|“||Just keep swimming!||„|
|~ Dory's inspirational catchphrase.|
Dory is the deuteragonist of Finding Nemo, and the main protagonist in its 2016 sequel, Finding Dory. She is a Pacific Regal Tang who helps a widowed clownfish named Marlin on his journey to Sydney to rescue his lost son Nemo. She is frequently absent-minded (she calls it short-term memory-loss).
The friendly female can read and is very happy to have a companion. Marlin takes advantage of her short attention-span, but he later regrets it when it physically hurts her.
She is voiced by Ellen DeGeneres.
In Finding Nemo, Dory helps Marlin on his journey to rescue Nemo while heading to Sydney. She is first seen when Marlin who is trying to find his son Nemo, who was taken by divers. The two of them begin a great adventure across the ocean to save Nemo. First they are chased by three sharks named Bruce, Anchor, and Chum and collect the mask of tone of the divers who took Nemo. Then the two dive into a deep dark trench to get the mask, only to be chased by an angelfish. Dory's memory starts to improve, as indicated when she can repeat the address of where Nemo is "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney". Afterwards they go through a jellyfish forest and get a ride from sea turtles. Dory can apparently speak as she uses the language to summon a whale who get her and Marlin to Sydney. There a pelican named Nigel takes them to where Nemo is, they see him belly up, thinking he has died, but he is actually playing possum so he can escape. After Nigel puts Marlin and Dory back in the ocean, a depressed Marlin barely kept his distance from Dory when she swam to him. After Dory tried so hard to comfort him, Marlin suggested that if Dory never helped him along the way, he never would have even made it to Sydney. Marlin sadly thinks that Nemo is dead, and starts to go home. Dory begs him not to leave, because she is afraid that if she can no longer see him, then she'll forget everything and with Marlin, she can remember things. She says "I don't want to forget." However Marlin replies "I'm sorry, Dory. But I do." and swims away. This fear is founded, as when the hopeless Marlin leaves her, not a few minutes afterwards her entire adventure has been temporarily wiped clean from her mind. After Marlin leaves, Dory meets Nemo who had escaped alive and at first she doesn't remember him but when she hears the word Sydney again all her memory comes back and she takes Nemo to his father. After finding help from some crabs although only by blackmail them of feeding them to seagulls, Dory and Nemo find Marlin, resulting in a happy reunion between Nemo and Marlin that is cut short when Dory gets trapped with a school of fish in a fisherman's net. Nemo rushes to help Dory, they tell the other fish to swim down together, and they all manage to escape the net. At the conclusion of the film, Dory is seen to have become a latest member of Bruce's Fish are Friends Club as Bruce, Anchor, and Chum come over to drop Dory off. Dory then says bye to Nemo as he and his classmates leave with Mr. Ray, referring him as "Elmo".
Dory returns in Finding Dory as the main protagonist, where she remembers her parents and tries to reunite with them. During her travel to Murro Bay, California, she accidentally finds herself in the Marine Life Institute. With the help of an octopus named Hank, a whale shark named Destiny, and a beluga whale named Bailey, she must find her way out of the Institute and find her family.
The movie begins with a flashback of when she was a fry (baby fish) living with her parents Jenny and Charlie. They are shown to be kind and loving parents to their daughter, reminding her of what to say and playing hide and seek with her. After nearly getting swept up by the undertow, her parents try to remind her to stay away from it with a silly rhyme, but she doesn't say it correctly. She sadly admits she forgot again and expresses her concern of forgetting her parents and them forgetting her. Her parents lovingly promise to never forget her.
In the next scene, baby Dory is suddenly stranded in the ocean by herself with no explanation of what happened. Two fish try to help her, but before they can, little Dory forgets again and swims off. She spends years searching for her family, trying desperately to remember. As she is asking a group of fish if they can help her a boat zips above her head (Phillip's boat from Finding Nemo) making the fish swim away. She then smacks into Marlin, and the adventure of Finding Nemo begins.
One year after Nemo's rescue, Dory is the next door neighbor to Marlin and Nemo, living in a purple coral bowl, similar to her original home. As she awakes in the middle of the night she continues to wake up the duo and sting herself on the anemone until Marlin gives up and gets up for the day.
As Marlin and Dory swim Nemo to school, she goes on the field trip with Nemo's class (to Mr. Ray's annoyance) to the stingray migration. As she is admiring the stingrays, the word "undertow" makes her stop and think, causing her to swim into the undertow and go unconscious, but not before having a flashback of being in a dark place as her parents call her. She awakens, mumbling "the Jewel of Morro Bay, California". It takes her a moment to remember but she suddenly remembers her family and becomes hysterical, shrieking they have to find her parents as she swims to the drop-off. Marlin refuses to go at first until Dory asks him if he's ever missed his family, which brings up memories of Nemo's capture, possibly even his wife, Coral. He begrudgingly takes Dory and his son with him as they go to see Crush and ride the current to California. When she starts searching around, Dory remembers being a baby searching for her family in a heavily polluted area, and accidentally awakens a giant squid, getting herself stuck in a six-ring plastic and nearly getting Nemo eaten. She expresses heavy concern for the little fish but is shooed away by Marlin. She goes to find help, and hears the voice of an intercom (she thinks it's a fish) but when she swims to the surface she is seen by a group of rescue workers and taken from the water because of the plastic on her fins, scaring her, Marlin, and Nemo.
She ends up in the Marine Life Institute quarantine area, and meets a seven-legged octopus named Hank, who tries to fool her into giving him her tag so he can go to a permanent aquarium instead of being released into the ocean again, but she manages to get him to help her by promising her tag after she finds her parents. He puts her in a coffee pot filled with water and brings her to the big map on the bulletin. As she looks at the map, she notices a purple shell on the map, bringing back a flashback of her baby self collecting shells for her parents as they teach her to follow the shell path home if she gets lost and her mother asking her to find her a purple shell, as they are her favorite. But she takes too long and nearly gets Hank caught, causing him to hide in the power room. As she looks at a bucket marked "Destiny" she believes it is fate, and despite Hank's warnings, jumps into it, not realizing it is a feeding bucket for the whale shark Destiny. She is tossed into the pool and instantly makes friends with Destiny, complementing her on her swimming. When Dory speaks whale to her, Destiny tells Dory how they were friends as kids, and talked through the pipes of their exhibits, Dory's being Open Ocean. Dory also meets Destiny's neighbor, Bailey, a beluga whale who believes he can't echolocate. As the three talk, Hank jumps into the pool and demands Dory's tag after she tells him she's not comfortable traveling through the pipes as she will get lost but Dory convinces him to get her to Open Ocean after recalling a flashback of wanting to give up after being too small to retrieve a shell, but her father telling her there is always another way of getting the shell for her. They ride in a baby stroller, but as she gets distracted, she gets Hank lost and the two end up getting stuck in the Touch Pool. As the two hide under a rock she recalls yet another flashback, this time of her parents teaching her the song "Just Keep Swimming" and manages to get Hank and herself out of the Touch Pool.
Hank finally gets her to Open Ocean in a cup, and she happily gives him her tag before swimming down and finding her childhood home, recalling memories of playing with her family, talking with Destiny through the pipes, and collecting shells. However, she notices the home is empty, and as she looks around she notices a large pipe filtering out bad things from the giant tank. As she gets close to it she suddenly recalls the memory of how she got lost. She was in bed when she heard her mother crying about how scared she is for Dory to face the real world. Not wanting to see her mother upset, she spots a purple shell and goes to fetch it. But as she goes to get it, her parents cry out for her and nearly reach her when she is pulled by the undertow and is sucked away into a pipe connected to the ocean. As the flashback ends she becomes distraught, realizing it was her fault she got lost. As she laments, two crabs tell her that all the Blue Tang's are in quarantine ready to be shipped out to Cleveland. Realizing the only way to get there without Hank is through the same pipe she was sucked away in, she desperately tries to remember the directions, but gets lost. She calls out for Destiny, and with Bailey's help, she reunites with Marlin and Nemo and swims towards quarantine.
Upon getting to quarantine, she gets Hank's help getting to the Blue Tang tank where she excitedly calls out for her parents. The tangs are all shocked she's alive, and gently tell her that her parents went looking for her years ago and never returned, presumed dead. She becomes unresponsive, her vision gets blurry, and she tells herself she doesn't have a family. Hank rescues her before she can get loaded on the truck, but doesn't get to Nemo and Marlin. As he tries to get her to safety a worker grabs him, making him drop her glass beaker on the floor, where she slides into an ocean drain.
Once again lost in the ocean, she desperately tries to remember why she is there, but her memory is blank. Her parents, her friends, her journey are all gone. After failing to get help, she begins to cry before trying to pull herself together and trying to figure herself out. She spots a white shell in the sand and remembering her parent's words to follow the shells she follows the path of shells to a tire, where several upon several paths of shells go to. As she admires them, she sees two fish in the distance carrying shells. Trying to introduce herself, the fish are her ecstatic parents, who tackle her and hug her, reuniting with their daughter after so long. Dory, remembering her parents once again, cries to them, begging them to forgive her, to which they tell her not to, as she found them just like they showed her how to. As they ask if she was alone all these years, she suddenly remembers Marlin and Nemo and knows she needs to rescue them.
With Destiny and Bailey's help, (after they jump the walls of their exhibits) they find the truck, and Dory uses otters to stop traffic so she can get into the truck. Marlin and Nemo are saved by Becky, but Dory takes too long to convince Hank to come with her and is trapped in the truck to her parents' horror. With Hank's help, they hijack the truck and manage to drive it into the ocean, freeing all the fish.
The epilogue shows Dory playing hide and seek with Marlin, Nemo, Bailey, Destiny, her parents, and the school kids. She remembers, and manages to finish the game. After admiring Hank's teachings to the kids, she swims to the drop-off, followed by an anxious Marlin. She looks over the drop off, admiring the view, and Marlin finally relaxes against the drop off, telling her she did it, she found her parents, sparking one last flashback of when she was a baby and her parents proudly praising her for following the shells all the way back home to the coral, allowing her to play with the other children as she swims off happily. Back to her own mindset, she smiles, feeling accomplished and satisfied as she deems the view and her memories "unforgettable".
Dory is a friendly, sociable and charismatic blue tang who is eager to make friends with anyone who comes across her path. However Dory herself is companion-less and is described as one of those fishes who cause problems, also people don't tend to stick with her for very long which is brought on by her being absent-minded or as she puts it "short-term memory loss". Dory is a very forgetful fish, so much that she even forgot the location of her own family and even perhaps their names, she also frequently forgets her best friend's son's name, Nemo and mistakenly uses one such as "Bingo" for example. So far the only thing she remembered in the story was "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney."
All-in-all Dory is an extremely loyal and brave person who was willing to help complete strangers (or at least in her eyes they were) such as Marlin to rescue his son and later Nemo (who was actually the person she was looking for) help find his dad (Marlin). Dory also has something of a ruthless side, while trying to get answers from a crab, she takes him to the surface and threatens to feed him to nearby seagulls.
Despite her mostly forgetful nature, Dory winds up being right most of the time which was evidenced when Marlin and herself were trapped in the stomach of a whale and her being able to understand whale was what led to the two getting out of his stomach despite Marlin believing she couldn't.