finding dory real life inspiration

Last month, I traveled to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to talk to Andrew Stanton and the filmmakers of Pixar’s upcoming Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory. On my visit, I got to preview 30 minutes of the upcoming film and chat with many of the filmmakers at Pixar who are creating Dory’s next adventure. But not only that, I got to learn how Pixar took multiple research trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which served as inspiration for the Marine Life Institute seen in the final film.

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Diane Keaton on ellen

The initial versions of the Finding Nemo story didn’t even feature a fish named Dory. Find out how Ellen DeGeneres‘ appearance on television changed everything, and learn how Modern Family and DeGeneres’ talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show has helped with the casting of the sequel Finding Dory.

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Each new Pixar film employs newer and better technology, but Finding Dory introduces an unprecedented amount of new software to their production pipeline. The company’s chief technology officer Steve May, who worked on Finding Nemo as the supervisor of the shark sequence, says that the process of how they make films has changed a lot since then, but “mainly computers are way faster and algorithms are way better.” Finding Dory introduces three completely new technologies and major improvements in one of their older pieces of software.

After the jump, you can learn about all the new technology being used in Pixar’s latest feature film and how that allowed them to create a character that would have been impossible in the Finding Nemo days. Hear director Andrew Stanton explain how the advances change the filmmaking process, and his producer Lindsey Collins explains that while the new tools make things easier to create, it has made producing a Pixar movie even harder than it ever was before.
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findingdory-poster2

When a Finding Nemo sequel was announced, many people, including myself, were skeptical of the motivations behind the announcement. Yesterday you learned how director Andrew Stanton came to find that a Finding Nemo sequel was necessary. And now we reveal why he felt Dory’s story was not over.

On a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I got to preview 30 minutes of Finding Dory. And I must admit, the 13-minute opening of the film (which I will not spoil) floored me. It was unexpected, dark, emotional and so very compelling. And what interests me is the idea that Finding Dory is actually a movie about disabled character on a journey to embrace what she may feel is her big flaw.

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andrew stanton, finding dory

Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton has been outspoken about sequels. Like fellow Pixar brain trust member Brad Bird, he has made his feelings known that we need more original stories and that money shouldn’t be a reason to make a follow-up. So when Stanton announced that he was directing a Finding Nemo sequel titled Finding Dory, some were surprised. Cynical film journalists were quick to write it off as a filmmaker running back to his successful franchise after the box office disappointment of his live-action debut, John Carter. But the truth is that the idea for Finding Dory came to Stanton before John Carter even hit theaters. It was something that kept him up at night.

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Finding Dory Posters

How can a forgetful fish, who doesn’t remember anything about her past, find her family? We’ll find out this summer when Disney and Pixar Animation bring their sequel Finding Dory to theaters.

So far we’ve only seen a little bit of the new adventure as Dory (Ellen Degeneres) starts to have flashes of her past, driving her to finally seek out her long-lost parents, who will be voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy. But a new trailer might be on the way soon, because we just got a batch of new Finding Dory posters that are very fitting considering the film’s title. Plus, these posters just showcase how beautiful Pixar’s animation has gotten over the year, and I can’t wait to see how the underwater environments for Finding Dory have improved in the 13 years since Finding Nemo was released. Read More »

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Pixar 20th anniversary

While Pixar Animation is nearly 30 years old, it’s only been 20 years since the company ventured into feature length, computer animated filmmaking with Toy Story. The film was an instant classic in 1996 and it spawned two successful, acclaimed sequels with a fourth installment on the way in 2017, and it was just the beginning of what the animation house had to offer.

In celebration of Pixar’s milestone anniversary this year, editor Kees van Dijkhuizen has paid tribute to Pixar with a supercut of the films they’ve made over the years, from their early shorts to this year’s feature films. You might find yourself getting some tears in your eyes since it’s accompanied by Michael Giacchino‘s score from Up. Read More »

20 Years of Pixar

In just over a month we’ll get to see a new friendship blossom between a talking dinosaur named Arlo and a feral little boy named Spot in The Good Dinosaur,the second Pixar Animation film of 2015. If the recent trailer is any indicator, we’ve got another wonderful family film on our hands that will really pull at your heartstrings.

But this isn’t the first time Pixar has played with our emotions. Ever since Toy Story hit the big screen 20 years ago, they’ve brought characters who developed meaningful bonds and unforgettable friendships, and they want to remind you of that leading up to the release of The Good Dinosaur just before Thanksgiving. Read More »

Pixar SadLab

Just recently a wonderful fanmade montage took a look at the range of emotions that have been on display in the 20 year history of Pixar Animation‘s feature films. It’s truly impressive how Pixar’s films have the power to make adults and kids run through the gamut of the emotional spectrum, and a new video finally explains how they do it.

The secret to Pixar’s emotional appeal is something called the SadLab, a group of people working to to discover new ways of making audiences cry as much as possible. The Pixar SadLab has been doing a pretty bang-up job so far. Read More »