The depiction of Dory’s developmental disability came about in the storyboard process of figuring how to explain her memory loss.

That’s consistent with how caregivers interact with children who have developmental disabilities, says Mitch Prinstein, director of clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and former editor of the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

Dory’s pals Destiny the whale shark and Bailey the beluga whale have their own challenges.

Dory’s special needs haven’t impaired her popularity: According to IMDb, the fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres has the most Facebook likes of any Disney character.

Hank helps Dory find her parents but anxiously avoids being returned to the ocean in ‘Finding Dory.’.

In the end, it’s not about the direction Dory swims in, or how she gets t – it’s that she just keeps swimming at all.

Finding Dory