“Finding Dory”: Shattering Box Office Records & Disability Stereotypes
Disney Pixar has been known for embracing differences in their characters for generations. It is no surprise that their new film “Finding Dory” embodied these qualities as well. “Finding Dory” is a recently released movie that is connected to Disney Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” Both movies are about the life of a fish living in a sea anemone in the Great Barrier Reef, and the dangers and challenges they face. While the main plot is about the life of a fish, “Finding Dory” is also breaking common disability stereotypes. A recent article by CBS News discusses how the plot of “Finding Dory” shatters disability stereotypes.
The main character Dory, is a lovable but forgetful fish. She has suffered from short-term memory loss since she was a baby. In “Finding Dory,” Dory is on a quest to find her long-forgotten parents. She never lets her disability get in her way, or lets her disabilities weaken her faith.
Alyssa Rosenberg from the Washington Post states “The problem is not necessarily that Dory’s brain works differently from other people’s, but that other people aren’t willing to extend kindness or be patient with her, or work with her on the terms that her brain works.”
“Finding Dory” gives audiences a new spectrum of characters who thrive in the face of their disabilities. Hank the octopus is missing a tentacle, Bailey the beluga whale has trouble with his sonar abilities, and Destiny the shark has vision problems. While all of these characters suffer from a different form of disability, none of them let stereotypes around their disabilities stop them from finding their own special skills. “Finding Dory” not only shatters stereotypes about disabilities, but it also teaches youth that a disability can end up being your biggest strength.
Disney Pixar does an excellent job at changing the view of disability stereotypes. They turn disabilities away from being a tragic thing and make them into a positive difference. It encourages kids that human variety and different experiences can be a powerful thing.
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