“Finding Nemo” fans, mark your calendars. Disney and Pixar have finally announced details about the 2003 underwater adventure’s long-awaited sequel, including its title.
“Finding Dory,” as the new film will be called, is scheduled to swim into U.S. theaters Nov. 25, 2015.
News broke last July that original “Finding Nemo” director Andrew Stanton, who also helmed Pixar’s “Wall-E” in 2008, was getting ready to dive back in for a second installment featuring Marlin, Nemo and, of course, fan favorite Dory. At the time, though, other information was pretty much non-existent.
Along with the announcement of a title and release date, however, Pixar has confirmed the involvement of Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), even giving away a few plot details.
“There is no Dory without Ellen,” said Stanton, according to the Huffington Post. “She won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world — not to mention our team here at Pixar. One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In ‘Finding Dory,’ she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.”
DeGeneres likewise voiced her enthusiasm. “I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” she said. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is — it’s got a lot more Dory.”
“Finding Dory” will reportedly take place partially on the California coastline. Along with DeGeneres, Albert Brooks is set to reprise his role as Nemo’s overly protective clownfish father, Marlin. Pixar said fans can expect to see a combination of familiar and new characters in the sequel.
The original “Finding Nemo” remains one of the pioneering animation highest-grossing movies to date, having pulled in upwards of $920 million worldwide. It even earned Stanton his first of two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature (the second going to “Wall-E”).
“Finding Nemo” has also received praise of another kind. According to medical researchers, the character of Dory is one of the only accurate depictions of amnesia in Hollywood history.
"Although her condition is played for laughs during the film,” wrote Dr. Sallie Baxendale in the British Medical Journal, “poignant aspects of her memory loss are also portrayed, when she is alone, lost and profoundly confused.”
Baxendale further noted, “The frustration of the other fish around her with constant repetition also accurately reflects the feelings of people who live with amnesiac patients.”
Given Pixar’s recent predilection for sequels, though, some fans might be wondering if “Finding Dory” is such a good idea. While “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3” managed to win over critics and audiences alike, “Cars 2” was viewed by many as a rare misstep for the studio.
After “Monsters University,” which arrives in theaters June 21, “Finding Dory” will be Pixar’s fifth sequel. Fingers are crossed that it can capture that special Pixar magic.
A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.