All Things Finding Dory {a review}

When I realized they had beyond earned enough money for our entire family to go to the movies {especially if we did the planned matinee}, I sat the down to talk about how cool all of this was. After several conversations about God's goodness and generosity toward us, we tossed around a lot of ideas about what do do with the left over money. We all decided that our youngest siblings wouldn't handle the movie theater very well, we would still have TONS left over, and wanted foster kids, who might not otherwise have the chance to GO to the movies, to have the chance by sharing what God had blessed us with.

After my kids' extreme efforts to find work-ethic and generosity, we went to see Finding Dory last week. Our local theater has matinee movies on Tuesday for $5.50 each. WINNING! We splurged and bought the kids a big bucket of popcorn {not something we normally do} AND ate out for lunch after the movie. While we sat at lunch, we shared about our $33 gift card with a private group of foster families, offering it to the first person to comment. To my surprise, less than 5 minutes later we had a couple commenters and set up a time to deliver it before we even headed home. The kids got to take it in to the foster mom at her work. So Cool!


Now that my frugal-self got the excitement out of the way about the price, let me just give my one sentence review of Finding Dory:

The adventure of Finding Dory is as adorable as Finding her buddy Nemo years ago with lots of laughs, great animation {of course}, attention-grabbing story line that stands alone but weaves in well with the original, and heart-warming teachable moments that you and your littles will LOVE so I think it was totally worth the theater pricing, great conversations after we left, and will likely purchase the DVD to add to our collection when it comes out to watch over and over again.


Now, for the longer review:

Let's start with the possible negative aspects of finding Dory.

Dory's mentions often that she feels her disability, short-term-memory-loss, is THE reason she lost her family. For Dory, this is very much sad but very true. She struggles with being a part of a mixed family and longs to know her "real family." Dory discusses what "home" means, deciding home is where they're from. Nemo and [mainly] Marlin struggle with Dory's need to know about, find, and be a part of her "real family."

If you have a child with a disability of any kind {they may see being special as a bad thing}, are part of a blended family, are trudging through a divorce {their misplaced guilt may be amplified}, or have children in your family as a result of foster-care/adoption {they may have false or unhealthy hopes of reunification}, you may need to make a personal decision to

  1. prescreen the movie without children to know IF your child(ren) should see it
  2. choose not to see this movie if your children already struggles with feeling "responsible" for hardships in your family
  3. see it as a family and plan to use this Discussion Guide to wade through and redirect some of those tough issues

Dory does find herself in a couple fairly scary scenes. One where she is [of course] lost. If your child has separation anxiety or has experienced being lost before, this may be even more intense. There is also a great chase scene similar to the shark one in Finding Nemo but this guy is a bit more savage and doesn't leave with redeeming qualities. At one point, my eldest daughter was so caught up in the movie, a disappointing scene had her leaning into me saying, "Mamma, I really hope this is the middle of the movie and not the end!".

Let's end with why I think this movie is stankin' adorable!

Baby Dory- OMFruitcake she's the best. Giant eyes, sweet dispossession, and that voice! Dory has flashbacks throughout the movie, triggered by all kinds of thing, giving us the chance to find out why Dory is so awesome as a grown-fish.

Dory's parents are those roll-your-eyes, wanna-be-them, amazing parents who are crazy patient, creative, and gentle. Nemo and Marlin have a smaller roll but are just as great with their funny banter and silly predicaments. You get a glimpse at some of the old characters and the new friends you meet along the way are quality as well.

There's fun suspense and ends well; just the way I like movies- all wrapped up with a pretty bow.

If you have a child with a disability of any kind, are part of a blended family, are trudging through a divorce, or have children in your family as a result of foster-care/adoption, you may need to make a personal decision to use this movie for teachable moments like when

  1. Dory remembers the great parts of her history but is able to "just keep swimming" in her new found life
  2. Dory takes responsibility for things, owning it and learning to healthy ways to compensate but is able to see how her entire family [new and original] don't blame her for anything and still love her unconditionally all the while agreeing that we aren't made to do things alone- we need one another's abilities to make it
  3. Dory learns that family is something you build with those you love and love you back

I can't express how much I love Oh Amanda's Family Discussion Guide and review. I am a firm believer that we are meant to "find truth in the secular." Hope you love the movie as much as we did. Tell me you favorite parts!


Finding Dory teaches us all lots of great lessons if we're looking for them.

Truth in the secular to look for:

  • How to better love those who have disabilities, have lost family, and who long to be apart of family.
  • How clues from our past can shape our future; that's the point of learning history, to learn form the past.
  • How limitations are not a bad thing. It's just one more way God shows us we are supposed to be living in community, giving and taking to form One Body that gives a glimpse at the vastness of our creator.
  • How forgiving and forgetting isn't just a nice thought; it's the idealistic goal to live a healthy life: while Dory's "no memories; no problems"  theory isn't a possibility for most of us, it does show us how letting go of a grudge should feel.
  • How confidence brings JOY and in turn interaction with others becomes fluid; insecurity keeps us from healthy community.
  • How "just keep swimming" is a biblical idea; run the race before you, don't fall asleep, through Christ- all things are possible.
  • How "our hope is that every [foster child] we care for will be ___ and return home.
  • How family is not just a pet-store where we "just pick one" that fits into our American dream or picture perfect family portrait.
  • How God is capable of using "lost ones" not just the already-Christ-followers, and most of the time they have the most to offer; as American Christians if someone doesn't have "christian" morality stamped on them, we don't think they have anything to offer us {as if we have it all together}- Hello!? God used a donkey; get over yourself.


For more good articles on Finding Dory, check these out:

Exceptional Kids
Animal Safety
Autism & Dory

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Team Jesus or Team Me?

My children sit in the backseat squabbling. With months of travel under their belts they've run out of games, drawing pads, and have flat worn out the portable DVD players, and me! Now...they pick fights. That's entertaining, right?
road trip

Izzie, middle child {wamp wamp wamp} apparently has nothing better to do than to find interesting ways to become noticed. Drama Queen. Her new favorite? State falsehoods. What is that you say? Being a doober! Izzie will, mid-conversation, suddenly state that the grass outside the window is blue. Yep. That's right. Complete and utter lie. Who cares, you may be thinking? Why would she do that? Because MAGGIE cares!

Maggie, first child {wamp wamp wamp} will melt at the first inkling of something false. She thrives on truth, memorization, and basically being right. She will freak out!!! You know the kicking, screaming, thrashing, mom-Izzie-is-saying-things-that-aren't-true kind of freaking out. She will not cease until all is right with the world defense of that poor GREEN, not blue, grass.

Izzie, she could care less what the correct name is for the color of the grass. She is enjoying life, cruising along on her road trip, laughing to herself over the free entertainment she has created for herself.

Jamin, youngest child {wamp wamp wamp} doesn't have a care in the world and, in between laughing at the girls squabble, is making sure his own juice cup is topped off.

Our Godly-parenting solution? "Maggie, who cares?!? Is Izzie right? No. Does it matter? Not really. She knows she's wrong, you know she's wrong, we know she's wrong, she knows we know she's wrong. Your screaming at her doesn't change any of that. Hush."

Hmmmm, interesting. God always teaches me intriguing things when my kids are being annoying boogers.

Same Sex Marriage...or any controversial topic for that matter,
some of you may already see where I'm going with this...maybe I don't need to explain...

Drama filled trips with my littles is almost as fun-filled as watching adults create drama out of literal thin air on Facebook...not!

"But they're wrong & its a sin!"

Christians, who cares?!?

Are they right? No. {based on scripture alone not your stinky opinion}

Does it matter? Not really. {God's opinion & record of wrong is the only thing that matters}

They know we believe its wrong and a sin.
You know we believe its wrong and a sin.
They knows we know we believe its wrong and a sin.

Is your screaming, ranting, protesting, changing profile pictures AT them really gonna change any of that? <Tweet This>

Setting up "battle lines" is pure silliness and is accomplishing nothing but making sure everyone in the "car" knows we know we're "right". Battle lines imply we're in a war and we are, but not against the people picking fights with. {We wage war not against flesh and blood 2 Corinthians 10:3-4} We are not soldiers defending God either. I mean, really...He doesn't need defending and by bwahahaha.

We are actually messengers of his grace and goodness. {2 Corinthians 5:20 says, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."}

We have escaped the prison of sin and death, and now are assigned the rescue mission of aiding the POW's still captive.
The problem comes when the POW fires at us. They don't realize they're a prisoner, and they view us as a threat coming to do them harm. When we "fire back" at them, we've drawn up battle lines that we shouldn't. We are to continue to plead with them to come to Christ (to escape the prison that is sin).

It would just be mean of us to stand outside the prison taunting them with picket signs announcing their captivity.

Attempt rescue missions. That's all we can do. Debating never changes a point of view. Debates just keep points: a record of rights and wrongs.  If we love, viewing everyone as a friend to be rescued, the mission will change our tactics.

This week, of what should be reflection, lets reevaluate which team are we are standing with. Team Jesus: meekness, humility, love, truth. OR Team Me: aggressiveness, defense, pride and boasting in the name of "truth" which comes out, not as love, but hate? The chose is yours. And no, you don't have to wear the t-shirt.

If this post resonated with you and/or know someone who needs to hear, not all who call themselves Christians are tools, please share.
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