Thanks to our friends over at Pixar Post, we have new information from a recent interview with Finding Dory Director Andrew Stanton, Co-Director Angus MacLane, and Producer Lyndsey Collins regarding what inspired them to make the film about Dory. Even though we know that Finding Dory is about Dory's self and familial discovery, you may be asking yourself how Stanton and his team found drama within Dory's happy-go-lucky world. Find out what inspired the story for Finding Dory by reading the full interview after the break!
Finding Dory Interview with Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane, and Lindsey Collins:
“Dory’s short-term memory loss, while a source of comedy before, has very real consequences for her,” says producer Lindsey Collins. “She spent a lot of time alone before she met Marlin. She’s always upbeat and perky, but deep down she’s afraid of what might happen if she gets lost again. While she struggles to deal with her shortcomings—she has no problem accepting everyone she encounters. She doesn’t even realize that she’s surrounded by characters with their own hurdles to overcome.”
There was something that lingered in the depths of director Andrew Stanton’s mind, though it didn’t surface until a few years ago. “I realized that I was worried about Dory,” he says. “The idea of her short-term memory loss and how it affected her was unresolved. What if she got lost again? Would she be OK?” “The story is really about Dory finding herself—in every way,” adds Stanton. “She’s compelling and vulnerable and has yet to recognize her own superpower.”
According to Stanton, the story crew initially showcased Dory as lighthearted, bubbly and funny—attributes that certainly apply to the character, but left her lacking depth. “She seemed a little two-dimensional,” says the director. “I realized that even though I had her full backstory in my head, nobody else did—including the audience. Everyone walked away from ‘Nemo’ with fond memories of how funny she is. But I always saw that as a mask. I realized we’d have to fill in the audience about what happened to her when she was young.”
The story picks up a year after Dory and Marlin journeyed across the ocean to find Nemo. A massive stingray migration cruises through their neighborhood, triggering Dory’s memory. “The experience is viscerally similar to an event that separated her from her parents so long ago,” says Stanton. “She’s flooded with memories and suddenly very motivated to track down her family.”
According to co-director Angus MacLane, the memory flash marks the beginning of a new adventure. “It kicks off a quest—both internally and externally—to try to find her family,” he says. “But Dory feels that she can’t do it on her own, so she talks her newfound family—Marlin and Nemo—into coming along.”
Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), who’s living happily in the reef with Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks). When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, the trio takes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium. In an effort to find her mom (voice of Diane Keaton) and dad (voice of Eugene Levy), Dory enlists the help of three of the MLI’s most intriguing residents: Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey (voice of Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is convinced his echolocation skills are on the fritz; and Destiny (voice of Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark. Deftly navigating the complex innerworkings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family.
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