'Finding Dory' finds a long-awaited audience

I looked around the movie theater on the opening night of Pixar’s much anticipated "Finding Dory." Let me tell you what I saw.

I saw toddlers with their parents, a few edgy middle schoolers on a night out and the rest of the theater filled with late teens and adults.

These were the people whose hearts were first lost to Pixar’s "Finding Nemo."

In the second installment of the "Finding Nemo" saga, the audience was once again swept away in the current with Marlin, Nemo, Dory and more familiar friends from the previous film.

Contrary to what the title might suggest and following what we see in the previews, Dory isn’t actually lost. 

She’s on a quest to find her family and simultaneously, as cliche as it sounds, herself. She’s been lost in the sea of memories and time. 

In reconnecting with her past, Dory realizes there can be a coexistence between between her adopted family and her true family, whom she is desperate to rediscover after finally settling into her new home alongside Marlin and Nemo. Marlin and Nemo is the first true family Dory has had since she lost her birth family.

"Finding Dory" has already broken box office records over $135 million, beating the previously held record for animated film income in its first weekend in theaters. With the sequel premiering nearly 13 years after "Finding Nemo," there is interest from more than just a younger audience and demographic, reaching an audience spanning from toddlers and their parents to your fellow UNC classmates.

The film touches hearts. "Finding Dory" gives value to family life and the realization that if you ever lose yourself, you can always find yourself again in family.

The movie premiered June 17th and is available to watch in standard HD as well as 3-D screenings in select theaters. 

As Dory says, "Just keep swimming."


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