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Finding reasons to find Dory

Just like most people on earth I love watching movies, and animation is one of my favorite kind of movies. From that fact, anyone should be able to easily conclude that I love Pixar, and that is definitely not a wrong assumption. But unlike millions other people, Pixar’s top blockbuster, Finding Nemo, is one movie I dislike the most, and that thanks to one and only character … Dory.

Now, imagine my reaction when I heard that Pixar is making a sequel for one of their most successful title. It’s not The Incredibles, it’s definitely not A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story definitely doesn’t count. The long-awaited sequel appears in the form of none other than Finding Dory.

It’s not that I hate Dory. It’s just that as a character, Dory inflicts a thought that makes me feel like the biggest asshole in the world.

The first time I watched Finding Nemo was on 2003. That time, I knew nothing about short-term memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or anything related with that. But seeing Dory really annoys me the same way that I can be annoyed with ditzy person. Combined with her memory problem, Dory become a character that annoys me so much whenever she appears on the screen.

Jump to a few years after watching Finding Nemo, I learned more about Alzheimer’s and dementia (sadly) from 50 First Dates and Memento. Both movie shows a case of dementia in a quite extreme way, and it gave me new perspective about Dory, or to be precise, it gave me a new perspective about my thought on Dory.

After watching those movie, I assume that Dory has an Alzheimer’s and it makes me feel really bad because I have been hating a character with chronic disease. For years I thought I’ve become a person who hates thousands of people with a disease that affects them, and people around them, heavily and in a really sad way.

I kept feeling bad about the fact that I hate Dory, until this year I played a game called Firewatch, and had a talk about a friend regarding her problem with memorizing things. Both experience gave me a more humanized perspective about the disease. At the same time, it also gave me a new perspective about Dory, and it’s not a good one.

All of sudden I feel that Dory was a bad move from Pixar. Because, through Dory, they present a comedy with dementia as the foundation. Something that should be considered as offensive, but somehow Dory is loved by that friend of mine and also by some people with Alzheimer’s.

It makes me think again, have I always been wrong about Dory? Is she really just a character with dementia as a comedic foundation? Or should I just stop putting assumption about Pixar and Dory, and start rewatching Finding Nemo and watch Finding Dory now with adult mind?

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A boy trying to find himself and the others through words.

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