Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17th!
I can’t believe that Finding Nemo came out in theaters 13 years ago… and next month Finding Dory will be in theaters everywhere! Well, when I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium back in March I got a chance to sit down with Director Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins. With about 12 other bloggers, we all sat around a table and got to question Andrew Stanton and Lindsey Collins about Finding Dory.
Director Andrew Stanton thought that the story ended with Finding Nemo… however, Ellen mentioned on her show that she would love to see a sequel! So, why did it take 13 years? What happened to Dory?
Every time Ellen mentioned a sequel, Andrew Stanton would received tons of emails forwarding the clip or mentioning the sequel. But, he knows her “pretty well and [he] always [took] it with a grain of salt and laugh[ed] because [he] knew that the movie was in [his] mind, finished.” It wasn’t until Andrew Stanton got the notion about Dory and her being lost stuck in his head did the concept of Finding Dory begin. Dory had the potential to be lost all over again! It started to bug Andrew that “she hadn’t really changed from the first movie.” He’s main concern was that the story needed to be done RIGHT! It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 that Andrew called Ellen about the potential of a sequel. When he called her he said, “I’m crying Uncle. We’re gonna do Finding Dory”...in the typical Ellen joking way, she said she didn’t really mean it. Ellen was about to become Dory again!
Ellen was Andrew’s inspiration for Dory in the first movie, Finding Nemo. “I basically wrote with her in mind cause I couldn’t figure out Dory. It wasn’t even a female Character at the time, and I just needed this Character to have short term memory loss and I didn’t know how to do it. And she had an original Show in the ’90s called “The Ellen Show” that was a Sit-Com. And it was on in the room while I was trying to deal with Writer’s Block and suddenly I heard her change the sentence 5 times in one sentence, and I went that’s it, that’s how you do it.” Because of Ellen, Dory’s character grew into the loving, forgettable fish we all love today.
Andrew Stanton and Lindsey Collins tried really hard to bring back some of the favorite characters from Finding Nemo. Of course, Marlin and Nemo are in the story supporting Dory… they are just “3 steps behind her throughout the whole film.” Unfortunately they couldn’t bring back all the characters. They wanted the story to flow naturally, so only a few key characters come back in Finding Dory…but there are quite a few new characters that you are all sure to love!
The casting process can be very painful! Especially when in your head you have a specific way you want the character to be portrayed. Lindsey said, “…you have to kind of have ideas of, have people you’re interested in, and then you kind of have to go search, the Editors kind of go search through those that they’ve been on, or Movies they’ve been in, and you have to kind of pull a clip that looks like it may be interesting and then you have to kind of fake a conversation between that person and like Ellen, and then listen to it. And we were like, Ellen and Ty Burrell. And play interview. And then we could just sit there. I mean, she has interviewed everybody so it was like, she made it so easy. We were just like I’m sure she’s interviewed, you know, Diane Keaton and you would, you could just sit there and kind of close your eyes, you kind of don’t want to get distracted by that. You want to just listen to the voices together, and see how they interact, and so in some ways, it made our casting process so easy because she has interviewed almost everybody in our cast at least once before.”
Andrew knew before the story was even written, that he “would love if Dory’s Parents were Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy. That would be my dream and it’s really nice to come off of a popular Movie because they said Yes right away. And it was just all I ever thought of was the Parents.” What’s unbelievable is that Diane has never done a voice before! She was a little nervous…but she is DIANE KEATON…she can do anything! She would come to the studio dressed like she was on the cover of Vogue.
Bringing Dory into the limelight was probably the most challenging thing for everyone. Andrew said, “The #1 bain of our existence. It was the biggest problem following us for most of the making of the film. We had made her so good as a supporting role, we could see, I don’t think you can make a better supporting character and suddenly, we’re asking her to be the main character and I thought, fine, the worst thing you can do is have a main character with short term memory loss.” The writers had to continue to remind themselves that this was a story about Dory! What Andrew discovered during the writing process was that “one of the reasons that you follow a main character is because you can see that they’re growing and that they’re changing and that they’re hitting things and overcoming them. And the way that you know that is because of self reflection. They can actually stop and say, I felt sad when I used to do this but now that I’ve been through this, I don’t feel sad about it anymore. She couldn’t do that because she didn’t remember… so we had no way of tracking that she was changing and we didn’t even realize that was what was going on. So we were like, why is she not interesting? Why is she boring? Why is she starting to get annoying? You know, and that was, and then the tough part. OK, now we’re identified the problem, how do we solve it?” One way they solved this problem was the supporting cast. The other characters help her remember who she is. Plus the closer she gets to home, the more she seems to remember.
Keep your eyes open for Easter Eggs during the movie! The 4 that they always do are in the film…but there are MORE!
Don’t forget to bring a box of tissues!!!
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I was invited by Disney•Pixar to attend an all expenses paid trip to cover the #FindingDoryEvent in Monterey Bay on 3/7-3/8. All opinions are my own.