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Finding Dory- Dory's Story

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Promotional poster for 'Finding Dory - Dory's Story' featuring animated marine characters and release date information.

I have always been fascinated by the behind the scenes in movie making. There is so much that goes into making a movie and learning about it helps me to appreciate the movie more. Recently, when I visited Monterey California for the Finding Dory Event I was able to learn more about Dory's Story and how the Finding Dory story was created. Finding Dory will be in theaters this June 17th and I am so excited to see the finished product.

Two presenters leading a workshop titled "Finding Dory- Dory's Story Process" in a conference room.

While at this event, we had the opportunity to hear from Angus MacLane and Max Brace. They shared with us the story process for Finding Dory. It is so interesting how an idea gets created and how many people get involved to get the story from start to finish. In the Finding Dory story, Andrew Stanton, the Director of Finding Nemo had a nagging thought. He was worried about Dory. He watched Finding Nemo and was left wanting to learn more about Dory and was interested in exploring the idea in a sequel. Andrew Stanton wanted to see if it would be a good idea so he brought a few people in to the process. Two of the people he brought in were Angus MacLane and Max Brace.

Professional man with glasses smiling at the camera, reminiscent of "Finding Dory - Dory's Story.

Angus MacLane was one of the earliest people that Andrew Stanton talked to about Finding Dory. He wanted to get other opinions on if making this movie was a good idea. Of course, Angus MacLane said yes and became the co- director of this movie. Angus MacLane had previously worked with Andrew Stanton on Finding Nemo, Wall-E andToy Story of Terror.

A portrait of a smiling man wearing glasses with a blurred Finding Dory background.

Max Brace came in on the process a little later than Angus MacLane. They had already started the story process. Max  Brave was at the wrap party for Brave when Andrew Stanton asked him to supervise on Finding Dory. They had worked together on Pixar movies in the past and Max Brace was excited to join in on Finding Dory.

A school of stingrays swimming above a tropical reef, with various fish species and Dory observing.

In making a movie, you have to take it from the inception of an idea all the way to a finished product. There are many hands that touch a movie from start to finish and many steps that go into making a movie successful. We were able to learn about the Story Process they used for Finding Dory.

An illustration of a coastal establishment with a central dome building, inspired by "Finding Dory," surrounded by landscaped paths and parking, adjacent to cliffs and shorelines.


In the beginning of making movies there is a lot of brainstorming that happens. Everyone goes into the meeting room and discusses ideas that they think should happen in the movie. In Finding Dory, they knew they wanted part to be set in the Marine Life Institute. In doing so, they had to brainstorm about what the Institute would look like, as well as what they would find inside of it.

Colorful underwater scene inspired by Finding Dory, featuring a starfish, bubbles, and a cartoonish orange fish hiding behind a rock reminiscent of Dory's Story.

I'm sure that we have all been to an Marine Life center and had our kids play in the touch pool. There is a funny interaction in the movie with kids interacting with the touch pool. They brainstormed about what it would be like having Dory stuck in the touch pool and how this could be a fun addition to the movie. Underwater scene from Finding Dory with a kelp forest and small fish.


I didn't realize how much research went into making a movie. Not only do they learn about the different sea creatures, but they actually study them in real life. They visited different aquariums where they could learn everything from what types of equipment was being used, how the light interacted with the water, and how the creatures reacted in their real environment. They wanted their movie to be believable to they have to research all areas to make sure they get it right.


The writers take all of the information from the brainstorming sessions and they turn the script into ideas. There is a lot that goes into the script process which includes handing over the ideas to artists of assigned scenes so they can turn these ideas into visuals.

Animated blue and yellow fish, reminiscent of Finding Dory's story, swimming through swirls of warm-toned water currents.


Did you know that the storyboard process on Finding Dory took 3.5 years and included 103,639 storyboards! This process is so important because they are better able to get a visual feel of how the story will work. They can get a feel if it makes sense, flows and gives off the information they want it to. This is how they shape a scene. Storyboards are reviewed every 4 months so they can make sure they are progressing with the film they can be proud of. In this time, they create scenes with more detailed storyboards, receive notes from the studio and feedback from the director and fix the notes. Finally it is sent to editorial.


Once the story is written they record scratch which is a rough edit of what the movie will feel like. This screening is shared with the brain trust where they are able to give their opinions on the movie and share their notes. They will at this point, take out things that they feel don't fit or aren't important to the story. They mentioned that this is a hard part of the process because they will be attached to a character or storyline but know its not needed and have to say goodbye in the end.

This is just part of the process of making a movie. I can't believe that the process takes so long but I am always excited to see how the movie turns out. I have loved all Disney and Pixar movies so I am excited to take my kids to see Finding Dory on June 17th. Here is the trailer for your enjoyment:

YouTube video

Finding Dory will be in theaters June 17, 2016!

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