Finding Dory, in theaters June 17, is bound to be nothing short of a masterpiece. After visiting Pixar Animation Studios and striking up the “From Joy to Pixar” series, long-gone is my unspoken fear that Pixar might mar the legacy of Finding Nemo with an overdue sequel. Perhaps even more comforting than being treated to a fully-rendered preview is the refreshing humility of Co-Director, Angus MacLane: “Not being naturally talented is tremendously freeing.”
On Friday, MacLane (who has worked on 13 films for Pixar Animation Studios) claimed he was hired “because they needed to lower their standards.” He walked us through the process of approving Finding Dory sequences with Story Supervisor Max Brace, focusing on a “touch-pool as war zone” idea derived from their visits to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Quarantine unit of the California Academy of Sciences (@ 1:08 below).
The team’s 3.5-year storyboarding process was not complete without marvelous mistakes. “When you see it all together, it may not work exactly as you intended,” the Co-Director explained. He added that Finding Nemo writer Andrew Stanton encouraged him to “be wrong as quickly as you can.” MacLane and team clearly took this advice to heart: The last scratch scene for Dory was completed in 2013.
Was MacLane nervous to take the charge on bringing the world-beloved blue tang back to the silver screen? Only a little. Stanton still wanted closure for the lost little fish, and MacLane sought out the truth to her story.
“I don’t know if she’s going to be O.K. She has a problem that didn’t get solved.” – Andrew Stanton, Writer of Finding Nemo
According to the Co-Director, good ideas “have a way of working themselves out.” Finding Dory seems to be more than just a good idea; it’s the perfect way to unite classic Pixar characters with new darlings voiced by the likes of Ed O’Neill and Ty Burrell. I can’t wait to see it all work out at a theater near me!
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