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Nightmare Fuel / Finding Dory

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Talk about Tentacled Terror!

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  • The first trailer ends on the lovely image of Hank almost chopping himself up in a garbage disposal. Have fun explaining that one, parents!note 
  • At one point, Dory is in a jar filled with fish that appear to be food for sea mammals. Dory wonders how they can keep their eyes open so long before she figures it out.
  • The trio is once again be attacked by a giant, bio-luminescent creature hiding out in almost pitch black water (in this case, a large Humbolt's Squid...nasty, smart, and very, very predatory).
  • The film finally shows us what life is like for Dory, and it's appropriately horrifying. She definitely has problems with perceptions of time and space, so she'll wander off somewhere and not know how long it's been or how far away she went. She panics when she has to navigate places by herself. And let's not forget the opening montage of her transitioning through the years from "I'm looking for my family but I don't know where they are!" to completely forgetting who or what she was looking for in the first place.
  • Dory's predicament alone is a parent's worst nightmare. You have a child who has memory problems and in constant need of supervision. One day, you lose your child and you can't find them. There's a chance that they could get killed, and they don't have anyone to protect them.
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    • A healthy dose of Adult Fear can be found in that Charlie and Jenny didn't find out Dory has vanished after she's gone, like in kidnapping cases or accidental deaths. She was whisked away right in front of them.
  • The touch pool scene, a staple of most zoos and aquariums featuring a shallow area where little kids can see how various sea creatures feel is played as a horrific nightmare, as the brats poke and prod and grab with all the ferocity of giants. Every single creature in the thing is in a constant state of panic, and when Dory and Hank end up in it, the latter just shuts down completely due to his hatred of being touched.
  • The kelp forest. Sure, nothing bad happens in it when Dory, Nemo and Marlin travel in there, but the whole place still gives an eerie feeling, especially during the scene when Dory has a Heroic BSoD later in the movie, with tall kelp growing up everywhere, making it hard to navigate or see what's hiding in them. The fish couple at the beginning were very worried when they found young Dory getting lost alone in there, and with good reasons. Even more so, as we later learned, the forest itself is located next to an underwater dump site, which is a home of a huge, highly aggressive squid that everything else in the area dreaded, and Dory also once ventured in there as a child! It's Adult Fear mixes with Nothing Is Scarier on the highest order.
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  • The pipes in the Marine Life Institute. Dark, eerie, claustrophobic and labyrinthine, it's not hard to see why Dory's apprehensive about going in - without Bailey and Destiny to help her navigate, she would have been hopelessly lost down there. The worst part is when Bailey's echolocation detects a bigger fish down there with Dory, followed by a couple of minutes of sheer consternation as he and Destiny try to get her away from there... Fortunately, the "bigger fish" turns out to just be Marlin and Nemo.
  • Dory falling down the drain, away from Hank, Marlin, and Nemo, under the impression she's lost her parents (and adopted family) forever, gasping for air. Especially if you interpret it as a visual representation of an anxiety attack, which can come with an inability to temporarily remember things, disorientation, and the feeling that you suddenly cannot breathe.
  • Perhaps it's for the best that whatever caused Hank to lose his tentacle remains a Noodle Incident: as noted in the Fridge Horror section, it had to have been pretty awful for him to be unable to regenerate it. And given his hatred of being touched and his overall behavior resembling that of somebody with PTSD, clearly it's Nightmare Fuel for him as well.
  • Although it ends up being Played for Laughs, Gil and the rest of the fish from the Dentist Office spent the year still stuck in their bags.
  • Dory's predicament from the moment she was separated from her parents to when she found a place in Marlin's family. Baby Dory was the equivalent of a roughly 5-year-old human when she got lost. Since then, everyone she's encountered has either rebuffed her, gotten separated from her, or abandoned her; in Finding Nemo, she tells Marlin that no one's ever stuck with her as long as he has, and they were only partners for a few days. Imagine being separated from your parents at five years old, and spending the rest of your childhood in limbo, without anyone to raise you, any place to call home, any lasting friend, or anything else to anchor you. And how much longer might her life have stayed like that if she'd never met Marlin?

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