Hank has only seven tentacles because the animators realized they could not fit eight onto his body. His backstory was rewritten to account for the missing limb. For similar reasons, in the classic sci-fi film It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) special effects genius Ray Harryhausen was only able to create a stop-motion giant octopus with six arms.
Finding Dory was first announced by Ellen DeGeneres, who voices Dory, on her talk show following a long campaign for a Finding Nemo (2003) sequel, and hopes that if ever there were to be a 3rd film that it would release less than 13 years after Finding Dory (2016).
The Pizza Planet truck, a truck that is used to make delivery for "Pizza Planet" in Toy Story (1995), in a wrecked sunken state appears at the area where Dory, Marlin and Nemo encounter the giant squid, as well as on the freeway, passing by the truck heading to Cleveland.
The voice of the intercom at the Marine Life Institute is, as frequently said in the film Sigourney Weaver. This is her second Pixar role as she also voiced the main computer of the Axiom, the ship in the movie WALL·E (2008), which was also directed by Andrew Stanton.
Characters from other Pixar films make cameos as visitors to the Marine Institute. These include the daycare children from Toy Story 3 (2010), some adults and teenagers seen in Inside Out (2015), and some of the dentist's patients (particularly the young boy and mother who had been sitting in the waiting room when Darla arrived) from Finding Nemo (2003).
The structure of telling Dory's backstory through the small flashbacks was an idea originally conceived for Finding Nemo (2003). Andrew Stanton planned to reveal the loss of Marlin's family through gradual flashbacks that would be triggered by events he experienced in the present, but the idea didn't pan out in execution, particularly for making Marlin initially hard to like or empathize with. The narrative was instead shifted to show Marlin's tragedy at the very beginning, and the flashbacks were scrapped, although Stanton revealed he would like to use the framework in a future film.
Riley Andersen, a supporting character from Pixar's previous film Inside Out (2015) has a very brief cameo in the film. Right after Dory is thrown into Destiny's tank, she bumps into the glass viewing window. Riley can be seen in the crowd of children in the back row.
When Nemo and Marlin are in the tidal pool exhibit, they meet a loquacious clam, voiced by the film's Director Andrew Stanton. When they ask the clam how he is doing, he enthusiastically responds, "I'm happy." This is a gag relating to the colloquial expression, "Happy as a clam."
On April 1st, Ed O'Neill, the voice actor of Hank, was featured with Andrew Stanton as part of an April Fool's joke. The joke involved deceiving viewers into believing that Hank was the oldest and most coveted Pixar Easter egg in history, having been camouflaged as different objects. A similar thing happened with the title character of WALL·E (2008) in 2008.
In the Spanish-dubbed version screened in Mexico, the voice of the intercom at the Marine Life Institute is performed by Dr. Rodolfo Neri Vela, a Mexican scientist and astronaut that has worked with NASA.
The tags on the sea lions Rudder and Fluke have "A1" and "13" on their tails. "A113" appears in all Pixar movies, as a reference to the Cal Arts room where many of the animators from Pixar Studios attended.
Unlike in Finding Nemo (2003), Dory is referred to by her species name in Finding Dory, a Blue Regal Tang/Palette Sergeonfish. She also never gets Nemo's name wrong with Marlin having to correct her, and refers to Marlin by name for the first time in the film.
Most of the animals in this movie have a handicap or disability: Hank has a missing tentacle. Dory has short term memory loss. Nemo has a small fin. Destiny the whale shark has nearsighted blindness. Becky the loon is a slight bit slow mentally. Bailey the beluga had a head injury it is believed to be the first Disney or Pixar film to feature a character with a disability.
Herbie from Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) is seen in this film when Dory is first searching for her family, and again during the credits. During the making of "Herbie Goes Bananas" a real Volkswagen was dropped into the ocean and never recovered.
Along with Fluke and Rudder, there is a third sea lion at the Marine Institute named Gerald. Gerald was the name of the pelican that almost swallowed Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo (2003), only to be stopped by Nigel.
This is the third Pixar follow-up where the supporting character from the previous film becomes a main protagonist (i.e., Marlin was the main protagonist of Finding Nemo (2003), but in Finding Dory, Dory is now the main protagonist). The other two films are Monsters University (2013) (where Mike takes on the role as main protagonist from Sulley in Monsters, Inc. (2001)) and Cars 2 (2011) (where Mater takes on the role as main protagonist from Lightning McQueen in Cars (2006)).
In the Swedish-dubbed version, the voice of the intercom at the Marine Life Institute is performed by Jonas Wahlström. Wahlström is a famous Swedish animal expert, owner of the Aquarium at the outdoor zoo Skansen. He's also the owner of a sushi restaurant.
Hank is an octopus, and therefore he can survive out of water for some time, squirts ink when he's scared, and can change color for camouflage. Hank's behavior is actually very similar to that of a real-life octopus: octopi are notoriously hard to keep in captivity, as they are intelligent escape artists that are known to leave their tanks and wander around on land. His camouflage ability not only has him changing color, but also his shape: a technique used by real-life octopi (especially the mimic octopus) to escape predators or mimic more dangerous animals for defense.
First Pixar follow-up film where Pixar legend John Ratzenberger has a different role from the previous. In Finding Nemo (2003) he voices a school of Moonfish who form shapes and help Marlin and Dory get to Sydney, while in Finding Dory he voices a crab named Bill that Dory and Hank meet at the Marine Institute.
The water pipe seen overhead in the institutes quarantine room has the same "Seawater Supply TL59" label as the overhead pipe in the loading zone of the "Finding Nemo (2003) Submarine Voyage" attraction in Disneyland.
At the time of Finding Nemo (2003)'s production, Pixar were not able to animate octopi since they don't have any bone structure (Pearl as a Flapjack Octopus was easier to animate at the time), despite the film still featuring jellyfish which also lacks bone structure. By the time the sequel had come out, all was figured, along with a lot of other things Pixar had been incapable of animating the past decade.
The eyebrows on Gerald, the third sea lion who has no dialogue, resemble those of Baby Gerald, Maggie Simpson's archenemy from The Simpsons (1989). Many alumni of The Simpsons, most notably Brad Bird, have gone on to work at Pixar.
Crush, Squirt and the Other Sea Turtles are the only characters met during Marlin and Dory's journey in the first film to return in the sequel. (Not including the ocupants of dentist P. Sherman's fish tank in Finding Nemo (2003), who appear after the credits)
Strangely, all of Hanks arms are equally spaced and have surrounding webbing, and he does not seem to have a gap or a stump where his lost arm would have been (furthermore, octopi can actually regrow lost arms, so his inability to regenerate his may imply severe trauma).
Before the special premiere in Concord, California that took place before the official release, a red band trailer for Sausage Party (2016) was shown before Finding Dory (2016), causing extreme horror to a PG rated audience, when the trailer was meant for an R rated audience.
First Pixar sequel to have a different MPAA rating from the previous film, i.e., Finding Nemo (2003) was rated G but Finding Dory is rated PG, and it is Pixar's sixth film to have that rating. The other five films with that rating being: The Incredibles (2004), Up (2009), Brave (2012), Inside Out (2015) and The Good Dinosaur (2015).
A barracuda character voiced by David L. Lander was supposed to appear in the film, but the character was likely scrapped because it seemed hard to make a barracuda not be an enemy after the one seen at the start of Finding Nemo (2003).
The cruel treatment of the other sea lions toward Gerald drew controversy and criticism from many audiences, as it appeared that Gerald had an intellectual disability of some sort and his bullying was played for laughs. Pixar denied this, however, saying that Gerald was a caricature of a "playground nerd" who is victorious in the end.
Kathy (credited as Chickenfish) is the only classmate of Nemo's from Finding Nemo (2003) voiced by Katherine Ringgold to still have speaking lines in the sequels, whereas Nemo's other classmates now only have silent cameos.
In the early stages of the sequel, Idris Elba and Dominic West were originally going to portray the villainous Dr. Mobster and a shark hunter Jinx respectively, but they were scrapped and changed into sea lions instead.
The film's theme song, "Unforgettable," was made famous as a jazz standard by the late Nat 'King' Cole, and was covered as a posthumous duet with his daughter, the late Natalie Cole. For Finding Dory, it is covered by Sia.
Finding Dory has fewer characters without American accents than in Finding Nemo (2003) (most of the film is set around California, part of the United States). The only characters without American accents in this film are the sea lions Fluke and Rudder, who have British accents like their voice actors.
This is the sixth Pixar film where the director or a co-director has a major role, not simply being listed in the additional voices, with Andrew Stanton reprising his role as Crush. The other four films are Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Up (2009), and The Good Dinosaur (2015).
The second Pixar film and fifth animated film to gross a billion dollars worldwide, achieving this feat on October 9, 2016. However, Toy Story 3 (2010) reached the milestone faster, in 71 days as opposed to Finding Dory's 114 days.
The ending of the film was rewritten after the creators saw the documentary Blackfish, which advocates against the treatment of animals in marine parks. Louie Psihoyos: After seeing Blackfish, they retooled the film so that the sea creatures now have the choice to leave that marine park. They told Gabriela [Cowperthwaite] they didn't want to look back on this film in 50 years and have it be their Song of the South. The "Sleep-swimming" scene from the teaser was originally part of the movie and was much longer. In original versions of the movie, all of Dory's flashback sequences were part of one single scene which would've told all of her backstory at the beginning of the movie, but after a test screening, they decided to tell her backstory through flashbacks over the course of the movie. Originally Dory's parents would've suffered from short term memory loss, which would make Dory's line that her memory loss runs in the family as a fact, but this was changed as Andrew Stanton realized it could be frustrating to have all of Dory's family forget what each other said through the movie. There was originally a "Parents School Day" sequence, in where Dory was going to start feeling nostalgic for her family. While the Tank Gang do show up in the movie as part of the after-credits scene, they originally had a bigger role, where they would've encountered Dory, Marlin and Nemo after escaping the giant squid and they would have helped Nemo and Marlin to rescue Dory from the Institute. Why this didn't end up happening in the final film hasn't been revealed, but is believed by fans to be because Stanton is saving the Tank Gang's storyline for the third film. Hank at one point was going to have an obsession for hot sauce. Bailey at one point was going to be female and Destiny's sister, and the sisters would have been on bad terms before they reconcile at the end. Destiny was originally a killer whale instead of a whale shark; This was most likely changed due to the aforementioned Blackfish influence. Adding to that, Destiny was originally going to be Dory's "adopted sister" (how that would have worked out is anyone's guess), but the script was rewritten to make them just childhood friends instead. The giant squid originally had dialogue trying to lure Dory into his clutches by pretending to be her uncle. In January 2013, while on Ellen's show to promote Struck by Lightning, Chris Colfer was in Squee! over the film finally being announced, and practically begged for a part even if it was just a one scene gag. Referencing a line from the first film when Dory mumbles "sea monkey has my money..." in her sleep, Colfer pitched a scenario where Dory encounters said sea monkey.
The giant squid in Finding Dory is bioluminescent. In truth, it is unknown if giant squid are even able to create bioluminescence as they do not have photophores (the light-producing organs many bioluminescent creatures have). They do, however, have the ability to change color using chromatophores, as all squid and octopuses do. The giant squid in Finding Dory is also a mixture of blacks and blues, likely to make it appear more alien and menacing. In reality, giant squids, while able to change color like octopi, are actually brick red (the red color helps hide them in dark water as it makes them harder to see) and can turn white. They also shine a bright gold or silver color when light hits them, as evidenced by Tsunemi Kubodera when he filmed one in 2013.
Dory and Marlin battle a Jellyfish Cluster in Finding Nemo (2003) and Dory is stung by them and three visible marks can be seen as a result of this, reminding Marlin that he should trust her instincts. In Finding Dory, it's on the same side she gets her tag at the marine to be sent off to Cleveland. There are no marks visible as a result of the jellyfish sting, although the movie is only set a year apart from one another. One can only presume that the marks may have healed (she gets stung again by Marlin and Nemo's Anemone when Dory tries to greet them at one point in the film).
Pixar's fourth production where voice actors are replaced - in this case, the characters Nemo, Squirt, and Jacques. The other two are Toy Story 3 (2010) with Slinky and Andy (younger at the start of the film), Cars 2 (2011) with Filmore, and Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs (2013) with Red.
Inside the Marine Life Institute, by the Open Ocean exhibit, there are models of Crush and Squirt from Finding Nemo (2003). And, Crush and Squirt are brought back at the beginning of the movie taking Marlin, Nemo, and Dory to California.
The only Pixar film of the 2010s to have Thomas Newman compose the score all the others were composed by Randy Newman and Michael Giacchino as well as having composers other than these three in the case of Brave (2012) and The Good Dinosaur (2015).
When Dory is sleeping at the beginning of the movie, she's talking in her sleep. One of the things she says is "Magic wrench. I can fix it!" This is a reference to Fix-It Felix in Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
Voiced by Ed O'Neill, Hank the Octopus is initially grumpy, misanthropic, and wishes to live alone away from family or friends. O'Neill is no stranger to playing a grumpy character who wishes to avoid his family. One of his most famous roles is the hapless, misanthropic shoe salesman, Al Bundy, on Married... with Children (1987).
Not only is A113 on the license plate for the Cleveland truck, but it also appears when Fluke and Rudder are showing their tags. Rudder's tag says "A1 and Fluke's tail says "13". If you put the numbers together it spells "A113".
When Bailey the beluga whale is able to use his sonar for the first time, he yells, "this is amaaaazing!" This not only mirrors his Modern Family character, Phil Dunphy, but also mirrors Anna in Frozen (2013) when she and Elsa are playing in the snow in their castle.
Hank is the third Pixar character to have a camouflage ability, the first being Randall Boggs from Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Monsters University (2013) and the Pet Collector from The Good Dinosaur (2015).
Albert Brooks (Marlin), Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), William Defoe (Gill), Allison Janney (Peach), Vicki Lewis (Deb), Brad Garrett (Bloat), Austin Pendleton (Gurgle), Stephen Root (Bubbles), John Ratzenberger (Additional Voice), Bob Peterson (Mr Ray), Andrew Stanton (Crush), and Frank Welker (Animal Vocals) have appeared in all two films of the franchise.
Similar to Finding Nemo (2003) being released in the gap between the first and second films of 20th Century Fox's Ice Age franchise this film was released in the gap between the fourth and fifth films of that franchise.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
At the end of the credits, an extra scene reveals what the Tank Gang has been up to, apparently still in their Plastic Bags having floated all the way to the Marine Institute and become a part of it, being covered with algae (except for Jacques who in Finding Nemo (2003) was addicted to cleaning, being that he's a cleaner shrimp).
Jerome Ranft replaced Joe Ranft for the role of Jacques after his brother's death in 2005. This is the first time where one of Ranft's characters have been replaced in a later film, as in Toy Story 3 (2010), Wheezy and Lenny only made a silent cameo at the start of the film, and in Cars 2 (2011), Red never spoke. It's also only the second Pixar film to star Jerome, the first one being Up (2009), seven years prior.
While guiding Dory through the pipes in the Marine Biology Institute, Bailey uses his sonar to detect something resembling a large threatening fish swimming through the pipe and about to encounter Dory. This scene resembles the one in Alien (1979) where Dallas, is guided through the air shafts in the Nostromo by Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver.
Marlin and Nemo narrowly escape an attack from a Giant Squid early in the film. Nemo is named after Jules Verne's literary seafaring hero, Captain Nemo. Captain Nemo is perhaps best remembered for his exploits in Verne's book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, where he narrowly escaped an attack from a Giant Squid in the Caribbean Sea. Nemo and Marlin's battle with the Squid is a clear nod to Nemo's namesake.
Whales echo location is actually formed by clicks not the "ooooooo" songs as portrayed in this movie. If rightly representated Bailey would have helped Dory with sharp clicks not the "ooooooo" sound represented. Sperm whales, belugas and orcas all use sonar clicks in this way.
The symbol on the steering wheel of the truck that Hank steals and drives into the Pacific Ocean resembles the iconic Luxo Ball, and it's the first time it has a significant part of the film's plot, as well as one of the few times where it's not featured as a ball.
The way one of the truck drivers shoos the otters out of the truck by saying "these are not your fish" is similar to what the dentist in Finding Nemo (2003) said to Nigel the pelican when he peeks in to talk to the tank gang, ending their talk each time.
When Dory finds the open ocean exhibit, Hank asks for her tag. When he puts his tentacle out, in the background, you can see a calendar with the Title Character of WALL·E (2008), which was also directed by Andrew Stanton.
The way Hank drives the truck of fish into the ocean seems to pay homage to how Pixar's Joe Ranft died in 2005, where he was in a vehicle that broke through the guard rails, crashing down into the ocean. This is also alluded to by the appearance of a broken gap of guardrail (the result of a car accident) visible on one of the on-ramps driven on by the truck.
During the credits, Hank is seen in the sunken Volkswagen beetle with his tentacle on the window sill and reaches up to adjust the rearview mirror. This is very much like Early, the Main Squidbillies (2005) character sitting in the pickup truck at the start of every squidbillies episode.
One of the tanks of Fish being shipped off to Cleveland says 2015 (the original release date for Finding Dory, and the year Pixar's previous films Inside Out (2015) and The Good Dinosaur (2015) came out) and another says 1995 (the year Pixar's first film Toy Story (1995) came out).
Bill the Crab is one of John Ratzenberger's least recognizable roles alongside Mustafa from Ratatouille (2007), Gordon from Brave (2012), and Earl the Raptor from The Good Dinosaur (2015). Unlike those three characters Bill's voice does not result as an accent but a high pitched voice.