Pixar just keeps swimming.
The movie is a treat for us '90s kids as much as it is for true youngsters; it's got laughs, tear-jerking moments, and an on-point Sigourney Weaver cameo.
What more could you ask for?
And yet, as I sat watching the expansive underwater seascapes and new cast of oceanic companions, I was seriously taken aback with two characters: Gerald, the sea lion, and Becky, the loon.
Beware, spoilers ahead.
Finding Dory is all about celebrating differences, and differently abled
people fish. Dory's short-term memory loss -- both her frustrations with it, and the amazing way it allows her to think -- fuels the arc of the story.
The climax of the film comes when Marlin and Nemo, desperately trying to (you guessed it) find Dory, ask each other, "What would Dory do?"
Inspired by her spontaneity and optimism, they eventually make their way back to her with a new found respect for her forgetfulness.
But these other two characters -- Gerald and Becky-- they're differently abled, too... and yet they're not given a voice, they're the butt of jokes, and they never quite gain respect from their fellow sea dwellers.
Gerald doesn't talk, is made to look ridiculous with bulging eyes and a unibrow, and is bullied his two fellow sea lions -- Rudder and Fluke.
Then there's Becky who, unlike the other loons, is totally disheveled, doesn't speak but for weird squawking noises, and is met with open disdain from Marlin and the sea lions.
Viewers took notice of these two lesser-than characters.
This is Gerald, sea lion who reads as intellectually disabled in Finding Dory. He gets bullied in movie for laughs. pic.twitter.com/wecbQE3iZ2
— Elizabeth Picciuto (@epicciuto) June 19, 2016
Okay but real talk why do Becky and Gerald from finding dory look cracked tf out pic.twitter.com/CD2JHkRawO
— Dan Kats (@DanKats23) June 22, 2016
Just saw Finding Dory!It was amazing except for the Sea Lions that appeared to bully the Sea Lion that was different from them.#FindingDory
— Kasey McCall (@CarelessPickle) June 17, 2016
Gerald & Becky are the 2 characters I relate to most from finding Dory cuz they're cute but nobody appreciates them pic.twitter.com/to3zJ0PxtF
— cat (@catieidk) June 20, 2016
i just saw Finding Dory. honestly the shit the writers pulled with 'Gerald' the sea lion was irresponsible and unacceptable
— leaf puppy (@n_vermind) June 18, 2016
Whatever the writers intended, these two characters drew the most laughs from the crowd, all the while undermining the message that differences should be celebrated.
I can't help but feel that, while the movie was a success, Gerald and Becky will become memes that kids will reference while making fun of other kids.