Released in 2003, Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo proved to be an instant hit, earning a total of $936 million worldwide, and later receiving universal acclaim together with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Returning to familiar waters once more, co-writer/director Andrew Stanton has been actively developing a sequel, titled Finding Dory, with voice cast members Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks set to reprise their roles as the absent-minded Dory and the ever-so-slightly neurotic Marlin, alongside several noteworthy new additions.
A tidal wave of trailers and TV spots for the upcoming underwater adventure have been shared in the lead-up to this summer’s blockbuster season, but perhaps none have been quite as heartwarming as the studio’s latest teaser, which was released just in time for Mother’s Day.
While the initial Finding Dory teaser trailer focused on setting up the titular character’s quest, and subsequent clips have offered amusing glimpses at some of the new characters that Dory will encounter on her journey, the new promo, revolves around Dory’s search for her parents, in particular her mother. Diving straight to the heart of the story, the trailer highlights the film's central message: “No matter what, you always remember family.”
Drawing from a script that prolific Pixar writer Stanton worked on with Victoria Strouse (October Road) and Bob Peterson (Finding Nemo, Up), the long-awaited sequel takes place just six months after the events of Finding Nemo, with Dory setting out on a search to find her family, after recalling a series of childhood memories. However, one tender embrace between Dory and Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence) in the latest teaser might suggest that the blue tang fish will discover that the true meaning of family lies within the colourful cast of clown fish and various other aquatic animals that swim within the same waters as her.
Over the years, Pixar have managed to craft some of the most unique, timeless and beloved family films of all time. Often returning to their modern classics to create follow-up stories, but with a mixed bag of results. For the studio, it certainly makes sense to bring back established characters rather than risk creating new ones, and the success of Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 only strengthened that theory.
On the other hand, audiences are quick to detect whether a sequel is genuinely introducing a new dynamic to a franchise or whether they are simply attempting to capitalize on their feats, purely for financial gain. Consequently for Pixar, Cars 2 generated the studio’s first truly negative response and the Monsters University prequel also received a lukewarm reception. In the case of Finding Dory, it’s a simple flip on the script, instead of Marlin searching for his lost son; fan-favourite Dory hopes to find herself, at the same time as finding her family – but since we know as little about the character’s background as the character herself, it seems that there might just be a place on the big screen (and in our hearts) for the Nemo sequel.
Finding Dory opens in U.S. theaters on June 17th, 2016.
Source: Disney Pixar