A MARINE BIOLOGIST'S PROBLEM WITH THE MOVIE FINDING DORY
Ok. I hesitate to write this list. It's just a movie. It's about talking fish. It's also a good movie overall. But one thing really bothered me...
- •Finding Nemo was a great movie but it had its problems.I joke that because clownfish live in matriarchal harems and can change sex, had Nemo's mother died in real life his father would have transitioned to female. This is true.
- •But today I saw Finding Dory.I was so excited to see it!
- •And I was loving it... Until... The whale shark.I knew there'd be a whale shark in the movie and I was psyched because I love them.
- •This whale shark is in a tank. But that's not the problem I had.And yes this is unethical. The Georgia Aquarium had two and they both died. (Edit: they still have whale sharks, but two died.) These are the biggest fish in the ocean and they do not belong in tanks. They gloss over this this by saying the animals were injured and being rehabilitated.
- •For some bizarre reason, they acted as though the whale shark was... A whale!I can see a lay person making this mistake. But Disney? I know they research the hell out of their movies so... WTF?
- •The whale shark would sing whale songs.I tried to let this slide because Dory sings whale songs too and she's just a blue tang. But they later imply that Dory learned whale songs from the whale shark. Whale sharks do not sing.
- •The whale shark ate large fish.The trainer tossed what appeared to be herrings into the tank like she was at Sea World. Whale sharks are filter feeders. They eat small plankton and krill and small fish like sardines. They physically cannot eat anything larger.
- •They make the whale shark jump out of the water.Breaching sharks are impressive but whale sharks are not known for this.
- •They even had her splashing her caudal fin (tail) like a humpback whale.Sharks' tails go side to side. Whales' tails go up and down.
- •I was getting more and more distracted by this portrayal of what could have been a super cool character.You don't see many whale sharks in movies. On my way home I actually wondered if originally they had an orca in the tank and they made a last minute change to the character because of the Blackfish controversy?
- •So when my toddler decided to climb up and down the stairs instead of watch the movie, it was a welcome distraction for me.I try to be good natured about this kind of thing, but I won't tolerate laziness. 💁