Finding Dory: Nostalgic fandom

When Finding Nemo came out for the first time, I was 12 years old, just one year shy of being a teenager. It was a difficult time for me, personally, and I find it unsurprising that it was also around this time that I truly started to find my way into certain fandoms. Also, my interest in popular media took root here.
I absolutely loved the movie and its characters. It was beautifully made, funny and the narrative was touching. I have watched the movie several times on DVD ever since it came out.

I especially liked the character of Dory and became instantly interested, when I learned that they were making a sequel with her as the main character. Having 13 years between the two movies, without the second movie being a reboot, but an actual sequel, I felt more entitled to see the movie since I was a part of the original fan-base/audience. Because of this I had more and possibly higher expectations based on more content than others, and this changed my experience of the movie. (I will get back to this in a bit)

There are two kinds of fans in this instance: The new-comers and the old-timers. If the movie makers were smart, they would try to capture and please both of these groups of fans, because that is the way to make the biggest profit. You want to make it relatable to the original movie, but not too much so that you lose some of the new and potential fans and audience members.

As you might have guessed, I am part of the second group of fans. So for me, it was about revisiting the world and finally getting to see some more of it. Since they were making a sequel, this was on some level implied, because we have a starting point from the prequel. I connect certain movies with certain and special moments of my life. This is probably the main reason why I like to re-watch movies and entire TV series. It can be the memory of watching the movie for the first time and getting to relive it as many times as I want to. Just by rewinding the tape (so to speak). However, it is also about getting as much as I can out of the story world and the narrative, no matter how little or lot content there is available. If I had not watched this movie so many times or at all, I would not have had these expectations and needs. This changed my experience of the movie in such a way that I could ask questions even before I watched the movie. I could have more realistic (or maybe authentic) demands of the movie, based on its prequel.

This is what I would call Nostalgic Fandom: when fans are brought back into the fold by an reboot or sequel, which is made after a significant amount of time has passed. It is like you are revisiting the fandom, but also like finding your way home. This can even be a home you did know know that you left behind. For me, the movie brought me back to the time when I first watched the prequel, Finding Nemo. It had the perfect balance of relating to the old narrative and introducing new elements. I could be nostalgic about seeing the beloved characters I was first introduced to 13 years earlier and excited about meeting new ones.

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