"An unforgettable journey she probably won’t remember."
Finding Dory sees Dory living happily in the reef with Marlin and Nemo about a year after the events of Finding Nemo. When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, she recruits Marlin and Nemo for a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation centre and aquarium.
As with all Pixar films, family is a key theme in Finding Dory. “We learn when we first meet Dory that she can’t remember where she’s from,” says director Andrew Stanton. “But she must have a family. Her confusion got a laugh when she said in the first film, ‘Where are they?’— but there’s a sad truth to that. I knew there was a story worth telling.
“The story is really about Dory finding herself— in every way,” says Stanton. “She’s compelling and vulnerable and has yet to recognise her own strengths. Dory had wandered the ocean most of her life. Because of her short-term memory loss, she couldn’t remember anybody she’d met, but she had emotional memories — she always remembered how it felt. And she was repeatedly left with a compounding feeling of separation and loss.
“Her optimism and helpful nature are a defence,” continues Stanton. “It is an unconscious armour she presents in the hope others won’t tire of her challenge and ditch her. When we first meet her in Finding Nemo, one of the very first things she says is ‘I’m sorry.’ She just assumes that somehow her short-term memory loss has caused a problem and she’s quick to try to mend it. That, for me, is really juicy stuff. That’s somebody that deserves to feel better about themselves; that’s a main character with a story to tell.”
Ellen DeGeneres has finally been granted her wish to play Dory again. Whenever a Pixar sequel was released DeGeneres would use her top-rated talk show to poke fun and show her irritation at the lack of a Finding Nemo sequel.
“It’s amazing to me that Dory has resonated with people so much," said DeGeneres. "Dory was such a big part of Finding Nemo that it makes sense that people might wonder about her journey. We want to see how it worked out for her. Are Marlin and Nemo her family now? Does she have a family and will she ever remember them?”
“It’s a story about family,” adds DeGeneres, “It’s about finding the courage to do something she’s always wanted to do — even if she couldn’t remember she wanted to do it.”
Finding Dory has opened in the US and has surpassed all expectations by becoming the highest-grossing animated debut of all time, out-swimming fellow Pixar film, Toy Story 3 to the number 1 spot.
It is certainly hard to believe that Finding Nemo was released 13 years ago, with the film and Dory and her motto “just keep swimming" in particular resonating with audiences. It is also great to see such a strong female character take the lead and we cannot wait for Finding Dory to open at Showcase Cinemas. Good things come to those who wait!
Finding Dory is released at Showcase Cinemas July 29 in 2D and 3D.