Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is a sequel to the 2003 film Finding Nemo. Andrew Stanton, who directed the first film, returned as writer and director, alongside Angus MacLane as the co-director, and Victoria Strouse and Finding Nemo co-writer Bob Peterson as writers. The film features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy.
Finding Dory focuses on the amnesiac fish Dory, and explores her journey to be reunited with her parents. Along the way, she is captured and taken to a California public aquarium, from which Marlin and Nemo attempt to rescue her.
The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8, 2016, and was released in the United States on June 17, 2016. It received positive reviews and has grossed over $264 million worldwide.
One year after the events of the first film, Dory begins having fragmented dreams and flashbacks of her life prior to meeting Marlin and Nemo, particularly of her parents. After hearing a lecture from Mr. Ray about migration, where sea animals use their instinct to return home, Dory’s memories are triggered, and she has the sudden urge to find her parents, only vaguely remembering that they lived at the Jewel of Morro Bay, California.
Marlin, who is initially reluctant, and Nemo decide to accompany Dory in her quest. With the help of Crush, the trio rides an ocean current to California. When Dory wanders near a shipwreck, they are forced to flee from a predatory giant squid, almost killing Nemo in the process. Marlin blames Dory for endangering Nemo and angrily tells her forgetting things is “what you do best.” Although hurt, Dory decides to seek help for Nemo and travels to the surface, where (after getting tangled in trash) she is taken captive by volunteers from the nearby Marine Life Institute.
Dory is tagged and sent to the Quarantine section of the Institute, where she meets an ill-tempered, seven-legged octopus named Hank. He desires Dory’s tag since it means that instead of being released back into the wild like other fish, she will be sent to a permanent aquarium in Cleveland. Due to a past traumatic experience, Hank dreams of living alone in enclosure and agrees to help Dory find her parents in exchange for her tag.
Dory deduces that she was born in the Institute’s Open Ocean exhibit. She enlists the help of her childhood friend Destiny, a near-sighted whale shark, and Bailey, a beluga whale who believes he is incapable of using his echolocation ability. After reaching her old home, Dory learns that the blue tangs are receiving their own exhibit in Cleveland and have been sent to Quarantine.
Meanwhile, Marlin and Nemo attempt to rescue Dory. A pair of sea lions named Fluke and Rudder introduce them to a dimwitted common loon named Becky, who manages to get them inside the Institute. After travelling through various exhibits, they reunite with Dory in the facility’s labyrinthine pipe system.
The trio travels to Quarantine with the help of Destiny and Bailey, who is finally able to echolocate. They locate a tank of blue tangs, but are told that Dory’s parents traveled to Quarantine to look for Dory and have not been seen since, indicating that they likely died in the attempt. While Dory is in shock, Hank attempts to evacuate the trio, but only manages to retrieve Dory. Marlin and Nemo, along with the blue tangs, are loaded in a truck bound for Cleveland.
In his haste to board the truck, Hank accidentally drops Dory into a drain that leads to the ocean. With no memory of her circumstances, Dory wanders inconsolably before she comes across a trail of shells. She remembers being taught to follow shells to get back home and does so, ultimately reuniting with her parents, Charlie and Jenny. They reveal that when they failed to find Dory in Quarantine, they deduced she escaped into the ocean. Hoping that she would one day discover them, they spent years forming trails of shells for her to follow.
Although she is happy to have fulfilled her quest, Dory, upon asked by her parents if she was “all by herself” this whole time, suddenly remembers Marlin and Nemo and that she needs to rescue them. Destiny and Bailey escape their exhibits, and alongside a group of sea otters and Becky, they help Dory intercept the truck. She rescues Marlin and Nemo, but is accidentally left behind. Dory convinces Hank that life is about freedom and chance, and he agrees to escape with her. They hijack the truck and drive it into the ocean, freeing all of the captive sea animals. Dory, her parents, Hank, Destiny, and Bailey return with Marlin and Nemo to live a new life at the Great Barrier Reef. As they settled, Dory decides to go to the reef to enjoy the view, Marlin, worried she might get lost again, accompanied her shortly. He said to Dory, “you did it”, which takes her back to yet another flashback of her childhood memories, where she followed all the trails of shells formed by her parents and came back home all by herself. Dory happily agrees to the compliment saying “Yeah, I did it!”. They are shown enjoying the view from the reef together in tranquility, with Marlin finally admitting the beauty of the reef (something which he has been scared of since the first film), saying “It really is quite a view”, Dory agrees and respond with “Yup, Unforgettable…”.
In a post-credits scene, the Tank Gang from the previous film, still trapped in their plastic bags, manage to make their way to California, where they are promptly taken captive by volunteers from the Marine Life Institute.