“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming..”

After more than a decade, Disney-Pixar’s highly anticipated animated comedy adventure film, “Finding Dory“, will finally be released. Oh, you know, the one that was temporarily named “Finding Nemo 2” for years!

Finding Dory
Source: Disney-Pixar

The synopsis is as follows:

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“The friendly-but-forgetful Pacific regal blue tang fish, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), suddenly recalls her childhood memories, remembering something about the jewel of Morro Bay, California. She decides to embark on a quest to reunite with her mother (voiced by Diane Keaton) and father (voiced by Eugene Levy) with help from Nemo and Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks). Dory then arrives at the Monterey Marine Life Institute, where she meets Bailey (voiced by Ty Burrell), a white beluga whale; Destiny (voiced by Kaitlin Olson), a whale shark; and Hank (voiced by Ed O’Neill) an octopus, who becomes her guide. And everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.”

Little else is known about “Finding Dory” (trust Disney-Pixar to keep it a pleasant surprise) but we’ve managed to search the interwebs for some fun facts about the film.

Here they are, to best prepare you for the undersea journey:

1. A benchmark has been set – a pretty high one

Source: ign.com
Source: ign.com

“Finding Nemo” was the 2nd-highest grossing film for 2003, earning a total of USD921 million worldwide. In fact, it was later named the 10th greatest animated film ever made by the American Film Institute in 2008. It also holds a 99% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 89 on Metacritic. Famed movie critic Roger Ebert gave the film 4 stars. Will “Finding Dory” live up to or exceed expectations? We’ll soon find out!

2. We love that absent-minded blue fish, yes we do

Source: facebook.com/FindingNemoDory
Source: facebook.com/FindingNemoDory

Perhaps it’s because she’s so silly yet so endearing all at the same time that Dory is the most liked character on Facebook (25 million likes) from any Disney or Pixar film. Her nearest competitor would be none other than her buddy Nemo, who is coming in close at 22 million likes. The only other Disney-related account that has more likes than Dory is the Disney Facebook page itself at 50 million likes. Hmm, let’s see how many more likes Dory will gain after “Finding Dory” is released.

3. The strange gap in the timeline for “Finding Dory”

Source: Disney-Pixar
Source: Disney-Pixar

The storyline for “Finding Dory” takes place 6 months after the events of “Finding Nemo” even though 13 years have passed since the prequel premiered. Why the huge gap? Disney had originally planned to make a “Finding Nemo” sequel without Pixar’s involvement through Circle 7 Animation, a studio Disney announced in 2005 with the intention to make sequels to Pixar properties. However, Circle 7 was shut down by Disney in 2006. It wasn’t until 2012 that news of director Andrew Stanton developing a “Finding Nemo” sequel surfaced. And in April 2013, Disney officially announced the sequel and confirmed that Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks would be reprising their roles as Dory and Marlin, respectively.

4. How do you solve a problem like Dory?

Source: Andrew Stanton (Director) & Lindsey Collins (Producer )at the "Finding Dory" Long Lead press day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA (Source: Disney-Pixar)
“Finding Dory” director Andrew Stanton (Director) & producer Lindsey Collins (Source: Disney-Pixar)

Director Andrew Stanton first for the idea for “Finding dory” when he watched “Finding Nemo” for the first tie in 2010. As he was watching, he wasn’t sure if Dory could ever find Nemo and Marlin again after getting lost. Coupled with the fact that Andrew always knew Dory’s backstory and saw her as a tragic character, this inspired him to tell another story based on just Dory alone. The most difficult part about “Finding Dory” was making Dory a main character and coming up with ways for her to self-reflect, despite having short-term memory loss.

5. Who run the world? Girls!

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Source: Disney-Pixar
Source: Disney-Pixar

Believe it or not, perfecting “Finding Dory” took a huge chunk of the crew’s time. The storyboarding process for the movie lasted approximately 3 and a half years! But with more female writers on the team this time around, “Finding Dory” has far more female characters than “Finding Nemo”. This is the 3rd Pixar Animation film to have a female as a lead character. The other 2 are “Inside Out” (2015) and “Brave” (2012). Also, “Finding Dory” will very much focus on the mother and daughter relationships aspect between Dory and her mother. So who run the world? 😉

6. They researched & tweaked until they got it right

Source: Deborah Coleman / Pixar
Source: Deborah Coleman / Pixar

Nothing can ever be successful and complete without putting in lots of research. The “Finding Dory” creators and crew visited many aquariums to gain insight into how the creatures in their movie should move, interact, and just be in their surroundings so that Dory and her friends would be depicted as accurately as possible. On top of that, the film’s ending was revised after Pixar executives viewed “Blackfish”, a controversial 2013 documentary film which focuses on dangers of keeping orca whales in captivity. Initially, some of the “Finding Dory” characters would end up in a SeaWorld-like marine park, but the revision gave them an option to leave.

7. Not all voice actors from “Finding Nemo” are returning

Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Characters from “Finding Nemo” including Dory, Marlin and the Tank Gang all return in the sequel but only Dory and Marlin will be voiced by the same actors, Ellen DeGeneres, and Albert Brooks, respectively. Hayden Rolence would voice Nemo, replacing Alexander Gould from the first film, but Alexander Gould will still have a cameo in “Finding Dory”. Oh, also, director Andrew Stanton will reprise his role as Crush, a sea turtle from the first film.

8. Hank was quite a hard character to create

Source: Disney-Pixar
Source: Disney-Pixar

Hank is an ill-tempered octopus who lost a tentacle, causing him to be referred to as a “septopus”, was a lot harder to create than you would imagine. He’s the first kind of animation that Pixar has ever done, and it was a back and forth collaboration between art and animation to get the tentacles just right. It took about a year to create Hank and one shot of Hank along took 6 whole months to make.

9. Just keep singing, just keep singing..or, you know, humming

The “Finding Dory” soundtrack, “Finding Dory: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”, is composed by renowned American composer Thomas Newman. Thomas was previously honoured with the Richard Kirk award at the 2000 BMI Film and TV Awards, an award given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music. “Finding Dory: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” consists of 34 tracks, including Sia’s cover of Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”.

10. Fans believe that there’s a lesbian couple in the film

Finding Dory Lesbian Couple

When Disney-Pixar released the latest trailer for “Finding Dory” last week, the internet just about flipped. Eagle-eyed fans pointed out that the company could’ve featured their very first onscreen lesbian couple. There is a brief scene where a toddler drops her sippy cup after being knocked over by a baby stroller. One of the 2 women walking by picks up the cup and says, “Poor baby, let me get that for you.” but is shocked to see Hank the Octopus in the baby stroller instead.

BONUS:

11. Keep an eye out for “Piper”

Source: ew.com
Source: ew.com

A new Pixar short, “Piper”, directed by Alan Barillaro and with music by Adrian Belew, will be shown in theatres before “Finding Dory”. The inspiration for the 6-minute short, about a hungry baby sandpiper learning to overcome hydrophobia, came from less than a mile away from Pixar Studios in Emeryville, California. Veteran Pixar animator and Piper director Alan Barillaro would run alongside the shore and notice birds by the thousands fleeing from the water but returning between waves to eat. The last “Finding Nemo”-related Pixar short was released in 2003, titled, “Exploring the Reef”.

We’ll leave you now with the latest “Finding Dory” trailer. Enjoy:

Directed by Andrew Stanton, who also directed the original film, “Finding Dory” will be released in Malaysia on 16th June 2016.

For more information on “Finding Dory”, visit the movie’s official website or Facebook page.

Sources: POPSUGAR, “Finding Dory” Wiki, Heavy, fanpagelist.com, Entertainment Weekly / Featured image: Disney-Pixar.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.