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Dory is the deuteragonist in Disney/Pixar's 2003 computer-animated feature film Finding Nemo, and the titular protagonist in its 2016 sequel. She suffers from short-term memory-loss and is a bit ditzy.
Throughout the vast ocean, you will not find a fish more hospitable, more friendly, and more sociable than Dory. She would love to chat with you all day and tell you her life story... but she can't. Dory suffers from short-term memory loss. Dory is the aquatic Good Samaritan who offers to help Marlin on his journey to find his son. She is certainly an odd partner for such a quest, but her optimism proves an invaluable quality to help overcome the impossible. To Dory, the glass is always half-full.
Dory is a very optimistic and kind, but ditzy and forgetful fish. This is because she suffers from short term memory loss. However, she has a heart of gold, and was willing to go full lengths to help Marlin find his son (even though she can never remember his name).
After hearing about Marlin and how his son was captured by divers, she was willing to accompany and help him. She was always supportive and helpful to him throughout the journey, though her short-term memory loss and playful personality could sometimes cause Marlin to lose his patience with her. She can be very talkative and loved to play games throughout her and Marlin's journey, taking detours and getting easily distracted. She can also be sometimes naive and oblivious, as shown when she did not realize the danger of going to a Sharks only club and when a Marlin was fighting with an Anglerfish and seemed oblivious to Marlin's struggle (insisting he helps move the light closer to her so she could read the address on the diver's goggles).
She is also very friendly, fun, and warm-hearted, earning her fast friends. Her kindness was shown as she continued to accompany Marlin on his journey despite his lack of patience with her and his sometimes harsh comments. She developed such a close relationship with Marlin that her short term memory loss seemed to have improved, as she herself states "Please don't leave me. No one has ever stayed with me this long and when I look at you, I remember stuff better." The two remained close by the end of the film.
Despite her ditzy personality, Dory has shown to be somewhat intelligent, as she was capable of reading "human" (English and possibly other languages) and even communicate with whales. She also helped Marlin realize that he needed to give Nemo more freedom to grow up and become his own person and experience life. Dory also possesses something of a ruthless side, while trying to get information from a crab she threatens to feed him to seagulls if he didn't tell her and Nemo what they wanted to know.
Dory has shown to have separation anxiety, as she begs Marlin not to leave her after they return to the sea by Nigel's mouth. She cries, telling him that no one has ever stuck with her so long before. She shows it again in Finding Dory when she gets lost from the school group for a brief minute, and again when she remembers her family, swimming away from Marlin and Nemo and then slightly panicking as she can't find them before hearing Marlin's voice and swimming back. She shows it again after being separated from them later, and then again after she is told her parents are dead and washed down the drain. She shows it one last time on the reef, getting nervous as she finds herself alone before remembering the game.
Dory is a round-shaped Regal Blue Tang with yellow on her fins and tail. She has magenta eyes, black spots, and a small but brightly colored dorsal fin. She has several dark blue freckles on and above her nose, slightly darker eyelids, and like both, her parents has flat teeth.
- One of Dory's lines in the film, "What'cha doin'?", is made famous later by the character Isabella Garcia-Shapiro in the 2007 Disney Channel Original Series, Phineas and Ferb.
- According to director Andrew Stanton on the audio commentary for the Finding Nemo DVD, in the original story Dory was going to be a male character, but when Stanton went home to write the script his wife was watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and when he heard DeGeneres' voice he decided to change Dory to a female and cast her in the role, to which she accepted.
- Dory has made cameos in several of Boom! Studios' Disney comics including The Incredibles, where she appears in an underwater scene, and Darkwing Duck (on the last page of issue 7), where she and other Disney sea creatures react in fear to the return of the villainous Paddywhack.
- On the Disney website, they mistakenly refer to Dory as a Yellowtail Tang. Although she does have a yellow tail, this is a different species of fish.
- Her species is known by several common names, including, regal tang, palette surgeonfish, blue tang, royal blue tang, hippo tang, flagtail surgeonfish, Pacific regal blue tang, and blue surgeonfish.
- The nicknames Dory gave to Nemo (in order of appearance) are Chico, Fabio, Bingo, Harpo, and Elmo. The first four are a reference to the Marx Brothers (excluding Groucho), while the fifth is a reference to the red Muppet monster from the children's puppet show Sesame Street.
- Many people think that goldfish have poor short term memories. Even though she's not a goldfish, this point might be linked to her amnesia-like condition.
- In Finding Nemo: The Musical, Dory wears mismatched socks.
- Dory is the third female protagonist in a Pixar movie, the first being Merida from Brave and the second being Joyfrom Inside Out. She will be followed by Elastigirl in Incredibles 2.