Pixar Changes Its Finding Dory Ending In Response To Sea World Controversy

By Sean O'Connell 2013-08-09 15:09:26discussion comments
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Given how long it can take for an animated film to be plotted and processed, itís rare that a headline-grabbing current event changes a feature-length cartoonís direction. But a recent documentary and the negative reaction it is generating put Pixar Animation Studios on its heels, and forced the animation giant to rewrite the ending to an upcoming sequel.

That would be Finding Dory, the animated follow-up to Andrew Stantonís Finding Nemo that returns Elle DeGeneres to the role of the forgetful fish. According to the New York Times, the events documented in Gabriela Cowperthwaiteís shocking doc Blackfish have prompted Pixar to change its filmís conclusion, set in a Sea World-esque marine park. The Times says that now ďthat part of the story [has been restructured] so that the fish and mammals taken to its aquatic center have the option to leave.Ē

That isnít the case with the orca whales showcased in Blackfish, a disturbing documentary that claims ďall whales in captivity are psychologically traumatized.Ē Watch the Blackfish trailer and try to argue against that claim. Itís hard to do.

This change in direction for Finding Dory is an excellent PR move for Pixar, distancing itself from a documentary thatís grabbing a ton of press by shining its light on a serious problem in the aquatic community. We donít know what the ending of Dory is (or was), but if it involved an orca in a Sea World park, then yes, it would have been tough to explain away the connections several audience members would have made when Dory hit theaters.

On a much larger scale, I can recall the sheer number of films that had to be altered following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Men In Black 2 completely changed its ending, which was supposed to take place at the World Trade Center, to take place at the Statue of Liberty. And there was this terrific teaser for Sam Raimiís first Spider-Man movie that heavily featured the Twin Towers.

Thankfully, Dory is in the early production stages, and only needed a rewrite instead of a complete animation overhaul. The sequel still plans to reach theaters in 2015. And for more on Pixarís upcoming films, check out our live blog from Disneyís D23 in Anaheim, where they revealed news on Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur.
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