Finding Dory Interview with Filmmakers Andrew Stanton & Lindsey Collins #FindingDoryEvent

Finding Dory Filmmaker Interview

By Erin

*I was invited to Monterey courtesy of Disney • Pixar for a media event. All thoughts and opinions remain my own*

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Finding Dory will be here before we know it! It only took what, 13 years? 😉 When I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium back in March, our group had the chance to sit down with Director Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins to learn more about Finding Dory and their thoughts about casting and creating the film. First, here’s a little bit of background info on these two amazing filmmakers, so you can get an idea of who they are and what they have accomplished so far.

Andrew Stanton (Director) and Lindsey Collins (Producer )at the Finding Dory Long Lead press day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA. Photo by Marc Flores. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Andrew Stanton (Director) and Lindsey Collins (Producer )at the Finding Dory Long Lead press day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA. Photo by Marc Flores. ©2016 Disney•Pixar.

Andrew Stanton has been a major creative force at Pixar Animation Studios since 1990, when he became the second animator and ninth employee to join the company’s elite group of computer animation pioneers. Stanton wrote and directed the Academy Award®-winning Disney•Pixar feature film “WALL•E,” for which he received an Oscar-nomination for best original screenplay. Making his directorial debut with the record-shattering “Finding Nemo,” an original story of his that he co-wrote, which he was also awarded an Oscar® for best animated feature film of 2003, the first such honor Pixar Animation Studios received for a full-length feature film. He also helped to create  many other award-winning beloved films like “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” and “Monsters, Inc.,”  “Monsters University,”  “Ratatouille,” “Brave,” and “The Good Dinosaur.”

Director Andrew Stanton during the film production of "Finding Dory" on December 11, 2015 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Director Andrew Stanton during the film production of “Finding Dory” on December 11, 2015 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Lindsey Collins, Producer, joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 1997.  She has worked in various roles on a number of Pixar’s feature films.  Collins’ film credits include “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and the Academy Award®-winning films “Finding Nemo” and “Ratatouille.” Another neat fact about her is that she provided the voice of the character Mia in Pixar’s 2006 release, “Cars.”  Before joining Pixar, Collins worked at Disney Feature Animation for three years, managing creative teams on the films “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Hercules.”

WALL*E Co-Producer Lindsey Collins has her photo taken on March 12, 2008 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

WALL*E Co-Producer Lindsey Collins has her photo taken on March 12, 2008 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar).

Now that you have an idea of all the amazing films they have had a hand in so far (if you didn’t already know), here are some fun facts that were shared with us during the interview about “Finding Dory!”

Finding Nemo & Finding Dory were written with Ellen DeGeneres in mind as Dory-

Finding Dory Ellen

For Nemo, Andrew Stanton wrote with only Ellen in mind to do Dory.  And that’s rare.  He hasn’t ever done that with anybody else. For Dory he didn’t do that with anybody else except that he always had wished that if Dory ever did have parents, it was Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy.  They were the dream cast, and he was very thankful they agreed to the roles. Andrew shared with us how quick of a call it was with Ellen to ask if she would take on the role of Dory, “The quickest phone call I ever had with her was taking the role of Dory.  I basically wrote with her in mind cause I couldn’t figure out Dory, I couldn’t figure out.  It wasn’t even a female Character at the time, and I just needed this Character to have short-term memory loss and I didn’t know how to do it.  And she had an original Show in the ’90s called “The Ellen Show” that was a Sit-Com.  And it was on in the room while I was trying to deal with Writer’s Block and suddenly I heard her change the sentence 5 times in one sentence, and I went that’s it, that’s how you do it. But I knew there was no guarantee you can get her and I’m really pinning myself in a corner if I do that but it ended up working so then I sent her the script, called her out of the blue, and I said, Ellen, I wrote the part for you and if you don’t take it, I’m completely screwed, completely screwed.  She didn’t know me, she was like, well then I better take it.  It was that short of a phone call, and I’ve been so thankful to her ever since and then probably the second shortest phone call was calling for “Finding Dory.”

DO I KNOW YOU? -- In Disney?Pixar's "Finding Dory," everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), encounters an array of new?and old?acquaintances, including a cantankerous octopus named Hank (voice of Ed O'Neill). Directed by Andrew Stanton (?Finding Nemo,? ?WALL?E?) and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer ?WALL?E?), ?Finding Dory? swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

Watch for Easter Eggs

There are plenty.  A1-13, the pizza planet truck, a character from the next movie they’re doing (Cars 3), Darla, KeeKee and then John Ratzenberger are all gonna be in there. Plus plenty of others. 😉

New Favorite Characters?

Out of the new characters that we will be meeting in Finding Dory, Andrew Stanton shared with us, who he would consider his favorite at the moment. “Well, that’s a tough one.  They pop around.  It was sort of the same in the first film.  But I think maybe it’s just because we spend a little more time with this character than any of the other new characters, is Hank. He’s just so gruff.  But he’s got a heart of gold. He’s like your grumpy uncle. Or your grandpa.  You just love putting him in uncomfortable situations and seeing him have to like deal with it.  And be kind and things like that.”

FINDING DORY - HANK (voice of Ed O’Neill) is an octopus. Actually, he’s a “septopus”: he lost a tentacle—along with his sense of humor—somewhere along the way. But Hank is just as competent as his eight-armed peers. An accomplished escape artist with camouflaging capabilities to boot, Hank is the first to greet Dory when she finds herself in the Marine Life Institute. But make no mistake: he’s not looking for a friend. Hank is after one thing—a ticket on a transport truck to a cozy Cleveland facility where he’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful life of solitude. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

FINDING DORY – HANK (voice of Ed O’Neill) is an octopus. Actually, he’s a “septopus”: he lost a tentacle—along with his sense of humor—somewhere along the way. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. Diane Keaton had never done a voice acting part until this movie.

What about Nemo and Marlon?

FINDING DORY - Pictured (L-R): One year after his big overseas adventure, NEMO (voice of Hayden Rolence) is back to being a normal kid: going to school and living on the coral reef with his dad and their blue tang neighbor, Dory. His harrowing adventure abroad doesn’t seem to have sapped his spirit. In fact, when Dory remembers pieces of her past and longs to take off on an ambitious ocean trek to find her family, Nemo is the first to offer his help. He may be a young clownfish with a lucky fin, but Nemo wholeheartedly believes in Dory. After all, he understands what it’s like to be different. MARLIN (voice of Albert Brooks) may have traveled across the ocean once, but that doesn’t mean he wants to do it again. So he doesn’t exactly jump at the opportunity to accompany Dory on a mission to the California coast to track down her family. Marlin, of course, knows how it feels to lose family, and it was Dory who helped him find Nemo not so long ago. The clownfish may not be funny, but he’s loyal—he realizes he has no choice but to pack up his nervous energy and skepticism and embark on yet another adventure, this time to help his friend. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Nemo and Marlon ©2016 Disney•Pixar.

Yes, they will be seen throughout the film.  Andrew told us, “They’re in it all the way through.  They’re just, they get separated from her and are like 3 steps behind her kind of throughout the whole film. We wanted to make sure that, we had at least explored putting in a lot of these characters just because we love them too.”

Did they do any Medical Research on short-term memory loss?

According to Andrew, No.”No to be honest, there’s — there’s nothing.  It’s so made up for us.  I mean, it honestly, came from a biological fact that I’ve learned about Goldfish that they have a memory of 5 seconds, and I thought that was so hilarious, and I thought what if we come up with a character like that, and I thought it was too good.  And I gave it to maybe the character that has to go with Harland through the journey and how to figure that out.  Then slowly evolve because just forgetting every 5 seconds just gets so annoying so fast.  And slowly, it turned into this almost like just feeling it out.  It’s like let her — let her have emotional memory.  Let her not forget any of that stuff.”

Andrew Stanton (Director) and Lindsey Collins (Producer )at the Finding Dory Long Lead press day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA. Photo by Marc Flores. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Andrew Stanton (Director) and Lindsey Collins (Producer )at the Finding Dory Long Lead press day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA. Photo by Marc Flores. ©2016 Disney•Pixar.

That’s just a fun peek into the interview with the filmmakers. Make sure to see the film on June 17th as Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang Dory!

Swimming into theaters on June 17th!

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