Fresh Fish

An­drew Stan­ton finds his way back to Pixar with Find­ing dory

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE - He­len o’hara

fter Find­ing nemo, I thought I was done,” says An­drew Stan­ton. But just when he thought he was out, he pulled him­self back in. “About seven years later, I found my­self watch­ing the film again and re­alised I was wor­ried about Dory.”

Dory, of course, was the for­get­ful fish, voiced mem­o­rably by ellen Degeneres in the first movie, who tagged along with Al­bert Brooks’ Mar­lin as he tried des­per­ately to find his son. Spoiler: he did. So, Nemo was found, and Stan­ton had long since moved onto his ul­ti­mately ill-fated John Carter. It seemed, like Brad Bird be­fore him, that he was mak­ing the tran­si­tion from an­i­ma­tion to live ac­tion. But he just couldn’t for­get Dory.

even as he started work, Stan­ton re­fused to so much as think the words “find­ing Dory”, wary of invit­ing im­me­di­ate pres­sure to de­liver. He hired writer Vic­to­ria Strouse, and only once they were sure they had a story did he pitch any­thing to the stu­dio’s brain trust. It was Septem­ber 2012, two years af­ter Stan­ton started work, that the pro­ject was pub­licly an­nounced.

the fin­ished tale picks up one year af­ter Nemo was found, with Dory liv­ing in a brain co­ral next to Mar­lin’s anemone home. All seems rosy — but one day a slight ac­ci­dent trig­gers Dory’s mem­ory of her fam­ily, and she sets out in search of them. Nu­mer­ous ad­ven­tures lead her to a Marine Life In­sti­tute, where she meets Hank (ed O’neill), a grumpy oc­to­pus es­cape artist who agrees to help her.

the movie is a home­com­ing for Stan­ton af­ter Carter floun­dered at the box of­fice. “to go back into an­i­ma­tion pro­duc­tion was like com­fort­able shoes,” he says. “I still have a lot of other live ac­tion ideas, and I’m hop­ing some­time in the fu­ture I’ll get to do them.” for now, be­ing the big­gest fish in a big pond is more than enough for us.

Find­ing dory is out on July 29.

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