D23 Expo: Finding Dory Makes A Big Splash

Credit: Disney/Pixar
Credit: Disney/Pixar

The presentation hall at the D23 Expo exploded Friday afternoon during the Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Finding Dory sneak peek. What made fans go bananas? Dory herself, Ellen DeGeneres, walked out on stage.

One of the most vocal advocates for a follow up to Finding Nemo, DeGeneres is of course back in the sequel to voice the loveable if forgetful blue tang. This time the story is about Dory looking for someone: her family.

In the first clip shown on Friday, Nemo and Marlin are persuaded to join their friend on her search for answers after she suddenly remembers the family she left behind in California. The ever-cautious Marlin isn’t convinced by Dory’s plea – “I don’t remember what I remembered, but I remembered that I remembered something” – but he is moved when she says does know she misses her family. Knowing what that feels like, Marlin agrees, saying he “knows a guy” who can help them navigate across the ocean. Please say his name is Crush!

About the sequel, director Andrew Stanton, who directed the first film as well, said he truly believed he’d completed the Finding Nemo story the first time. But then he started thinking about Dory and an idea began to form. “I wanted to know that if this charming forgetful fish ever got lost again, that she would be okay, that she would find her way home,” he said. “And at the end of Finding Nemo, I wasn’t confident about that. So that’s when I knew I had another story.”

Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Joining DeGeneres in the film are Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, and Kaitlin Olson, each playing a new marine animal that Dory encounters at an ocean sanctuary facility for wounded animals. O’Neill voices a grouchy septapus (an octopus missing one leg) named Hank who has a bit of an anger management problem. One of the clips shown at the presentation saw him meeting Dory and trying to persuade her to assist him in making sure he never returns to the ocean, preferring to live out his days in the peaceful solitude of a glass tank.

Burrell voices a dorky white beluga whale named Bailey that is concerned the large lump on his head (which appears on every member of his species) is actually a sign of a head injury. Olson plays Destiny, a whale shark who believes she’s actually a whale, even though Bailey and other fish continually remind her she’s really a shark.

Stanton is joined behind the camera by co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins.

Finding Dory arrives in theaters June 17, 2016.

Stephanie Coats