No, this is not some elaborate, belated April Fool's joke. Although I originally thought so myself when I first read this news.
Rumors first surfaced this past summer that a sequel to Pixar's critically acclaimed and commercially successful masterpiece Finding Nemo was in the works, with reports that director Andrew Stanton would return to helm the film and that stars Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks were in talks to reprise their roles. Today, Disney and Pixar have stepped out to declare that the rumors are indeed true.
On November 25th, 2015, prepare to immerse yourself once again into the world of Nemo, Marlin and Dory when they swim onto the big screen once again in an all-new undersea adventure, Finding Dory.
From the official press release:
When Dory said “just keep swimming” in 2003’s Oscar®-winning film “Finding Nemo,” she could not have imagined what was in store for her (not that she could remember). Ellen DeGeneres, voice of the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, revealed details today about Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory”—an all-new big-screen adventure diving into theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.
“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres. “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.”
Director and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton takes audiences back to the extraordinary underwater world created in the original film. “There is no Dory without Ellen,” said Stanton. “She won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world—not to mention our team here at Pixar. One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In ‘Finding Dory,’ she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.”
According to Stanton, “Finding Dory” takes place about a year after the first film, and features returning favorites Marlin, Nemo and the Tank Gang, among others. Set in part along the California coastline, the story also welcomes a host of new characters, including a few who will prove to be a very important part of Dory’s life.
“Finding Nemo” won the 2003 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature; the film was nominated for three additional Oscars® (Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Music, Original Score; Best Sound Editing). It was also nominated for a Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture–Comedy or Musical. In 2008, the American Film Institute named “Finding Nemo” among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, “Finding Nemo” was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It’s currently the fourth highest grossing animated film worldwide. The film has more than 16 million Likes on Facebook, and Dory—with more than 24 million—is the most Liked individual character from a Disney or Disney•Pixar film.
DeGeneres’ distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, in film and in the literary world. Her syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” is in its 10th season and has earned 38 Daytime Emmy® Awards. DeGeneres has won 12 People’s Choice Awards and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedian for three consecutive years. Additionally, her show won two Genesis Awards and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. For her unforgettable turn as Dory, DeGeneres was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
Now, I'm one of the people that, for many years, dreaded the idea of a second Nemo film. I simply did not think it necessary; the original told the story of an overprotective father (who just so happened to be a clownfish) and his son, and finished off beautifully and flawlessly. But then again, no film needs a sequel. There are films that beg for a sequel, but no film needs one. Toy Story certainly didn't need one, and yet we still got two unbelievably good follow-ups to it. And yes, Finding Nemo did conclude with the words "the end" written across the screen, but it may have been the end of that particular story, and that doesn't mean a new one can't begin.
Why exactly is this happening though? Many believe that its purpose is to overwrite the Nemo sequel that was originally planned by Disney when it appeared that the Mouse House and Pixar would split (head on over to Kyle's Animated World for some great insight on that). Others say it's only a chance for Andrew Stanton to compensate for his live-action debut John Carter bombing at the box office so that Disney will give him another shot at directing another live-action film, although I find this notion ridiculous. First of all, it wasn't even Stanton's fault that the film performed poorly, and I find it hard to believe that he would agree to make a sequel just for the sake of, say, John Carter 2, or whatever else he may have in mind. He's an incredibly talented writer, director, and filmmaker, so for the time being I refuse to believe he is simply treating Finding Dory as his ticket to continuing with his live-action career.
"I'm glad I got that off my chest," as Dory would say.
Ellen is obviously thrilled, and made the announcement today on her show after several years of politely demanding Pixar make a sequel to Nemo. I can't imagine her reaction when she was told Dory would in fact be the main focus of said sequel! Watch her announce Finding Dory to an ecstatic audience in the clip below:
Well? What are your thoughts on today's big reveal? Are you excited, or maybe not so much? What do you think of the plot? Why do you think this movie is being made? Do share your opinion in the comments!
Finding Dory swims into theaters November 25th, 2015 (I can't tell you how much pleasure it gives me using that pun)!