In the global world of movie marketing, studios looking to sell their films to an international audience are often tasked with advertising to a much difference audience than their primary/local campaigns. This often leads to drastically different advertisements being created to suit different cultural trends.
Case in point, the newly released Japanese-language trailer for the Pixar film Finding Dory. This preview for the Finding Nemo sequel features footage not shown in any of the other trailers released to date.
While the dialogue and narration for the “new” scenes will be lost on any viewers who don’t themselves speak Japanese, it’s nonetheless clear that the trailer shows off much more varied footage from the film, particularly scenes set in and around the Sea World-like marine park that’s said to comprise much of the film’s third act. If so, it would be very much in keeping with the editing of most Japan-specific trailers, which enjoy a reputation for giving away substantially more of a film’s plot and narrative-structure than ads made for other regions. This is often especially true for blockbuster franchise features which, in their nations of origin, often don’t need to sell any aspect of the film beyond that fact that a new movie featuring certain popular characters exists.
By contrast, Finding Dory’s Japanese trailer puts a greater focus on new characters set to debut in the marine park portion of the story, including a group of otters and a beluga whale, and includes scenes of the main characters using various unconventional means to travel between the park’s various aquatic areas and even attempt what looks to be a covert escape – though the circumstances thereof are not entirely clear. The main plot of the film involves amnesiac Dory (Ellen Degeneres) regaining portions of her memory relating to her family and setting out to find them, eventually winding up at the marine park through events (partially) shown in the trailer.
Of note, concerning the aquarium scenes, is the fact that the film is known to have substantially changed its ending while in production regarding this sequence when Sea World (and other parks like it) became the subject of international controversy following the release of the documentary Blackfish. While Pixar has not detailed exactly how much of the storyline was altered, the scenes visible in this trailer offer a decidedly intense, unwelcoming fish-eye-view of the aquarium complex; suggesting a “prison escape” scenario similar to Nemo’s fish tank liberation in the original film.
Whatever the storyline may be, Finding Dory’s release is expected to be the start of a mini-comeback for Pixar, which experienced its first box-office disappointment with The Good Dinosaur in 2015. The studio’s upcoming slate also looks particularly strong, with the highly-anticipated Dia de Los Muertos (Mexican “Day of The Dead”)-inspired original feature Coco currently in development alongside big-name sequels like Cars 3, Toy Story 4 and The Incredibles 2.
Finding Dory arrives in theaters on June 17th, 20916.