waste your money in the theaters or renting it. It's not worth it. My husband and I and our 3 kids (3, 8 and 10), went, like most people, expecting the funny light-hearted Dory and Finding Nemo humor from the first movie. You will NOT find this in Finding Dory. Basically, Disney has turned the funny Dory with her short-term memory loss, into a tragedy and a disability that she must overcome (and apologize for a hundred times or so in the movie, especially the first 10 minutes). Not to spoil what's happening in the movie, but parents should know ahead of time that Dory loses her parents as a young fish because of her short-term memory (she can't find them). Losing your child or a child losing their parent in real life is pretty much any parent's/child's worst Disney/Pixar thought it would be a good idea to sit there and have us watch it play out on screen for almost 2 hours and to have their audience feel all those uncomfortable/intense/scary/sad feelings that would accompany such an experience, and then feel even worse for the child whose fault it was they lost their parents because of their disability, is beyond me. Yes, she finds them in the end because she is able to remember in her own Dory way, but there's about 10% (I'm being generous) fun/funniness/laughter/good feelings coming out of this movie and 90% sad/tragic/too serious and dark. They turn everything we laughed at in the first movie into tragedy and loss (literally with the flashbacks from the old movie), and you are left feeling guilty and uncomfortable for even laughing at Dory in the first movie. Yes, the message is nice about overcoming a disability and that is the only reason why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 or even a half, because though it's a good message, they presented it in the wrong way. It's like they tried to make a drama into a kids''s a very dark movie, more scary, too serious and uncomfortable than funny. Not to mention it's a cop out for Disney/Pixar to piggy-back so much on the themes/music/scenes of the first movie. It's just Finding Nemo in disguise except Dory is overcoming a mental disability whereas Nemo overcame a physical disability, and it's about 20x more of a darker mood and with way scarier/more intense scenes (way too intense in my opinion for 3-6 year olds). My husband and I literally sat there looking at each other wondering if we should leave (the first 10 minutes will tell you how the rest of the movie is going to doesn't get much better). Seriously, don't waste your money...and we were big Finding Nemo fans too (key word being 'were' as the flashback scenes from that movie in Finding Dory just ruin the mood of the first movie and you're left wondering why you were laughing at Dory in the first movie in the first place with how much they make you feel sorry for her since they turn her short term memory loss into a serious disability that turns into tragedy). I'm just glad I didn't have 4-6 year old kids as I think this movie would be way too intense for that age 8 & 10 year olds were old enough to not be scared by the emotionally intense scenes (though found them as uncomfortable as we did) and my 3 year old was young enough to really not understand much of what was going on, but still must've felt the intensity of pretty much the whole movie because she wanted to hold my hand and sit on my lap most of the movie (said she was scared). We were upset we wasted 2 hours and our money on this movie...don't waste yours! Wait til it comes out on tv to see it!
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bynoejacks June 24, 2016

Solid Story, but Emotional/Intense and Best Saved for Slightly Older Kids

(**SPOILER ALERT**) I strongly feel like I can't write a proper review of this particular movie without providing concrete examples. My kids, ages 8 and 10, loved this movie and laughed out loud many times at the jokes, particularly around the sea lions and the "birds and the bees" insinuation during the class field trip. Pixar did a great job addressing a less commonly known disability (our adult neighbor has it and struggles daily with having to explain it to people and structure her life around it). That said, there were many surprisingly intense/sad scenes, especially when Dory first finds herself alone and is ignored by many other fish when trying to seek help, even as a tiny "child." There is also a very emotional scene where it is implied that Dory's parents are dead (a fish tries to tell her what it means when injured fish don't come back from Quarantine). There is also a pervasive feeling of sadness during the times when Dory feels the need to apologize for her disability and also blames herself for "losing" her parents. At one point, a trusted main character shames her for her disability (bitterly telling her that forgetting is what she does best) although he later atones for it. The ending is beautiful but also wrenching, when it becomes clear that Dory's parents have frozen their entire lives in time, waiting in the same spot for her, day after day, putting out new shells, hoping she will eventually find them. Dory is an adult by the time they reunite, meaning that both Dory and her parents have lost her entire childhood together. As a parent, that struck me more than anything else in the movie and made my heart ache. Overall, my kids and I loved this movie and felt it was very well done and with great depth. It was such a refreshing change from all of the superficial, potty-humor movies being marketed to kids recently. I agree with CSM that age 6 plus is the appropriate age rating given the significant emotional aspect of this movie. And, although you could take a younger child to see it and many parts may just "go over their head", it would be such a shame to miss out on the full experience of this fantastic film.

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Parent Written byEgilbane June 24, 2016

Too scary and sad for little children

My four year old cried the whole time until we left.
Parent of a 4 year old Written byreviews5912 June 21, 2016

Sweet movie with sweet message

My 4 year old really loved the movie and got all the messages that it was giving. My only issue with it *spoiler alert*, was towards the end police were drawing guns. If you don't want your child to see anything of that nature then I would rethink going. It was for about 3 seconds and you could barely see them. No real scary parts other then Dory, Marlon, and Nemo being chased by an Octupus.

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Adult Written byCynthialovesDory June 20, 2016

Wonderful message of Family and I can do anything

This movie is so wonderful with its message that we can do anything we put our minds too and that wonderful family and friends are there. When Dory was determined to find her mom and dad she did not give up and despite the labels of having short term memory she did recall all the timeless moments with her parents. I think that Ellen Did a great job in voicing Dory. This film is a treasure.

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Parent of a 7 year old Written byKaitis1Mom June 26, 2016

Family because of love!

Finding Dory is an excellent movie. My daughter, age 7, has seen it twice and wants to see it again!! It's also entertaining and humorous for adults. It's quite the adventure for Dory, Nemo, & Marlin as they search for Dory's family. *SPOILER ALERT* ~ there's one scene in which Nemo is almost eaten by a giant squid, and Marlin & Dory rescue him and high-tail it to safety. This scene, very well, could be classified as "scary" for a younger or very sensitive child. Other than that, it's more adventure that's fun to watch. I definitely recommend this wholesome flick to all different types of families!!

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Parent Written byK B. June 27, 2016

Cute but not exciting

We took our 4 year old to see Finding Dory. Unlike Finding Nemo, there are no scary scenes in Finding Dory. The plot is fairly predicable. The characters are still cute and my child loved the Octopus - definitely the best character. Unfortunately, the character of Dory didn't meet our expectations. In Finding Nemo Dory was upbeat, adventurous, and fun. In Finding Dory she is cute but often very sad, forlorn and just lost. The plot also dragged at bit, to the point that my son whispered "this movie is really long." He's never done that with other Pixar movies like Finding Nemo and Rio 1-2. There are definitely cute moments, and the scene where Dory finds her parents using the shells is almost a tear jerker. But even with that the movie fell a little flat. On the bright side, there is absolutely nothing that would scare a young child, and the Pixar animation is perfect.
Adult Written bytdickensheets June 20, 2016

Keep Swimming

Good story.

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Parent Written bytoddmagos June 18, 2016

great disability movie but lots of scary parts

Lots of adventure and humor, and beautiful Pixar animation. There's a focus on living with disabilities, especially with Dory. Many of the other characters also have disabilities, like Bailey the Beluga, who can't use echolocation when he's first introduced, and Nemo. Also Destiny, the whale shark, who is near-sighted. We think this is a great, great movie. Stay put through the credits for another sequence! Some things could gross out younger viewers, such as the fish that always sneezes liquid on the tank.

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Parent Written byarmandoa June 22, 2016

Decent Family Movie, but...

We really enjoyed "Finding Nemo", and had high expectations for "Dory". Unfortunately, the length of this film may exceed both yours and your child's tolerance level. The movie is slow at times, and right when you think it's over, you find out there's another 15-20 minutes to go. The messages of compassion toward friends, family, and acquaintances are clear and to the point, without trying too hard; the movie adequately explains the importance of family and friendship without being preachy.

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Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byKimP 4 June 26, 2016


I am surprised that this got such a high age rating. This is a film for all ages and is a lot less traumatic then "Finding Nemo" so if your child has seen that and loved it, they will love this!! As a Disney addict, who has been watching since I was an infant when "Beauty and the Beast" came out. I know trauma and I know DISNEY is good at dressing it up in pretty packages kidnappings, child brides, beasts, dragons, evil witches and SWAT style raids? That is exactly why I watch every single DISNEY film before my kids and take reviews seriously so I hope this helps. This film is about a woman who is lost trying to find her family. That's it. There was one mildly scary scene which lasted 20-40 seconds much less than the shark chase in Nemo. Nemo did get hurt and real emotion came out of all of the main characters. We watched the consequences of actions/words, feelings of remorse and a family/extended family get stronger. We watched a woman who was lost not get rescued by some prince, who does everything for her; even though if any one needs a prince it is someone with short term memory loss. She did many things alone, asked help when needed and she fought through and over came all of her challenges. In the end you see as a character how much Dory has grown and while she occasionally had doubts she always pulled through and was strong overall.

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Adult Written byJamesTK July 27, 2016

Parents of Foster or Adopted children beware

Very confusing, sad and possibly traumatic movie for adopted or foster children for the following reasons: Dory's sad and frightening situation is "her fault" (her memory loss disability), Dory's parents are looking for her and want to be reunited as a family(most birth parents are not), Audience is invited to share and sympathize with feelings of abandonment, loss of hope and continual disappointment of not finding or getting to parents (parent ' s love and protection.
Adult Written byDiligence August 31, 2016

Dory looks like a boy, has no personality from Nemo Movie

I did not enjoy this murky movie, and neither did my little one, who asked to leave after about 30 minutes. Most of it is too monotonous for a child, with Dory forgetting what she is doing, and where she is going, due to memory defects. While most (all?) of the characters in the movie are devoid of outwardly male and female traits usually seen in cartoons, Dory looked so much like a male I couldn't help but wonder what their intentions were in producing this type of a character. Dory's mother looks far more feminine, while Dory appears to favor her father. It's unnecessarily confusing for a child, especially one who isn't familiar with the previously happy, friendly, female character from Nemo. While it was admirable to include a character with a disability, the type of disability was a detriment for the enjoyment of both children and adults. Also, it contained a lot of emptiness over losing parents, and I found my child clinging to me after a while. Wait for this one to come out on the Disney channel with commercials in between to break up the monotony.
Grandparent of a 5 year old Written byGary K. August 27, 2016

More upsetting than expected

This was a genuinely scary movie, and I had to take my 5-year-old grandson out midway through because he was too upset. It had the typical scary moments of sudden appearances of potentially dangerous predators. But watching the anxieties of a creature (Dory) with diminished short-term memory added an extra layer of anxiety, an atypical and frightening layer.
Parent of a 11 year old Written byNicola T. August 13, 2016

A fintastic film!

Great film, Lived up to the first film and even found it better. Had a great message that you can do whatever you put your mind to and is a thrill for all ages. Would recommend to parents, and adults alike.

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Adult Written byBillu C. March 28, 2018

chilli urself

This ,mmone is so deprssion i cried the firts 5 minutes. but howeve i thin l ellen vagineress should not viuce dortha it is so oblivious that it is ellan and not dortha. way too much swering.. ~magical fingers~

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Adult Written byYukiteru December 27, 2016

Dark and Dreary Flick with a Poor Message

First, I'm guessing that the "poor message" bit in the title intrigued you. How can I say that? This film has been praised for the themes of raising children, and I can stand by it. I'm talking about how this movie says, word for word, that's it's good not to plan! This is about a minute before Marlin and Nemo jump out of their tank and onto the pavement. How can this be a good message to send? For other points, the movie was very sad and dreary. There was hardly any comedy, and most of it was provided by Hank. I regret watching this movie.
Parent Written bySlgada August 2, 2016

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Parent of a 14 and 17 year old Written byLance6 August 6, 2016

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