leeshajoy: (Default)
[personal profile] leeshajoy
So I just got back from seeing Finding Dory and I am OVERWHELMED. If the first movie felt like getting run over by the Feels Train, the sequel feels like getting run over by the Feels Steamroller.

I had heard vague rumblings on social media about how the movie was anti-ableist and supportive of those with disabilities. I went in cautiously optimistic. I was not prepared for what I found.

The movie is intercut with flashbacks about baby Dory (who is insanely adorable seriously I want 5000 plushies of her) with her parents teaching her how to navigate her tank home safely. We see her parents give her various coping mechanisms for dealing with her memory loss, some of which work better than others. We see them worry about her safety and whether she can ever really live independently. But one thing we never see is Dory's parents getting frustrated or angry at her, or resentful of having to accommodate her condition. No matter how many times they have to repeat the same lessons over and over again, they are always kind and patient toward their daughter. (Marlin does get angry at her early on, but the movie hammers home pretty quickly that You Do Not Do That, Ever.)

Those who know me well will already know that I have autism spectrum disorder (I was specifically diagnosed with Asperger's but that has since been folded into the ASD spectrum) and have struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. I'm living with my parents despite being in my mid-thirties, and it's not always a comfortable situation. We get angry at each other sometimes. We hurt each other's feelings sometimes. And one of my biggest recurring anxieties, rational or otherwise, is that one day I'll say or do the wrong thing and they'll decide they've had enough and kick me out for good. So you can imagine it was pretty poignant for me to see Dory worrying about whether her parents still remembered her, or would be angry at her for getting lost in the first place.

And then... The Scene. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about. Dory's lost in the ocean again, she can't remember what happened or what she's looking for... and she sees a shell. She sees a line of shells. Which leads to more lines of shells, dozens of them, all converging on what proves to be her parents' new home. Years, maybe decades ago, they taught Dory to follow a trail of shells to get back home, and ever since she was washed away they've been making new trails, extending them every day in the hopes that one day their daughter would see them and find her way back.

They never gave up on her.

They never assigned blame.

They just wanted to see their daughter again.



This movie. This movie is so important, guys.




(seriously i want a baby dory plushie put it in my arms right now)
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