The next day after seeing a screening of “Finding Dory“, I got to go to the beautiful Montage Beverly Hills Hotel for some more Dory fun! It was an afternoon of press conferences with some of the film’s cast and crew, having in-depth conversations about their character work and behind-the-scenes experiences.
First up was director Andrew Stanton, director of many Pixar hits, and also the voice of crush. He spoke alongside producer Lindsey Collins.
Stanton explained that although “Finding Nemo” was such a success, the reason why there is a thirteen year lapse between “Nemo” and “” was because he didn’t think a sequel was ever happening, it wasn’t in the forefront of his mind to make. Since a film of this nature typically takes about 4 years, and that is a huge time lapse for a fish, it wasn’t on the docket to make a second movie.
A few years ago, however, he realized he felt horrified that he left audiences not knowing what happened to Dory. Having short term memory loss in the big, wide ocean can be a scary thing. He wanted to tell her story so that audiences knew how she was doing; how she was even blossoming.
When he came up with the idea to center around Dory, he knew that he wanted the story to involve Dory succeeding on her own completely. Stanton felt having her be able to succeed and accomplish big hurdles on her own was imperative in order to have Dory accept herself, short term memory loss and all. Collins elaborated on this, saying they wanted Dory to have the ability to grant herself the amount of grace and acceptance she grants everyone around her.
The first film took place in the waters around Australia. Stanton talked about how this time around, the setting is the California coast. Since the first movie, he wanted to include kelp beds in their story’s setting. Not only because they are visually stunning and very unique habitats, but also because he felt like kelp beds looked like an underwater forest. Stanton liked the idea of having an underwater fairy tale that has kelp bed scenes to mimic the classic fairy tale with a forest setting.
In addition to the film’s exciting new setting, there are also many new characters: Hank, Bailey, Destiny, to name a few. Stanton and Collins felt very satisfied with the cast, feeling like everyone slipped into their roles perfectly (not to mention, everyone who they cast was also their first choice in voice actor).
Although the new settings and characters are fun to explore, this film is ultimately answering questions about Dory, as well as working to have her character grow. Collins loves how this movie allowed them the opportunity to explain the questions we have about Dory’s past (I.e. How does she know how to speak whale?). Stanton had an incredible time diving into the layers of our favorite blue tang, discovering alongside the writers and cast, Dory’s personality, flaws, emotions, and her family.