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In Finding Dory, the titular lovable and forgetful Blue Tang goes on a mission to reunite with her long lost family -- a group that consists of two parents, but no siblings. Interestingly, that wasn't the case, as there was an early draft of the brand new sequel that actually had Dory getting an adopted brother or sister -- something I learned during a recent interview with the film's director.
I spoke with Andrew Stanton earlier this month during the Finding Dory press day in Los Angeles, and while discussing the different plot elements and characters that almost found their way into the movie, the director explained that there were versions of the script that featured a sibling for Dory. After revealing that there were original plans to have Dory's parents share their daughter's short-term memory loss affliction, Stanton also added that he and writer Victoria Strouse also considered a version of the script that would have the protagonist fish dealing with her new family member. Said the filmmaker,
I also thought it might be a little bit more of a metaphor for an adoption story. I thought because of the short-term memory loss that the parents might have adopted another stray and kind of misconstrued the loss of Dory. It was very hard to make them sympathetic for making that choice, even though it happened innocently, but that's how it started.
It's not hard to understand the challenge in developing Finding Dory from this angle. Even if the parents did suffer from short term memory loss, it would be pretty rough to see Dory return to them and discover that they "moved on" by taking another young fish into their care. If the movie had pursued this route it could have resulted in an interesting message about adoption, but instead the project pivoted, and the results are still pretty fantastic. It was certainly much more natural to make the sequel be more about Dory overcoming her disability, and it's both well executed and still entertaining.
Finding Dory got off to a rocket start in cinemas this weekend, breaking animated box office records and pulling in an amazing $136 million domestically while earning an "A" Cinemascore. Audiences clearly liked what they got from the sequel, but one still has to wonder what it would have been like to see all of the various ideas and directions that came out of the movie's early stages of development. That could be a pretty amazing bonus feature for a Blu-ray release.
You can see Finding Dory in theaters now, and you can hit the comments section below to tell us what you think about the idea of Dory once having a sibling.