We have been slowly getting news for Finding Dory since its initial announcement almost 2 years ago. The film's announcement was met with delight from fans: Ellen Degeneres' Dory was one of the most popular characters from [Finding Nemo (2003)](tag:757412), ranking as one of the best loved animated characters of all time. Thanks to Dory's amnesia, there are many mysteries about her past, giving Finding Dory plenty of story potential. And after Finding Nemo had even parents wiping away an errant tear, we just know that Finding Dory will tug at our heartstrings.
We know a bit about the plot, as well as the anti-Sea World messages Ellen Degeneres is hoping to send to kids and parents alike. But before we get to that, which character has already made a surprising cameo appearance?
First Look From Finding Dory!
We've finally got more than the poster! The first image from the movie was released recently, offering a tantalising glimpse into the world of the new film. There's Dory front and centre, of course, as well as new octopus friend Hank. But who's that hiding in the corner?
Ok, we can barely see it. But that photo features a frighteningly familiar figure...
Could that be Darla, the terrifying child from Finding Nemo? The pose is identical, and there's no mistaking that bag she's holding. So what does this mean for the movie? There are a few possibilities...
- Darla will return as the film's antagonist, ready to claim another fish as her pet.
- Darla will cameo briefly before the film continues.
- It's just an Easter egg, a nod towards the original film.
Which one do you think is most likely? We think the first option is improbable: Darla returning as a main character would be too repetitive and boring. So what about option number 2? Well, it's certainly possible, but the plot synopsis revealed that Dory meets Hank the octopus in the Marine Biology Institute of California... and Darla lives in Australia.
It wouldn't make much sense for Darla's picture to be on a Californian institute's wall, so it's most likely that this is just a tongue in cheek reference to Finding Nemo. Pixar are famous for including little Easter eggs that link to other films, most notoriously the Toy Story Pizza Planet truck, which appears in each of their many movies.
This is good news for Dory: at least she won't be facing the fate of being shaken to death! But there will be a lot of other challenges for Dory in her new journey of self discovery...
Finding Family & A Message Of Liberation!
It may be 7 months away, but Finding Dory is already shaping up to be a great film. Ellen Degeneres is especially excited about the movie: she's been pushing for the sequel for 12 years, and now that it's finally happening, she's confident it'll be worth the wait.
"I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time. I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating Toy Story 16. But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory."
The plot is slated to follow Dory on her quest to discover more about her history: why she was all alone when Marlin found her, where her family are and, most important of all, why she can speak whale.
And thanks to the casting announcements, we know that Dory doesn't just find her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), but her adopted beluga whale sibling, Bailey (Ty Burrell).
We also know that originally the characters would end up at Sea World, but after the Blackfish scandal in 2013, the ending and parts of the script had to be re-written to send a strong anti-captivity message. Ellen Degeneres was very clear on what she wanted the moral of the story to be.
"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."
Good on you, Ellen! After Finding Nemo prompted record sales of clownfish, maybe Finding Dory will inspire people to donate to marine protection funds. It'll be great to see Dory save the day, rescuing her fellow fish and finding her family in the process!
You can catch Finding Dory in theaters on June 17th 2016. Are you excited about the film's release? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!