Month: July 2016

Critics Show Their Frustration for “The Legend of Tarzan”

The Legend of Tarzan is a film you already knew was going to be received poorly just from the trailer, if not the name of the film itself. Even the synopsis of the film is one that would raise eyebrows.

It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

Retreading a white supremacist story of a white savior of Africa isn’t something most people were begging Hollywood to make. And, it seems strange that Hollywood would want to go down this road again in the first place. But the film is here, and as expected, it’s a big bomb.

The film has gotten 34% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the critics are ranging from giving a heart-heavy sigh to wringing the film for its woe-begotten aspirations at relevance and social consciousness.

MTV’s Amy Nicholson wrote that she felt the film did its best to make Tarzan contemporary in these more sophisticated times.

“How do you make a colonial Africa blockbuster in think piece-tizzied 2016? Very, very carefully. In David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan, the ape-raised athlete no longer represents innate Caucasian dominance, the cavalier supremacy that had him introduce himself to Jane as ‘the killer of beasts and many black men.” Swipe left on any Tinder charmer who uses that in his profile.”

She felt that the film had “an itch to make this Tarzan a corrective, a vengeful Congo Unchained that reteams Jackson and Waltz,” but she concedes at the end of her review that the film will always be haunted by the shadow of the origins of the Tarzan story: white supremacy as the supposed natural order of the world.

“As much as I enjoyed this bizarre, ambitious adventure and its careful popcorn kitsch, Tarzan’s story will always leave our ears ringing with something we hate, whether you choose Burrough’s white-savior syndrome or Christoph Waltz’ shivery final speech: ‘The future belongs to me.'”

Kate Taylor for The Globe and Mail wasn’t as kind; in fact, she ripped into the film for its’ audacity to try to update a nearly non-updatable character. *

There seems little reason to resurrect Tarzan in 2016; his character, or at least his creator, the turn-of-the-century American schlockmeister Edgar Rice Burroughs, is racist and sexist by any contemporary standard. Titillating audiences with his wild side while reassuring them of his essential European civility, Tarzan in all his many incarnations was always just an unkempt version of the mighty whitey. Jane, the African natives and even his simian family were little more than props in his triumphant story. Heck, let’s call the guy a species-ist, too.

She also ripped into the fact that the film tried to soften the blow of Tarzan’s outdateness by introducing a fictional version of the real life George Washington Williams, who wrote several books on African-American history and spoke out against King Leopold II’s genocide of the Congolese people.

Enter screenwriters Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer with a script in which the genteel John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke must come out of his retirement on his English estate, tear off his shirt and return to Africa to rescue is Congolese friends and wife Jane from Belgian slave traders.

Does this sound like a movie suffering from a white-savior complex?

No worries, Tarzan’s initial goad and eventual sidekick is one George Washington Williams, an American ambassador and Civil War veteran determined to prove that the Belgian King Leopold is running a slave trade to pay for his Congolese colony. He’s black.

Sean Burns of Spliced Personality also disliked the film for it being a seemingly pointless exercise in rehashing a story that didn’t need to be told again, or at least not in the way the film presented it.

…[I]f you had any misgivings about the possibly queasy overtones of making another Tarzan movie in the year of our lord 2016, rest assured they’re shared by the filmmakers. It is a strange feeling to be watching a movie that seems to be apologizing for itself as it goes along.

Burns ends his review with a suggestion, something that Hollywood should pay attention to.

It’s impossible not to come away from The Legend Of Tarzan wishing that a more aggressive adventurous filmmaker — like Craig Brewer, maybe — might someday tell the real George Washington Williams story. I bet they could even get Samuel L. Jackson to play him.

If you watched The Legend of Tarzan, what did you think of it? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

*It would seem the only time Hollywood has been successful at updating Tarzan was with Disney’s Tarzan. Even though, as it has been stated before on other outlets, the film removed all traces of African people from the film, Disney at least knew how to turn Tarzan into a charming prince-like character. We know Disney’s good at making princes. 

“Star Trek Beyond”: 4 Things to Know about Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer”

Rihanna has slayed the song/movie tie-in game with her new single “Sledgehammer.” I rarely use the term “slayed,” so trust me that I don’t mean this lightly. Frankly, it’s the best I’ve seen of Rihanna since “BBHMM.”

Here’s what you need to know about the song:

1. The song has the Sia stamp: We’ve all rocked out to Sia’s “Chandelier” and her other powerful ballads, and the same unmistakable Sia mark is on “Sledgehammer.” Sia wrote the song, and Sia’s dramatic scope fits the space operatic tones of the Star Trek movie universe.

2. Rihanna’s voice has never sounded stronger: Is it just me, or has Rihanna’s voice never sounded better? I’ve become a small-time Rihanna fan as of late, and I have to say that I’m proud of her growth. But even still, it seems like her vocal ability has become even deeper and broader than I realized, and I’m really excited by it. Hearing Rihanna’s voice soar through this song was so good that when I heard it blind on one of the Star Trek Beyond commercials, I actually thought it was Sia, no joke. Great job on this, Rihanna!

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

3. It’s the first music video to debut in IMAX, and it makes full use of the technology:

Floria Sigismondi, the director of the music video, wanted to make sure the viewers really felt like they were in space. “Because the beginning of the video takes place in space, you really get the sense of floating through and also the sound,” said Sigismondi to Billboard. IMAX remixed the music, so that when it plays in the theatre it really has such a three-dimensional quality. That low-end is really pushed so it really feels booming.”

4. The music video’s director wanted to tell a story about humanity

Sigismondi told Billboard that the story told in the music video is something she’s always wanted to tell. “…I’ve always wanted to do a person breaking apart into the universe. I just think that’s so beautiful in terms of what you can say about humanity,” she said. “I’ve created this mystical being in this otherworldy planet being that harnesses the power to manipulate the elements and the elements around her being the sand, the rocks and the earth, and that she actually has a power as well to conjure up the energy and create light and stars. So she transforms into the universe itself.”

Check out the video and Rihanna discussing how much of a Star Trek fan she is. Star Trek Beyond will be in theaters July 22.

“Star Trek Beyond,” the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin (“The Fast and the Furious” franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew.  In “Beyond,” the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

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Netflix Acquires “Where the Road Runs Out”, First Film Shot in Equatorial Guinea

Netflix is trying to step up their movie game, and it would seem they are on the right track with their acquisition of Where the Road Runs Out. The film, directed by Rudolf Buitendach and starring Isaach De Bankolé, is a history making film; it’s the first film to be shot in Equatorial Guinea.

The film has impressed audiences across the indie circuit. As the press release states, “the indie has also won awards at Sunscreen film Festival, Helsinki African Film Festival, and has also featured and been warmly received at the Pan African film festival, AFI Silver and Heartland film festivals.”

The film looks like it’ll be one you’ll have to put in your queue when Netflix releases it next year. Take a look at the poster and the press release in its entirety below.

WHERE THE ROAD RUNS OUT, the first film to ever shoot in Equatorial Guinea, picked up by Fairway Film Alliance, has been acquired by Netflix for US and partial foreign (Canada, The UK, Australia, New Zealand and English speaking African countries) distribution. The film, which premiered at and won best narrative film at the San Diego film festival in 2014, is directed by Rudolf Buitendach and stars Isaach De Bankole, Juliet Landau, Stelio Savante and Sizo Matsoko.

SYNOPSIS: A Rotterdam-based respected scientist and lecturer (Isaach De Bankole) has grown weary of the world of academia. The sudden death of an old friend who has been running a field research station in Africa gives him the incentive he needs to turn his back on his academia and return to his African roots. Arriving in Equatorial Guinea he finds the field station in a state of disrepair. Through a local boy Jimi, his jaded eyes are opened to the possibilities of life there. Jimi also introduces him to Corina (Juliet Landau) who runs the local orphanage and a tentative but heartfelt romance begins. With the unexpected arrival of George’s old friend Martin (Stelio Savante), George discovers there are many obstacles on the road to redemption… and many more where the road runs out.

Lensed in Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and the Netherlands; the indie has also won awards at Sunscreen film Festival, Helsinki African Film Festival, and has also featured and been warmly received at the Pan African film festival, AFI Silver and Heartland film festivals.

NETFLIX is planning for an early 2017 release in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and English speaking African countries. The deal was brokered by US Distribution/Production Company Fairway Film Alliance and Ocean Avenue Entertainment (Chris Bueno).

Fairway Film Alliance is a Los Angeles based full service independent film sales agency and production company, founded by long time indie film veteran, Marty Poole. Fairway Film Alliance along with Rogue Arts has distributed or produced films that have appeared in the Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festivals.  Earlier in 2016, Lionsgate released Fairway Film Alliance’s family film Army Dog starring Casper Van Dien, Grace Van Dien and Stelio Savante.

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Twitter Urges Disney Junior to Renew “Doc McStuffins”

Disney Junior’s hit show Doc McStuffins has, mysteriously, not been renewed for a fifth season, and fans want to know why that is!

The show, featuring a young black girl who is the doctor in residence for her stuffed toys, have inspired many girls and boys, and just as important, it helped viewers of color see themselves represented in a positive and uplifting light.

Doc-McStuffins-logo

But, despite the good the show has done, many are concerned and outraged at Disney’s lack of a renewal. Comedian and host of CNN’s United Shades of America W. Kamau Bell launched a Twitter call for Disney to #RenewDocMcStuffins, and the momentum started from there. Check out the Twitter Moment it spawned:

What are your feelings about Doc McStuffins? What do you love about the show and the character? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

“Underground”: Dish Network Removes WGN America, Provokes Jesse Jackson’s Ire

WGN America has hit gold with its newest drama, Underground. But for whatever reason, Dish Network decided to take WGN America out of its lineup of stations.

Jesse Jackson has released a statement through his Rainbow Push Coalition, condemning Dish’s removal of the station. In part, the statement reads:

In the letter, Reverend Jackson states that DISH has undervalued the series’ record-setting ratings and African American viewers in much the same way “the old south counted African Americans as three-fifths of a man.”

DISH’s decision to force WGN America off its distribution system is especially troubling since high-quality programs like “Underground”—in which the African-American characters are heroic, their struggle inspirational, and the audience diverse—don’t make it to air very often. When they do, they should be celebrated, not put at risk as DISH has recklessly done.

The negotiations between Dish and Tribune, the parent company of WGN America, have deteriorated, which led to Dish taking WGN America off. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dish stated that “Tribune rejected its offers for an extension during negotiations.” Dish also stated that Charlie Ergen, the head of Dish, “invited Jackson and Tribune CEO Peter Liguori for a meeting on Thursday for what ‘could be a sharing of ideas that would have allowed Dish and Tribune to reach an agreement that was fair to our subscribers and to Tribune.'” However, Dish asserts that Jackson and Liguori didn’t respond. “Having passed on an opportunity to get all the facts and having issued a press release after that meeting was scheduled to occur, we are skeptical that Rev. Jackson is truly interested in finding a fair deal for DISH consumers,” states the company.

It also appears tensions appeared between Dish and Tribune originally because of Dish feeling like WGN America ran an ad that was against Dish. Dish has now filed suit against Tribune Broadcasting, the branch of Tribune that’s directly over WGN America, stating a breach of contract as the reason. According to the suit (as reported by The Hollywood Reporter), Dish claims that WGN America aired commercials that “cast DISH in an extremely negative light…that Dish has not acted in good faith, that it’s performance and services are the worst in the indutry, and even that DISH is a ‘disgusting’ company.”

From an outsider’s perspective, this all seems childish. And frankly, this childish stuff is robbing too many people of the lessons Underground can teach.

Maryland Senator Catherine Pugh reflected this sentiment in her article for The Huffington Post, “Dish Network and WGN America’s Underground,” writing:

“Shows like ‘Underground’ have value far beyond the ratings and advertising revenue they generate for the companies that produce, air and distribute them. Make no mistake, however, “Underground” is very, very popular–often the No. 1 show on cable Wednesday nights.”

Underground shouldn’t be caught in the middle of this money-laden fracas. Let WGN America stay on the air, Dish Network! Let its fans see it unencumbered.

Here’s Jackson’s statement in full:

Washington, D.C., June 24, 2016 – This week, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. sent a letter to DISH Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen, firmly supporting Tribune Broadcasting’s request to put its stations and WGN America back on the air by reaching a fair-market deal between the two companies. Reverend Jackson underscored that “WGN America is deeply committed to sharing positive portrayals of African Americans” as illustrated by their critically acclaimed hit series “Underground,” which tells the unflinching story of some of America’s most heroic freedom fighters—the slaves who risked their lives to reach freedom and claim their civil rights.

In the letter, Reverend Jackson states that DISH has undervalued the series’ record-setting ratings and African American viewers in much the same way “the old south counted African Americans as three-fifths of a man.”

DISH’s decision to force WGN America off its distribution system is especially troubling since high-quality programs like “Underground”—in which the African-American characters are heroic, their struggle inspirational, and the audience diverse—don’t make it to air very often. When they do, they should be celebrated, not put at risk as DISH has recklessly done.

Reverend Jackson is looking forward to discussing this issue in greater detail with Mr. Ergen.

CROSS-POST: “Finding Dory,” Disability Culture, and Collective Access

Post provided by Alice Wong of the Disability Visibility Project

On June 25th, I saw Finding Dory after reading many positive reviews and recommendations from my disabled friends. I wasn’t disappointed. There was so much to unpack and process when I got home that I decided to write this review/essay.

Finding Dory is film depicts more than disability, it depicts disability culture.*

I tip my crip hat to the artists, writers and directors of this latest gem from Pixar.

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Warning: Spoilers to Finding Dory, Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3

People with disabilities do not see themselves very often reflected in popular culture with authenticity steeped in the lived experience. Not only are many disabled characters played bynon-disabled people; the storytellers are usually non-disabled who craft narratives about disability by using stereotypes and cliched tropes, robbing disabled characters and stories of agency and diversity.

Finding Dory has multiple characters with disabilities that live in the community (the ocean) and in institutions (the aquarium, the quarantine section of the aquarium). The characters are part of ecosystems (the coral reef) integrated with non-disabled aquatic creatures. Best yet, Dory, voiced by Ellen Degeneres, is a disabled character that is front-and-center. She is the hero on a journey.

She saves the day not in spite of but because of her disability.

When was the last time a live-action Hollywood film had this type of disability diversity and this many disabled characters interacting with each other?!?

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3 ways Finding Dory kept it real about the disability experience

#1: Parental anxiety and support

We see Dory as a young Pacific Regal Blue tang with her parents, Jenny and Charlie, voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy.

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Jenny and Charlie are patient parents who help Dory to be upfront about her disability, encouraging her to practice, “Hi, my name is Dory and I suffer from short-term memory loss.” Not a fan of the term “suffer” but anyhoo…Seeing the group of little tangs swimming nearby, I think Jenny and Charlie were preparing Dory as she planned to venture out to socialize with her peer group.  We also see Jenny and Charlie help Dory with her memory by using songs and accommodations such as seashells that enable her to find her way home.

Jenny and Charlie are like many parents of kids with disabilities:

  • They worry about her future
  • They teach her life skills that she will need
  • They are protective about Dory and her safety (“Watch for the undertow!”)
  • They show joy and love of Dory being Dory

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I got very verklempt near the end of the film when Dory was reunited with her parents. Jenny and Charlie re-constructed their environment with rows of shells radiating from their home in the hopes that Dory will find her way back. When I saw the wide shot of their home and the long rows of seashells like streaming sun beams, I thought about Jenny and Charlie’s dedication and labor. They had every confidence that Dory would find them–they did their best at preparing Dory for the outside world and believed in her abilities. I teared up thinking about my parents and the sacrifices they made for me, such as purchasing a van with a lift (no small feat for a middle class family) and various modifications to our home when I started using an electric wheelchair.

#2: Social Exclusion and Ableism

Pixar kept it real, yo! There are the warm fuzzies and SO many feels that are de rigueur for every. Single. Pixar. Film. The filmmakers balanced the feels with moments of cruelty in Finding Dory in the form of Fluke and Rudder, the two sea lions that Marlin and Nemo encounter during their search for Dory.

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Fluke and Rudder (voiced by former cast members from The Wire Iris Elba and Dominic West) are oafish bros who occupy a prime piece of rock real estate near the aquarium. Fluke and Rudder love to sleep and guffaw in a Cockney accent. They help Marlin and Nemo get into the aquarium by calling Becky the loon to transport them via pail of water.

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Fluke and Rudder get the pail by luring in Gerald, a non-verbal sea lion who is clearly a sea lion that’s on the fringes of his social group. Gerald looks a bit goofy with his bushy eyebrows and wide-eyed expression and it reinforces his lower status within a larger hierarchy where verbal and physical ability is privileged. Fluke and Rudder bullies Gerald, taking his pail and aggressively pushing him off their rock. They pretend to include Gerald, but then they bray in their loutish sea lion voices, “Off, off, off,” chasing him from their territory.

The treatment of Gerald didn’t go unnoticed. My friend Heather Ure, a “neurodivergent femme-writer-mom” according to her Twitter bio, tweeted:

I relate to Gerald intensely, his wanting to be accepted and being taken advantage of by faux friends/allies. I was angry for Gerald but was delighted to see him in a scene after the credits where he manages to nestle himself on the rock behind Rudder and Fluke and gives a bit of a snicker. He does have agency and is tenacious in getting his place in the sun.

Isn’t that what we all want and deserve at the end of the day, a rock of one’s own and the warmth of the sun?

In another example of ableism, Marlin the clownfish, voiced by Albert Brooks, did a lot of male fishsplaining in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Some of it was subtle and came in the form of microaggressions to Dory (when he subtly tried to dissuade Dory from attending Nemo’s field trip because the teacher didn’t want to worry about her safety in case she wandered) and more explicit instances when he blamed Dory for their predicament due to her disability.

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When Fluke and Rudder call Becky, Marlin takes one look at her ‘eccentric’ appearance and automatically discounts her abilities. Marlin’s inability to trust the disabled animals in his life and presume competence leads them into more danger. His doubts of Becky and insistence that he knows what to do is called out by Nemo, his son with a disabled fin.

Only after Nemo points out Marlin’s ableism does he flip the script and ‘thinks like Dory’ as a way to find a creative solution. This is a clear celebration of neurodiversity and neurodivergence. Heather Ure tweeted:

Writer David Chen commented on Finding Dory‘s disability hierarchy in an article where he described both Gerald and Becky:

…it separates animals who are able to speak from those who can’t. The animals who can speak have inner lives, go on adventures, have the ability to help others, possess emotional richness, and generally feel and act like full human beings…Both of these characters feel like cheap jokes. For the kids that are in the audience, they send a pretty clear message: It’s okay to laugh at people who are different, or who aren’t as smart as you are.

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To me, this is part of the disability experience of many people: ableism, social exclusion, discrimination, and segregation. You can laugh, celebrate, feel distressed and disturbed, and think critically at the same time. This is what great art does.

I’m glad the filmmakers included those scenes of ableist mistreatment of Gerald and Becky. I cringed during those scenes but I could appreciate the spectrum of the social experience of disabled people. It’s not all happy endings and the struggle is totes real.

There will always be playground bullies and people who underestimate you. Many disabled people know these subtle and not-so-subtle signs when we are not welcome or accepted: the long sighs, the eye-rolls, the sudden change of plans, the concerns about safety or accommodations, the ‘accidental’ exclusion to a party or meeting, etc.

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Dory may have memory loss, but she can sense frustration by others as if she’s a burden to them. In fact, she blames herself for losing her parents and apologizes constantly to everyone for simply existing and asking for help (i.e., internalized ableism).

The characterization of Gerald and Becky may result in laughs by some in the audience but this could also serve as an opportunity for adults and children to reflect and wonder, “Why did I laugh when Gerald was pushed in the water? Why is it ok to judge Becky’s abilities based on her looks?”

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Pixar films have never shied away from the harsh realities of life. Even with animated films geared for children or featuring young characters, it is a misconception that these films must be positive and idealistic in their storylines and characterization. Think Studio Ghibli films like My Neighbor Totoro and the moments of violence in Finding Nemo (the death of Coral, Nemo’s mother) or heartbreak and rejection in Toy Story 3 (Lotso the bear being replaced and forgotten).

#3: Collective Access

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The scene that screamed disability culture to me was the one where Destiny (a whale shark with myopia voiced by Kaitlin Olson), Bailey (a beluga whale with a head injury voiced by Ty Burrell) worked together to provide access for Dory who needed someone to guide her through the pipes to find her parents. Dory communicated her needs. Destiny heard her and relayed them Bailey, encouraging him to attempt echolocation.

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Bailey is able to echolocate Dory’s location in the pipe system, relays directions to Destiny, and Destiny speaks to Dory in whale (the language of access through pipes) guiding her all the way with a slight detour into Marlin and Dory.

Patty Berne, Co-Founder and Director of Sins Invalid, described collective access in a June 10, 2015 blog post as one of ten principles of disability justice:

…we value exploring and creating new ways of doing things that go beyond able-bodied/minded normativity. Access needs do not need to be held in shame — we all have various capacities which function differently in various environments…We can share responsibility for our access needs without shame, we can ask our needs be met without compromising our integrity, we can balance autonomy while being in community, we can be unafraid of our vulnerabilities knowing our strengths are respected.

Get a bunch of disabled people together and witness the collective access organically takes place. This isn’t the kind of access mandated by law or provided by an entity or the state. Collective access is community-based and relies on each person’s talents and abilities in a web of interdependence and understanding. It feels good to see people use what they have and share it with others.  I love it when I can provide access to a disabled friend in my own small way like typing or reaching for something. And there’s no hesitation or worry about asking my friends for help because they get it, no lengthy explanation or apologies required.

The scenes of collective access in Finding Dory fill me with such pride and solidarity for these disabled animated sea creatures.

Disabled life forms, doing it for themselves. Each in their own way!!

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Another two demonstrations of collective access occurs when Hank the septopus (voiced by Ed O’Neill) moves the baby stroller through the aquarium w/ Dory inside a sippy cup.

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He’s near the ground navigating while Dory reads the signage and gives him directions.

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Dory does the same when they hijack a truck (you have to see it to believe it) and Hank’s tentacles are on the pedals and wheel. Collective access, ya’ll!

Final Random Thoughts

  • As a wheelchair user, I laughed out loud when Hank stole the truck and said, “Suck it, bipeds!” This is something I’ve uttered a million times.
  • Another major theme is about building families–both chosen families and biological ones.
  • Hank reads to me as an someone with trauma in addition to being an amputee since he does not want to be touched.

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  • It’s nice to see Marlin embrace and respect Dory not out of gratitude (she played a larger role in saving Nemo) but because of who she is by the end of the movie.
  • The ending is wonderful when Dory accepts credit for everything she’s accomplished. She is content and comfortable in her own scales.
  • Note: I am not exactly sure who voiced the roles of Gerald and Becky. In one wiki, Torbin Xan Bullock is listed the voice of Becky. In imdb.com, the same actor is listed as the voice of Gerald.

Like science fiction and fantasy, animation gives flexibility and space for new ways of telling stories and depicting characters. Perhaps that is one reason why Finding Dory is a massively better movie about disability and disability culture without explicitly being framed as one.

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About

Alice Wong is a San Francisco-based disability advocate and Staff Research Associate at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, UCSF. Currently, she is the Founder and Project Coordinator for the Disability Visibility Project (DVP), a community partnership with StoryCorpsand an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture. She is a co-partner with Andrew Pulrang and Gregg Beratan for #CripTheVote, a non-partisan online campaign encouraging the political participation of people with disabilities. You can find her on Twitter: @SFdirewolf and online: DisabilityVisibilityProject.com

*Footnote: Disability culture is described by scholar Steven E. Brown as:

People with disabilities have forged a group identity.  We share a common history of oppression and a common bond of resilience.  We generate art, music, literature, and other expressions of our lives and our culture, infused from our experience of disability.  Most importantly, we are proud of ourselves as people with disabilities.  We claim our disabilities with pride as part of our identity. We are who we are:  we are people with disabilities.

Other articles/blog posts about Finding Dory

‘Finding Dory,’ Disability, and Me

Elizabeth Picciuto, June 19, 2016, Daily Beast

The One Thing That Bothered Me About ‘Finding Dory’

David Chen, June 19, 2016, SlashFilm.com

‘Finding Dory’ isn’t just about disability — it’s about community and support

Stacia L. Brown, June 24, 2016, The Washington Post