Movies are usually liked because they are relatable. Seeing many movies that portray a character with cerebral palsy isn’t very common. There are some, but the character is either sick, dying or wants to die. Either way, they’re unrealistic. However, I felt very positive about the movie Finding Dory.
As a child in the late seventies and early eighties, movies about people with disabilities were scarce. I remember seeing one on television that showed a man falling for a woman in a wheelchair, but she ended up dying in the end anyway. Not very positive. More recently, there is a movie about a man who, despite being well-loved, educated and having a great life, commits suicide because he’s in a wheelchair. Again, it was a terrible representation of people with disabilities.
In Finding Dory, the subtle messages that were throughout the movie hit home for me even as an adult. Even though Dory doesn’t have a physical disability, common themes that I can relate to ran throughout. Dory, the main character, has a short-term memory loss as her disability. She was separated from her parents, and Dory seeks assistance to find her family. She is constantly apologizing and feeling bad for others having to deal with her. I can relate. My memory is just fine, but I need help several times a day and often apologize. I apologize for things that I can’t even control. I tend to feel so bad to ask for help that I might not even ask.
When having any disability, we want to be accepted and loved for who we are from others. But often, we forget to accept ourselves and need to stop apologizing for things we cannot control. We don’t need to apologize for everyday needs because that is all apart of being a person. Everyone has limitations, even though some choose to act like they don’t. We need to accept our limitations and stop apologizing (I know I do!) Asking for help, being reasonably patient and being kind are what we can, and need, to control.
I also liked Finding Dory because the movie taught that even when you need help, you aren’t helpless. I could relate again when Dory succeeded at things that she didn’t even imagine possible. I feel this way about small accomplishments, as well as when my big dreams come true. So many tried to make me believe that I couldn’t be a teacher, public speaker, writer, wife and mother. All of these were my goals, and when I did accomplish them, I felt a great sensation of success. A disability is only one aspect of who you are as an individual.
Dory’s friends and family didn’t always believe in her. I loved seeing the transition from not believing in her, to realizing she is much more capable than they thought. I know that feeling and it’s great to show your loved ones that you are much more capable than anyone thought.
I highly recommend Finding Dory to anyone, but especially those with disabilities, or who care about those who have disabilities.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.