This morning, Disney/Pixar released its first teaser trailer for next June’s Finding Dory. It looks like we’re all in for a fun time:
This teaser probably won’t reach Internet-breaking levels of frenzy the way Disney’s other big new trailer did, but it has a lot of things going for it:
- How great was it to hear Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), Albert Brooks (Marlin) and Alexander Gould (Nemo) all reprising their roles? To my surprise, I found myself grinning like a fool just a few seconds in. My son and I watched Finding Nemo many times when he was little (is that movie really a dozen years old already?), and hearing these characters again brought lots of good memories back to the surface.
- Speaking of memories, and given Dory’s well-established problems with holding on to what’s happened to her, it’s not too surprising that memory will be one of this movie’s dominant themes. As Christian fantasy fans (and if a movie about talking fish doesn’t qualify as fantasy, I don’t know what does), we can appreciate how much memory matters. “I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord,” says the psalm-singer, when confronted with trauma and despair; “I will remember your wonders of old” (Psalm 77.11, NRSV). Memories of God’s love for us and for all God’s people can sustain us when times are tough. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past helps us remain faithful to God in the present.
- As with many Disney/Pixar productions, family will also feature prominently. I was intrigued to hear Dory, in her sleep, telling her “mama” not to cry. Why was Dory’s mother crying? Where are Dory’s mother and other family members now? Will Dory leave the “found family” she has with Marlin and Nemo in order to rejoin her biological one? (I’m guessing no—maybe the “found family” will only grow larger!)
I’ll be especially interested in watching how the themes of memory and family intersect. Dory may not be able to remember her family consistently, but the good news for Christian fantasy fans—and for everyone— is that, even when we forget God, God doesn’t forget us:
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
—Isaiah 49.15 (NRSV)
Finding Dory swims into U.S. cinemas on June 17, 2016.