Yes, I am completely aware that this is a children’s movie and that not everything is supposed to make sense. However, this is Pixar and I hold them to a much higher standard.
If you by chance have not seen Finding Dory… you need to seriously stop whatever you are doing and go watch it. Even though I am about to rip into this plot and destroy everything you think you know, it is still an incredible movie.
The first time I watched this movie I was seeing it in theaters and normally when I go see a movie in theaters I try to just enjoy it. I try yo leave all the criticism for the second time I watch. However, sometimes I am fighting a losing battle. So the first time I watched this movie I noticed how many times Dory, Marlin, and Nemo go from different water sources quite often. Unlike the first movie where they stayed in the ocean, a fish tank, and a plastic bag.
In the second movie, our fish friends go from the ocean, several fish tanks/enclosures, different buckets, a coffee pot, a cup, and a mop bucket. Now the problem with this movie is not the realism because obviously, this situation would never happen in real life, but I thought Pixar was smart enough to realize that salt-water fish have to stay in salt-water.
The only two instances that I can confirm these fish were not in salt water is when Dory, Marlin, and Nemo are hoping from tank to tank to get to the other Blue Tangs and are knocked into the mop bucket. It is incredibly unlikely that there is salt water in the mop bucket. Plus this bucket is probably filled with cleaning materials, dirt, and most importantly, fresh water. There is really no reason that there would ever be fresh water in this mop bucket.
Now salt-water fish can survive in fresh water but not for very long. Fresh water does not have enough salt concentration to satisfy the survival of saltwater fish. Therefore the fish’s hypertonic cells will become hypotonic which will not mix well with the body structure of salt water fish, and they will die. Luckily our main characters are not in the mop bucket for more than a few minutes. However, the next instance of fresh water is the water bottle in the truck.
At the end of the movie, Dory and her Sentipus friend, Hank, are attempting to drive a truckload of fish into the ocean. Hank puts Dory in the previous driver’s water bottle so she can give him directions. There is no way that the water in this bottle is salt water and Dory is in this bottle way too long to not be feeling the effects of the fresh water. BOOM Plot Hole!
It’s Not Just Dory!
There is another saltwater issue with Marlin and Nemo. When Becky the Bird takes Marlin and Nemo soaring through the air in a bucket she leaves them hanging on a tree so she can enjoy popcorn. When Marlin, is very impatient and manages to send him and his son flying through the air and they land in a fish tank. However, this is not an ordinary fish tank. This fish tank is used to advertise their plastic swimming toy fish. Now, why would the workers fill this tank up with salt water if it was just going to contain a plastic toy fish? Chances are they wouldn’t. They put the tank under the sink and filled it up with regular fresh water.
This one is much more debatable because I am not 100% sure that this isn’t salt water but the chances of it being salt water are slim.
Also, the freshwater looks different that the salt water. When Nemo and Marlin are in the toy fish tank the water is MUCH more clear than the salt water tanks. You can also tell when Dory is in the water bottle. It is almost like Pixar wants us to know that they are in fresh water. Naturally, fresh water is much clearer and cleaner looking than salt water because salt water has … salt in it.
The Pixar Theory
The only way that I was able to clear this up in my head was to think back to the Pixar theory. Salt water fish in our world can not survive in fresh water. However, in the Pixar world where the animals are gaining IQ points and becoming more adaptable, it would be possible for Dory to survive in fresh water.