What ‘Finding Dory’ Gets Right About Living With Disabilities

If you’ve been to our Tumblr page, then you’ve probably seen the video debate over how the movie Me Before You treats people with disabilities. To sum it up (Spoiler Alert!), some members of the disability community are horrified by the plot and its perceived implications—namely, the main character’s pursuit of doctor-assisted suicide. They feel as though it devalues the life of a person living with disabilities, but Pixar’s new film Finding Dory seems to do the exact opposite.

What ‘Finding Dory’ gets right about Living with DisabilitiesPhoto of gavel and flag

Finding Dory is the long-awaited sequel to the Pixar classic Finding Nemo. Instead of following the crazy adventure of a dad looking for his son who has been captured by divers, we are now following Dory, who suddenly remembers her family and goes on a quest to find them. One major obstacle stands in her way: the fact that she suffers from short-term memory loss.

Not many people realize this, but short-term memory loss is a real condition. It is often the result of a traumatic brain injury, and it can often keep people from working an everyday job. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore explore the same subject in 50 First Dates, where Barrymore’s character can only remember one day at a time. Now Pixar is letting a character who is similarly affected by this disability shine, and she’s not the only one.

A whale shark with myopia joins Dory on her journey home as does a seven legged octopus and Nemo—one of the protagonists of the last film who has a weak fin. Throughout their adventure it slowly comes to light that a supportive community that includes people with disabilities is really the key to everyone’s happiness. This is a stark contrast to the bleak portends of Me Before You, and it is a reminder of what is really important to living a happy life.

For more information about living a happy life with disabilities, keep following our blog, and go to our Facebook and Twitter pages to share with us your experiences and ideas about how to lead a normal and fulfilling life despite having a disability.


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