After reading a lot about Finding Dory and it’s connections with various disabilities, I became intrigued and had to give it a looksie for myself.
Now we all know the many disabilities Dory and her fishy friends have from the trailers and the merchandise sold way before the movie came out. Nemo with his “Lucky Fin”, Hank the Octopus who is missing a tentacle and appears to suffer from PTSD, and our headliner Dory with her short term memory loss. All amazing yet subtle ways to introduce disability into a movie without going all preachy and obvious.
But what struck me as awesome were the two characters meant, at least to me, to represent legal blindness.
Bailey is a Beluga with echolocation issues as a result of a head injury, making his ability to navigate and see things far away difficult, up until the end where he eventually gets some of his ability back. The movie mentions a lot about echolocation being the “Strongest Pair Of Glasses In The World” and without them, it makes life for Bailey hard. And from someone first hand who needs literally the strongest pair of glasses in the world to see, I feel for the guy. Despite this, he overcomes in an awesome way.You’ll have to “sea” it to believe.
But what I loved the most was Destiny the Whale Shark, a nearsighted shark who spent much of her life in captivity at a Marine Institute since she and others like her on display couldn’t be released to sea. Although they had a few gags about her vision with her bumping into walls and having Bailey help her navigate her own tank from next door, she was always shown as a happy go lucky girl who was always willing to help her friends, even when they are long distance via pipes attached to different exhibits throughout the institute.
I won’t spoil the movie for you, other than that Destiny does live true to her name, and in a good way. Something many movies don’t show for a character with vision issues. Hence the nightmare that was Mr. Magoo a few years back. Destiny is made a hero, and that is quite empowering.
I loved all Finding Dory had to offer, showing that even fish with flaws can just keep swimming and make their lives an adventure bigger than the ocean.