Finding Nemo is a BIG film about a little fish in the big ocean. The blockbuster film was a huge commercial success for Pixar. Fans and film critics have been eagerly awaiting a sequel. To be honest, I had given up on a sequel. Then Disney announced it’s Finding Dory sequel in 2013. Ellen DeGeneres is once again playing Dory (can you picture ANYONE else voicing her?) the happy, funny Blue Tang who suffers from short-term memory loss. Btw, how does she remember that she has short term memory loss?
I went on an fabulous trip to Monterey to find out more about Finding Dory. What struck me was the reason for the sequel, which for me is quite emotional. Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) spoke to writers about why the sequel took so long. During his talk, I saw me. Stanton described Dory’s troubles and his concern for Dory. Pixar is the leader in emotional storytelling. And honestly? I’ve ugly-cried through so.many.of .their.films. We were shown about 13 minutes from the beginning of the film, as well as, clips of Dory meeting a few new characters. Yes, I cried.
So, why did it take so long? “When I made Finding Nemo
I thought it was a closed circuit. I thought it was done, that’s all I had to say. Little did I know, about 7 years later watching the film again for the first time – seeing the film again did something for me.” He was in the middle of working on another picture and he started to think about Dory and was actually worried about her. He was worried that she could lose Marlin and Nemo and not remember them. This touched a cord for me. I lost my parents in 1999 and through the years I feel that I’ve started to forget things about them. How they sounded especially their laughter, how they walked. But, I’ll never truly forget my parents. They had such a profound effect on my life. In Finding Dory, she has a powerful moment, when she remembers her parents and decides to find them. I don’t know if she does but Marlin and Nemo set out to help her.
Stanton continues to tell us more about Dory, “I always saw her as a tragic character. I never saw her as a comic character. She was a tragic character that used comedy as a way to survive, as a way to protect herself.” Stanton feels that Dory probably had a lot of loss. He didn’t know what it was and no one seemed to question the moment in Finding Nemo when Dory started crying towards the end of the movie. She says to Marlin and Nemo, “Don’t leave me, your home to me.” That scene wasn’t set up but Stanton started to think of that moment. He didn’t really want this to be a problem for her and he also didn’t want her to see herself as someone who has a problem.
So, it was about 2011 when he became serious and hired writer Victoria Strauss and the two started to talk about a story. Stanton ends with, “It’s really how it all happened. You don’t plan for a sequel 13 years later. It kinda just happened. I really feel that it came organically and it came authentically.”
The footage that I watched was beautiful (just think of how far technology has advanced since Finding Dory), emotional, funny and I am counting down the days until it’s in the theater.
Keep an eye on this blog as I’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes from the Finding Dory.
I attended an all-expenses paid press trip courtesy of Pixar/Disney.