Andrew Stanton finds his way back to Pixar with Finding dory
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.