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Ellen DeGeneres Reflects on Life and What She Would Tell Her Younger Self

Ellen DeGeneres might not have children of her own (she does, however, have a dog named Kid that she shares with wife Portia de Rossi), but children are immediately drawn to her. The reason, in part, is because kids recognize her as the voice of Dory, the lovable but forgetful sidekick in the 2003 release "Finding Nemo." Now, 13 years later, Dory is back for an adventure of her own, searching for her family in Disney-Pixar’s "Finding Dory," opening June 17.

DeGeneres and Dory share many of the same traits, which could be why she is such a kid magnet.

“I try to have as many traits of hers (Dory) as I can,” DeGeneres said at a recent press conference. "Optimism, perseverance, non-judgment, not having any resentment, not holding onto anger and not feeling like a victim. I think that’s why she’s such a lovable character. She just thinks everything is possible. She never, for a second, thinks anything is wrong with anyone else or herself. She just keeps swimming.”

In fact, the phrase "just keep swimming" even became a favorite mantra for DeGeneres, as a way, she said, of dealing with daily problems or issues.

The movie may deal with some complicated issues, such as having a disability, being different or losing your family, but it also offers a way to see things differently.

DeGeneres offered some insight into how she reflects on her own life and what she would have told herself as a young child.

"I would tell her that life is a very interesting journey that is filled with surprises. Sometimes they're good surprises, and sometimes they're bad surprises—and they're all good. Because even the bad ones get you ready for something else, and they build another part of you that you wouldn't have inside of you," DeGeneres said. "I think we're made up of all kinds of different things, and if we were just made up of joy and love and all good things, and nothing bad happened to us, we'd just be a little less layered. So I would tell that 6-year-old to just take everything in and just embrace the bad with the good and ... just keep swimming. "

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