Finding Dory is the long awaited sequel that fans have been waiting 13 years to become a reality. Luckily, the wait is over as the film opens everywhere this Friday. Without going into too much detail, Finding Dory is a rare animated sequel that is on par with the original film. In fact, I would even argue that certain elements of Finding Dory are actually stronger than the original. You can read all my thoughts on the film here.
Last week, I attended a two part press conference for Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory. The first press conference featured director Andrew Stanton and producer Lindsey Collins. The second press conference featured most of the film’s voice cast including Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), Ed O’Neill (Hank), Ty Burrell (Bailey), Kaitlin Olson (Destiny), Albert Brooks (Marlin), Eugene Levy (Charlie), and Hayden Rolence (Nemo). Each press conference lasted about 30 minutes and was chock full of information and laughs. Below are 15 major takeaways or fun facts that I learned while attending the Finding Dory press conferences.
20. Andrew Stanton wanted to make the film universal and decided to use Dory’s handicap as way to accomplish that by not being exclusive.
19. Eugene Levy thinks the greatest storylines have to deal with family because family is the most important thing in our lives. Stories about family are tangible and real.
18. Stanton wanted the film to serve as a standalone film that didn’t rely on the viewers knowing Finding Nemo and that the films could be viewed in either order.
17. Kaitlin and Ty feel like their characters are like brother and sister. They support one another but always annoy each other. It feels very much like a brother/sister dynamic.
16. Andrew Stanton really wanted a Wire reunion so somehow thanks to the magic of comedy, the three sea lions were all voiced by actors from HBO’s The Wire.
15. Ellen thinks its a great thing that people are talking about this “rumored” lesbian couple in the film. Everything seen in the media should represent everything that is happening in the world. It is a great conversation starter.
14. Ty came up with a voice for his character Bailey but Andrew Stanton decided to use Ty’s natural voice.
13. Hayden Rolence took over the role of Nemo in the film. He was a big fan of Finding Nemo. He was nervous taking over a character that everyone loves and wanted to do Nemo justice.
12. This is the first sequel that Albert Brooks has ever been in.
11. Andrew Stanton never thought that a sequel was ever going to happen. He believed that spending four years working on the first film was all that there was. However in 2011, Stanton saw Finding Nemo again during a re-release. Stanton mentioned that he was disappointed that he just left Dory’s backstory open and toyed around with the idea for Finding Dory for a few years before bringing it to John Lasseter for approval.
10. According to Ellen, Dory thinks everything is possible. She doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with herself or anyone else around her.
9. Albert Brooks thinks it was very easy to get back into the role of Marlin. Brooks pointed out that some might think that its hard but its pretty simple to get back into character.
8. Lindsey Collins points out that Stanton always wanted the song Unforgettable to be at the end of the film. The bigger problem for Stanton was finding someone to sing the song (sung by Sia in the film) that would make that song their own.
7. Eugene, Ellen, and Diane Keaton had scenes together in the film but didn’t actually record any of their lines together.
6. Stanton always knew the film was going to be about Dory accepting herself. The premise that Stanton came up with for Dory was that she was always going to feel uncertain until she did it all by herself and prove her self worth.
5. Ellen doesn’t see Dory as a tragic character but rather a character with a disability that turns it into a strength. Dory is seen as handicapped but uses that as her strength.
4. Collins stated that it took nearly 2 years to create Hank as a character. Most other characters took about 6 months. Stanton added that it took 6 months just to animate the first shot of Hank.
3. There was a subplot about Marlin that will be on the Blu-Ray and DVD but was removed from the actual film because it took away from Dory’s story. Stanton wanted to make sure the focus was always on her character.
2. Ellen thinks Finding Dory is much more complex than Finding Nemo. She thinks the film has a lot more layers and is more emotional. The feelings in the film are human emotions which is why the story works so well. It was fun and challenging to get so emotional with just a voice.
1. Stanton wanted to make the montra of “Just Keep Swimming” personal to Dory. She doesn’t realize before this film that “Just Keep Swimming” was taught to her by her parents and had to combined it with “What Would Dory Do” in order for her story to truly come together.
Bonus Fun Facts:
The idea of Sigourney Weaver being the voice of the Marine Life Aquarium started as a joke. No one including Stanton expected the joke to go over as well as it did. Stanton actually tested the film with the joke in it before actually casting Weaver in the role.
Everyone in the film who is a new character was the first choice for the role.
What about you are you excited about Finding Dory? Do you think Finding Dory will lead to another sequel with one of the other characters in this world? Please let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
Finding Dory opens in theaters this Friday, June 17, 2016 and is playing all three theatrical formats including IMAX 3D..