Finding Dory - 2016

Finding Dory - 2016
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: some mildly emotional scenes


Overview: The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, begins a search for her long-lost parents, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. The underlying lesson to be learned is how to live with a disability. This film promotes confidence in anyone with a disability, showing examples of how to thrive in life exactly how you were created.


Themes: family, getting lost, special needs, parenting, perseverance, friendship, death/grieving, healing

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Special needs. Do you know anyone with a disability? What questions do you have about people with special needs?

  • Nemo has an undersized fin. Hank (the octopus) is missing a tentacle. Destiny (the whale shark) is nearsighted. Bailey (the beluga whale) take a little longer to process information than others. Dory has short-term memory loss, so her brain works a little differently than most fish. Dory says she “suffers” from it, but it’s important to know that we shouldn’t have to “suffer” through the things that make us different.

  • Here's an article about How to Talk to Your Kids About Special Needs.


2. Getting lost. Have you ever been lost? What did that feel like? Who was looking for you? What do you think they were feeling when you were lost, and why?

  • At a young age, Dory was separated from her parents. Eventually, Dory remembers exactly how she got lost.


3. Healing. Do you know anyone in your life who might need to heal? How can you invite that person to church?

  • The Marine Life Institute believes in "rescue, rehabilitation, and release". The church can also be seen as a place where this happens. A kid-friendly way to put it is to “welcome, heal, and send.” It’s great to invite anyone to church, and then hopefully they’ll feel welcome with God's people. Then, they can heal from things that have hurt them in the past. Eventually, the news of Jesus is so awesome, they won’t be able to help but to go out and share the gospel to everyone!

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Nemo has an undersized fin. Hank (the octopus) is missing a tentacle. Destiny (the whale shark) is nearsighted. Bailey (the beluga whale) take a little longer to process information than others. Dory has short-term memory loss, so her brain works a little differently than most fish. Dory says she “suffers” from it, but it’s important to know that we shouldn’t have to “suffer” through the things that make us different. Do you know anyone with a disability? What questions do you have about people with special needs?


2. The Marine Life Institute believes in "rescue, rehabilitation, and release". The church can also be seen as a place where this happens. A kid-friendly way to put it is to “welcome, heal, and send.” It’s great to invite anyone to church, and then hopefully they’ll feel welcome with God's people. Then, they can heal from things that have hurt them in the past. Eventually, the news of Jesus is so awesome, they won’t be able to help but to go out and share the gospel to everyone! Do you know anyone in your life who might need to heal? How can you invite that person to church?


3. Hank (the octopus) originally makes it his life's mission to make it to Cleveland, so that he can be alone. He thinks that living by himself will keep him safe and protect him from difficulties. Sometimes, it might be easy to convince yourself that your heart will never break if you don't share it with anyone. Do you think you would be protected from pain if you were alone? What’s the difference between living by yourself and living with others?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:01 Dory’s parents teach her independence. This is one of a parent's primary roles. Parents are in a child's life to help them grow up into healthy people, giving back to others and making a difference in the world. How independent do you think you are? How are your parents helping you become more independent?


:09 Mr. Ray explains migration is about going back to where you’re from. Where were you born? Do you remember what that place is like? How did that place influence who you are today?


:21 Marlin angrily says “go over there and forget, it’s what you do best!”. This is a very hurtful and mean-spirited thing to say. Remember that the things you say really matter and they can either hurt or help people. Your words matter. What mean things have your friends ever said to you?


:34 Dory’s father reminders her of perseverance when he tells her “there’s always another way”. Perseverance is the ability to get through difficult tasks. What things have you struggled to do in the past so you gave up? Was there another way you could’ve tried to solve the problem or accomplish the task?


:46 When Marlin and Nemo are in a bind, they ask themselves “what would Dory do?”. They recognize that Dory has a lot of strengths, and her disability is actually a wonderful thing! By thinking like Dory, they were able to see the world in a new, beautiful way! Who are some people you know that express themselves/acts differently than you? What about their personality makes them awesome?


:53 Dory remembers exactly how she got lost. Have you ever been lost? What did that feel like? Who was looking for you? What do you think they were feeling when you were lost, and why?


:57 Bailey uses his echo-location to guide Dory. We can use the things that make us different to help people, like Bailey does. It’s also totally okay if we need a little extra help sometimes, like Dory does here. When was a time you needed a little extra help? Who do you think would help you when you’re in need?


:59 Marlin explains to Dory that she’s “shown him stuff he’s never dreamed of doing”. This was the first time Marlin encouraged Dory by telling her what she means to him. Who is someone in your life that has meant a lot to you? When was the last time you told them how much they mean to you?


1:03 Dory learns that her parents might be dead. What do you think she must be feeling right now? What questions do you have about dying?