Ellen DeGeneres will be the star attraction in Disney and Pixar’s Finding Dory, the officially announced sequel to the 2003 animated hit Finding Nemo that is now in production.
Getting the Finding Nemo sequel off the ground has been an ongoing process that first appeared in the media well over a year ago with word that DeGeneres was on board. It was never a matter of “if” Disney and Pixar would be making the sequel, but a matter of “when.” Now we know the Finding Dory release date is set for November 25, 2015.
When looking for sequel ideas to Finding Nemo, director Andrew Stanton, whom helmed the original and appears to be back for the sequel, said he and his team began wondering why Dory was all alone when she first bumped into Nemo. This question will be answered in Finding Dory and lead to the introduction of Dory’s family and lessons about the meaning of family. Don’t worry; Nemo, Marlin, the Tank Gang and other familiar and new faces are also on tap.
“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres in a statement attached to the announcement. “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.”
Today’s announcement is a bit frustrating for those – including myself – who would rather Pixar tackle The Incredibles 2 before heading back under the sea in an effort to catch lightning in a bottle twice with a story that seems to share many parallels to the original, only with the sidekick becoming the main draw. Another turn with The Incredibles, especially considering how the first film ended by introducing the Underminer, seems like a surefire bet for box office success.
Like the sequels to Monsters, Inc., Cars and Toy Story before it, and the upcoming Cars spinoff Planes, the Finding Nemo franchise is a gold mine worth of merchandising opportunity beyond what The Incredibles can offer. For example, expect Disney Infinity figures based off Finding Dory to arrive in stores around the same time as the film releases and fly off the shelves as a result. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Finding Nemo merchandise is still being sold today a full decade after the film’s bow.
Whether you embrace another adventure with Dory and her scattered brain or despise it, Finding Dory is a go and will ride a wave of hype and publicity into theaters about 20 months from now.