‘What You Should Know’ is a Rotoscopers series that gives you a detailed and (somewhat) objective rundown of this year’s animated films, right before or on the day they hit theaters. That way, you can make a decision of whether or not to see the movie based on the information provided.
MOVIE: Finding Dory
DIRECTED BY: Andrew Stanton (co-directed by Angus MacLane)
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse (based on a story by Stanton and Bob Peterson)
STARRING: Ellen Degeneres (Dory), Allen Brooks (Marlin), Hayden Rolence (replacing Alexander Gould in the role of Nemo), Ed O’Neill (Hank), Kaitlin Olson (Destiny), Ty Burrell (Bailey), Diane Keaton (Jenny), Eugene Levy (Charlie), Edris Elba (Fluke), and Dominic West as Rudder.
MUSIC BY: Thomas Newman
STUDIO: Walt Disney Pictures
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Pixar Animation Studios
PRODUCTION BUDGET: $200 million
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?:
Finding Dory is the long-gestating sequel to Pixar’s 2003 classic Finding Nemo. Taking place one year (in-universe) after the events of that film, Finding Dory
places the focus on the fan-favorite character as she travels the ocean and fights her short-term memory loss in an effort to find her parents.
A BRIEF HISTORY:
Shortly after the release of Finding Nemo, DIsney had its own plans to make a sequel of sorts to the film via Circle 7 Animation, a studio that Disney had set up with the intention of developing sequels to Pixar properties (it was shut down in 2006).
In 2012, nearly a decade after Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton initially waved off speculation of a sequel in July before officially confirming its development in September. The reason for the film’s greenlight was due to Stanton’s schedule clearing up after development on sequels to his live-action film John Carter were canceled.
According to a July 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Disney had inquired to Pixar about a Finding Nemo sequel for some time now, but they would only resolve to do it if it came about naturally: “[Sequels] are part of the necessity of our staying afloat, but we don’t want to have to go there for those reasons. We want to go there creatively, so we said [to Disney], ‘Can you give us the timeline about when we release them? Because we’d like to release something we actually want to make, and we might not come up with it the year you want it'”
IMPORTANT STUFF TO KNOW:
The film’s ending was revised after Pixar executives saw Blackfish, a 2013 documentary that warned about the dangers of keeping orca whales in captivity. The initial plan was to have some of the characters end up in a SeaWorld-style marine park, but the revision gave the characters an option to leave.
Like I said up top, the film puts the focus on one of the more popular Pixar characters in any of their films. But the biggest bonus is bringing back most of the team behind Finding Nemo to tell another story in this world with these beloved characters.
Another big factor in play here is nostalgia. It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo bowed in 2003, and the kids that saw that film in theaters at the time are now young adults. Expect the nostalgia factor to be a major driver in potentially attracting a sector of millennials with fond memories of the first film.
Not many to think of, other than that some fans probably won’t appreciate that this isn’t a straight sequel to Nemo.
There’s really no better way to put it: this film is tracking through the roof. Current estimates range anywhere from a modest $110-$120 million on opening weekend to as much a $130 million. In an effort to increase those estimates, Finding Dory will be given the widest release of any Pixar film across 4,305 theaters (breaking a record held by Brave). If other reports are to be believed, Finding Dory might score the second best Summer debut this year (behind Captain America: Civil War).
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:
After a disappointing run with The Good Dinosaur, Pixar look to have another winner on its hands. Finding Dory currently has a 95% ‘Certified Fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating: “Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor’s classic story.”
Finding Dory looks poised to succeed on two fronts: being a great sequel, and a great animated film on its own right.
If this article has you interested in seeing Finding Dory, buy your tickets here on Fandango.
Thank you for reading this installment of What You Should Know!