Last Sunday, January 29th, Finding Dory was screened at the White House, the first screening of the new administration. While this is a newsworthy item, it’s unfortunate that Dory was screened at all. Albert Brooks, the voice of Marlin, noted the particular irony, as did others.
Odd that Trump is watching Finding Dory today, a movie about reuniting with family when he’s preventing it in real life.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) January 29, 2017
There were protests around the country and the White House in response to President Trump’s executive order to ban immigrants from several Muslim countries from entering the United States. Even legal citizens with green cards were detained at airports following the order. It’s a gross misuse of power, but nothing too shocking for anyone who has opposed the president from the beginning.
Dory herself, Ellen Degeneres, had words to say about the screening:
Although Degeneres kept things light with her trademark humor, focusing entirely on the film and its messages rather than the travel ban itself, she made her stance clear. First she mentioned the wall at the Marine Life Institute, which still doesn’t prevent Dory from going over, a nice reference to the wall that’s supposed to keep out “bad hombres” from Mexico. She also summed up one of the film’s themes which has become much more potent following these national events.
“Even though Dory gets into America, she ends up separated from her family, but the other animals help Dory. Animals that don’t even need her, animals that don’t even have anything in common with her. They help her even though they’re completely different colors because that’s what you do when you see someone in need. You help them.”
Finding Dory hasn’t garnered the critical acclaim of other Pixar features, but now the film has taken on even greater significance. It’s unfortunate that the film was screened at the White House at all and that this article has to be written, but this is a chance to highlight the good in opposition to the president’s policies.
Animator Cat Hicks also shared her thoughts on Trump’s ban.
I heard POTUS watched Finding Dory recently. I hope he saw all the names of the immigrants in the credits that make our US movies so great.
— cat hicks (@cathicks) January 30, 2017
When I think of Pixar’s newfound commitment to tell more diverse stories, of featuring nonwhite characters, how the upcoming Coco was described as a “love letter to Mexico in the age of Trump,” I can’t help but feel baffled that any Pixar film would screen in his White House.
Hopefully Finding Dory is the last.