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Pixar's Finding Dory is off to a massive start. It's coming off the biggest opening weekend that any animated film has ever seen. This leads us to ask the inevitable question, will there be a third installment in the series, preferably one that takes less than two decades to produce? Pixar has always said that they only make sequels when they have a story to tell, not simply because the franchise is successful. Director Andrew Stanton is holding to that philosophy. While he's not closing the door on a third Nemo movie entirely, he seems to feel that the complete story has now been told.
Finding Nemo was Pixar's highest grossing film of all time when it was released in 2003, a title it held for seven years. If Pixar wanted to simply cash in on that success they would have made a follow-up much sooner than today. However, while Finding Dory is the first of several sequels Pixar has planned over the next few years, the studio does seem committed to the idea that a good story is more important. Director Andrew Stanton told Entertainment Weekly that he made Finding Dory because he felt that Dory's story was something that needed to be explored. Now that he's done that, he thinks that the full story has probably been told, though he knows better than to be sure about that.
I really do feel like this was the missing piece, emotionally, for the first movie. Now, I've stopped saying never for anything because there are a lot of new characters that get introduced and we've broadened the universe for this movie. And again, I'm very used to seeing that world continue to open up from the Toy Story movies... so I've learned to just say, to my knowledge, I think everything that was born of the first movie is wrapped up. But we'll see.
As a founding member of Pixar's Brain Trust, Andrew Stanton has been a key part of the studio's major releases, including being part of the story team for most of their early films. The use of Toy Story as an example of a story that continues to open up, after it was believed to be closed, is not an accident. After the third entry in that franchise, we all believed that the Toy Story movies were done. The characters had gone full circle and it seems clear that there was no expectation that any more films were on their way. However, Toy Story 4 is, in fact, on the way. Well give Pixar the benefit of the doubt that they weren't really planning to do another, but somebody had a great idea they couldn't ignore. So, while there are no apparent plans for the studio to produce Finding Hank's Missing Tentacle, the possibility that somebody could have a great idea down the line is still out there.
Do you see any opportunity to turn the Finding series into a trilogy? Let us know your ideas in the comments.