We were invited to the Beverly Hills press junket of Finding Dory, which brought out the filmmakers and actors to discuss the Disney-Pixar movie. There wasn’t a plan for a sequel to Finding Nemo for many years, until Director Andrew Stanton changed that after working on a 3D version in 2011. 13 years after Finding Nemo, Dory now has her film.
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At the press conference were actors Ellen DeGeneres (Dory); Ed O’Neill (Hank); Ty Burrell (Bailey); Kaitlin Olsen (Destiny); Albert Brooks (Marlin); Eugene Levy (Charlie); and Hayden Rolence (Nemo), along with director Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins.
Stanton was asked, “Why 13 years later?”. He said that he wasn’t expecting to go back and revisit the story. After supervising the 3D version in 2011, “I walked out very worried about Dory”. Stanton always knew the film would be about Dory accepting herself. Clearly emotionally invested in his title character, he continued, “You are not at peace until you can truly accept who you are. I think she was always going to be unsettled until she experienced what it was like to succeed on her own completely”.
Hayden Rolence took over the role of Nemo, originally voiced by Alexander Gould. Rolence was a big Finding Nemo fan, well before auditioning for Finding Dory. He was nervous because, “I was taking over this character that everybody loves and I wanted to do Nemo justice.”
DeGeneres was “campaigning for a sequel to a great movie, not a sequel for Dory” after starring in the “iconic film”. After 5 or 6 years in the years following Finding Nemo, DeGeneres started to make a joke out of it. “And then the joke became a reality”. The traits DeGeneres feels she shares with Dory include optimism, perseverence, and non-judgement. She also said when told she looked like Dory that while she didn’t see it, the filmmakers did record her facial expressions to use when animating.
The actors were asked whether they were planners or “go with the flow” type people. Brooks said he was not a “go with the flow” person. Levy? “I’d like to think of myself as a ‘go with the flow’ person, but I’m not”. Ty Burrell said that, “I don’t think I’m a planner or a ‘go with the flow’ person, which makes me a worried person without a plan” (to laughter). DeGeneres said she is more of a planner.
DeGeneres said about Dory, “what appears to be a disability is her strength”, and that the film is much more “complex and layered than Finding Nemo“.
Finding Dory opens Friday, June 17th, 2016.