Finding Dory, which opened nationwide June 17th, is the long awaited sequel to one of my all time favorite Disney and Pixar films, ‘Finding Nemo’. In this movie Dory, remembers that she has parents and wants to be reunited with them. She sets out to find them along with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence). However when Dory gets separated, the father and son duo set off on an adventure to find their old friend, while enlisting the help of some new ones. I’d like to share 5 reasons why Finding Dory isn’t the average sequel, from what I learned in my interview with Albert Brooks & Hayden Rolence.
The great thing about this movie is all of the subtle changes that keep the plot fresh and new while staying true to the original “Finding Nemo” film. When watching this movie it doesn’t feel like a tired, replayed sequel. It’s fresh, new and exciting but still has everything that I loved about Finding Nemo – a lot of heart, family, and adventure. When sitting down with Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence, I now have a little more insight as to why:
1. Directed by a non-sequel maker:
Albert Brooks said that Ellen DeGeneres (voice of Dory) has been campaigning for a Finding Nemo sequel on national TV for ten years, but that he wondered if it would ever happen because the director, Andrew Stanton, is not known for directing sequels.
Albert said, ” I think if he thought he couldn’t do it, he just wouldn’t do it…He hasn’t made a Wall-E sequel and he’s not a big sequel guy.”
I think that that is really evident in this movie. It doesn’t feel forced like it was just a “sequel to have a sequel”, but instead is deliberate, and well thought out.
2. Nemo’s Voice Actor
Because it has been 13 years since the original Finding Nemo film was released, the actor who played the original voice of Nemo has aged, but the character has not really aged at all.
Albert joked, “if the original Nemo did it, it really would have sounded odd, he’s forty now.” (He’s actually only 22, but still too old to play young Nemo).
However, I think that new actor, Hayden Rolence, did an amazing job of giving Nemo the same voice, giving the movie consistency, but with a new perspective.
Hayden said, “I did watch Finding Nemo a lot, just to sort of get myself prepared for trying to make my voice sound like Nemo.”
Of the change in voice actor, Albert praised Hayden saying, “Listen, Hayden did a great job. That’s a tough thing, because you come in and people say, well does he sound like him, and it’s hard to do that. I thought you did great.”
3. Change in Main Character From Nemo to Dory
The big change in this movie is that the main focus is no longer on Marlin and Nemo, but is now on Dory and her life story. Albert says one of his biggest surprises of the movie was just how effective and interesting this was.
He admits, ” I was worried initially four years ago, how are you going to do the memory thing over a whole course of a movie.”
But continues to tell how the movie used flashbacks to add depth and substance to the movie which effectively supported Dory’s role (which he didn’t even know about until he saw the premiere last week).
He said, “I had not seen how that was done. Quite frankly I didn’t even know about the flashbacks. So that was a surprise and I thought it worked great.”
4. Character Development for Marlin
Something that I love about Finding Dory is that Marlin seems to have actually learned from his experiences and developed as a character since we last saw him in Finding Nemo. It makes the character seem real and makes the two movies fit together fluidly.
Of his character’s development, Albert said, “I liked where it had sort of mellowed, you know, Marlin felt secure now about his kid.”
He said that in this movie Marlin is a little unsure about risking everything to save Dory, but does it because he can see how important it is to his son.
Albert says, “it’s a different kind of relationship than the first movie. I sort of thought Marlin was… a little wiser and maybe warmer, because he wasn’t so panicked.”
5. Authentic Emotions
I always feel that many sequels depend on the feeling and emotion of the prior movie to carry through to the sequel. I didn’t feel this way about Finding Dory at all. The emotions of this movie are so unique and sincere, that I think all viewers will take away something new from this movie.
Albert said, ” I don’t think I’ve seen a movie like that for a while. It’s funny without being sarcastic. And it’s heartwarming without being schmaltzy. I think people will be surprised that there’s maybe more feeling than they thought… I came out with more emotions than I thought I would. And so I think that’s a good thing.”
He joked, “people they can just take away the popcorn you know, I don’t like to tell people what to do emotionally.”
Finding Dory is now open in theaters nationwide, so take the family and decide if you leave with anything more (other than the popcorn) and come back here let me know what you think in the comments! I took my husband and kids over the weekend, and hubby says this just might be his new FAVORITE Disney movie!
I received an all expense paid trip, for the purposes of scoping out Finding Dory. All opinions are my own.
Interview photo credit to Sara Lundberg / BudgetSavvyDiva.com.