Debuting on June 17th, is Disney-Pixar’s latest film, “Finding Dory.” A continuation to the Academy Award-winning “Finding Nemo,” it follows Dory, a blue tang with short-term memory loss, on her search for the parents she had lost and forgotten.
[All non-attributed photos and video courtesy of Disney.]
Recently, the talent from either side of the vocal recording booths met at a press conference to talk about their experiences making the long-awaited sequel. First up was Director Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins.
Some points of note from the video above:
Andrew Stanton on why he wanted to make this movie thirteen years after the original: “The real truth is, I wasn’t expecting to ever go back. Four years with fish is a long time to work on a movie…The brain’s an interesting thing. So suddenly I was watching the movie again because I hadn’t watched it in years, and 2011 we had to see the 3D version, and I walked out very worried about Dory. And I couldn’t stop thinking about how she needed closure.”
Stanton on the themes of the movie: “Well, I always knew that the film was going to be about her accepting herself…The premise I ultimately came with is that you’re not at peace until you can truly accept who you are. And I think she was always going to be unsettled until she experienced what it was like to succeed on her own completely. And I don’t think she ever really had. She had learned how to survive in the wild by being the best co-pilot ever, and so that meant she was always dependent on somebody else to be successful. I knew that the only way she was going to feel completely fulfilled is if she, like a little kid, ‘did it all by myself.’ And so that was really a grand design to just do that simple thing for her.”
Lindsey Collins: “We also felt as though she needed to grant herself the same grace that she feels she grants everybody else. She kind of apologizes for herself…and she never expects anybody to apologize for themselves and in fact, is kind of more open with them than anybody. I think that’s why people love Dory, and why the ‘just keep swimming’ kind of resonates so clearly, because it’s such a genuine…’it’s ok! Just persevere! You’re gonna do it!’…And so the fact that she, as a character, was not giving herself the same grace…it was like, how do we get her to that place, and who grants that to her, and then [Stanton] was like ‘the only person who can grant that to her is herself.'”
Stanton on setting “Finding Dory” at an aquarium: “Once we started to look back at the unintentional bread crumb trail of Dory, she knows how to read English, she knows how to speak whale, and she’s got this odd eclectic knowledge of stuff. And so I said ‘I think she has to be around Humanity. I think she has had to have just seen the most bizarre stuff.” In an early pass, there was a moment where she was at the glass revisiting her exhibit and everything she ever said had an association with the wall, like Keyser SÃ¶ze at the end of ‘The Usual Suspects.’ It was like ‘sea monkey has my money,’ like ‘natural blue,’ …and it was funny in the moment, but it was so reliant that you were like an expert on the first movie that we just didn’t use it.”
–Stanton’s favorite character: Hank
–Collins’ favorite character: Bailey and Destiny
–Stanton voices the Loud-Mouthed Clam in addition to Crush.
–Stanton didn’t want to put Crush in the film initially, for fear it would look like a vanity move, but he needed a fast way to get everyone across the ocean.
–The kelp forest environment was one that Stanton had wanted to put into the first film and finally got to use for this one. It lent Dory’s search a fairy tale quality.
–The addition of Sigourney Weaver to the movie was initially an internal joke that they didn’t think would make it into the final cut, but proved to be too funny to exclude.
–Stanton felt the long interval of time from the last film helped because he is now a better writer and might not have been able to break the story any earlier.
Next up was the bulk of the major voice cast of “Finding Dory:” Ellen DeGeneres (voice of “Dory”), Ed O’Neill (voice of “Hank”), Ty Burrell (voice of “Bailey”), Kaitlin Olson (voice of “Destiny”), Albert Brooks (voice of “Marlin”), Eugene Levy (voice of “Charlie”), and Hayden Rolence (voice of “Nemo.”)
The cast on whether they are a planner, like Marlin, or choose to “go with the flow” like Dory:
Albert Brooks: “I’ve never had a flow. So I don’t know. I’m not a ‘go with the flow’ person. I would be a planner.”
Hayden Rolence: “I guess I’m sort of a planner too.”
Brooks: “Good. Thank you.”
Eugene Levy: “I like to think of myself as a go with the flow person…but I’m not. So I think I would put myself in the planner category.”
Kaitlin Olson: “I’m definitely a planner, and since I’ve had kids, I turned into an anxiety-ridden control freak planner. So the past two years of my life have been very much me consciously trying very hard to go with the flow and let it happen and I got this…I got all these mantras I’ll share with you guys…yeah, I’m trying very hard to be more of a ‘go with the flow’ person.”
Ty Burrell: “I don’t think I’m a planner or a go with the flow person. Which makes me a worried person without a plan. That is not what you want.”
Ed O’Neill: “I don’t plan. I don’t really go with the flow either. Mostly confused. I just sort of put one foot in front of the other–sort of like ‘keep swimming,’ right? I just sort of…you know, I’m up in the morning, and here I am. And then…I move around…”
DeGeneres: “Very, very, very deep man.”
Burrell: “I have that coffee mug, actually.”
Brooks: “And then what happens? What happens around 3:00?”
DeGeneres: “I’m glad you didn’t go moment by moment of your day.”
O’Neill: “I stopped. I knew where that was going.”
DeGeneres: “Yeah, I know. I knew where that was going, too. I’m pretty much a planner.”
Brooks: “By the way, I think there may not be such a thing as a flow. I think if you don’t plan, you’re flowed right out the door.”
Ellen DeGeneres on what she would say if she could go back in time and talk to herself at the age of six.: “I think, as Albert was saying, as you get older you get wiser and you start looking at life in a completely different way. You can tell a six-year-old whatever, but a six-year-old is going to go ‘uh-uh,’ so you can try…but I would tell that six-year-old that life is a very interesting journey. And that it is filled with surprises, and sometimes they’re good surprises and sometimes they’re bad surprises. And, they’re all good. Because even the bad ones get you ready for something else and they build another part of you that you wouldn’t have inside of you. And I think we’re made up of all kinds of different things, and if we were just made up of joy and love and all good things, and nothing bad happened to us, we’d just be a little less layered. So I would tell that six-year-old to just take everything in and just embrace the bad with the good and…just keep swimming.”
After the two panels, we were also treated to a short presentation by Director Alan Barillaro and Producer Marc Sondheimer on the development and creation of the terminally cute short “Piper” which will accompany “Finding Dory” in theaters.
An enormous amount of work went into making all the birds and aquatic animals as realistic as possible, while still investing them with the appeal and personality of an animated character.
“Piper” and “Finding Nemo” will open in theaters June 17, 2016.