The long awaited sequel to Pixar's sensational undersea adventure, Finding Nemo, might turn out to be the studio's most politically charged movie to date.
In Finding Dory, the adorable amnesiac (voiced by comedienne Ellen DeGeneres) will take center stage, as she, Marlin, and Nemo set out to find her long-lost parents. Which, brilliantly, means more of this:
But, as with all of Pixar's movies, Finding Dory doesn't only aim to entertain. It also seeks to educate, forcing children and adults alike to reframe their perspective and consider the well-being of our fragile, un-animated world.
In an interview with Yahoo!, DeGeneres has said the movie will deal with an environmental issue particularly close to her heart; the protection of our oceans.
"Fish should be in the ocean”
One unintended consequence of the first movie's success was the massive demand for clownfish and blue tang pets, depriving them of their true home in the open waters. DeGeneres made it explicitly clear that doesn't agree with such practices:
“I think that fish should be in the ocean. It’s what this whole sequel is about: It’s about rehabilitation and putting them back in the ocean… And we have to protect our oceans. Hopefully that discussion starts with this film, because we really need to protect that environment.”
It's our duty to protect our marine life and their oceanic environment, to ensure that all species of fish can "just keep swimming" for generations to come.
Taking aim at SeaWorld
It's believed that Pixar delayed the movie to accommodate changes in the script; changes inspired by 2013's controversial documentary, Blackfish, which explored SeaWorld's mistreatment of captive marine life.
Judging by DeGeneres' comments, Finding Dory may well pack a heavy political punch, provoking debate and discussion around the protection of our seas, which can only be a good thing. Considering the amount of joy these aquatic characters have brought to audiences, it only seems right we give some thought to the real-life fish that inspired them in the first place.
Watch the full interview with Ellen below:
Finding Dory opens in theaters June 17, 2016.