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Why Director Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins Decided to Make ‘Finding Dory’

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney


After making “Finding Nemo,” Director, Andrew Stanton, thought that the story was done. “I knew that the movie in my mind was finished,” said Stanton. Then almost ten years later, Stanton began to worry about Dory. What would happen if she got lost? Stanton couldn’t get the thought out of his mind, and that is how the making of “Finding Dory” began.


While I was in Monterey learning about “Finding Dory,” I was honored to have time to talk with Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins. I have been a long time fan of Stanton’s work, and he has created so many movies that have been an important part of my children’s childhood.

Interview with the filmmakers for Finding Dory

In the beginning, Stanton had to be careful about who he told about wanting to make the movie. “Once I got this notion of Dory, and the potential of her being lost again, I thought ‘oh I think I have a story here, and I can’t tell anyone.’ I had to be careful. It had to be done right,” said Stanton. Then in 2011, it started to get serious, but he waited until the summer of 2012 to call Ellen, and the next call he made was to Albert.

“The quickest phone call I ever had was with Ellen taking the role of Dory. I wrote with her in mind.” Andrew Stanton

The movie Finding Dory

When writing the character, Dory, he knew that he wanted a character with memory loss, but he didn’t know how to do it. While working on developing Dory’s character, an episode of the 90’s Ellen show was on in the background. He heard her repeat the same line three times, and then he couldn’t stop writing without her in his head. “I called her and said, ‘Ellen I wrote this part for you, and if you don’t take it then I’m screwed,’ and she said ‘yes’,” said Stanton.


One of the biggest questions that my kids were curious about is, will all our favorite characters from Nemo be in the new film? Lindsey Collins said, “We wanted to make sure that we explored having a lot of the characters in the film because we love them too. We tried a lot. Some are there for the right reasons, and some couldn’t be in it because we didn’t want it to feel like we were making the same movie.” Stanton added, “I feel confident that all the characters are there for the right reasons.”

(Pictured) DORY. ©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

When it came to casting the new characters in Finding Dory, Ellen made it easy for them. Since she has interviewed almost every actor, they played back her past interviews from The Ellen Show. “We could just sit there, close our eyes, and listen to the voices together. That made the casting process so easy,” said Collins.


Nemo was a film that spoke to so many people. It was the message that people connected with, and they wanted to do the same with Finding Dory. The message that they are hoping that children and adults will take away from this film is, “Whatever your weird specific quirk is, that’s going to be unique to you, and nobody else isn’t a weakness, it’s probably a strength. That’s what we are trying to do with Dory is to look at her memory loss as a superpower, and not something to be ashamed of or to always be apologizing for,” said Stanton.

Collins added by saying, “There is truth to the fact that people with Alzheimer’s do remember people that they love. They don’t remember their names, how old they are, but they remember the emotion. That I know you, and that I love you. When something happens to you that had an emotional impact, you remember is more clearly vs. what happened to you last Tuesday. We are built to remember things that matter, and forget things that don’t.”


What so many people love about Dory is that she doesn’t acknowledge anybody’s weaknesses. “She never talks about Nemo’s little fin, tells him that he swims beautifully and moves on. She never does that to herself and says sorry all the time. We wanted her to celebrate her weaknesses as a gift because she deserves it,” said Collins. Then Stanton added, “And that was one of the reasons why I wanted to make the movie.”

Don’t miss diving back into the ocean with your favorite Disney characters in “Finding Dory” on June 17th. Learn more about “Finding Dory” online, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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