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Pixar Changes ‘Finding Dory’ Ending Due to Controversial ‘Blackfish’ Documentary

Written by on August 9, 2013 

Released last month to acclaim (including our own), the documentary Blackfish tracks the SeaWorld orca Tilikum that killed three people, including the 2010 incident in which trainer Dawn Brancheau died. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the film also looks at the practice for bringing in these whales, painting a traumatic picture of abuse and eventual psychosis on the part of these animals. This, as expected, has resulted in a heavy publicity defense from SeaWorld, but that’s not the only company that had to adjust their inner workings as a result of the documentary.

According to New York Times, Blackfish has caused Disney and Pixar to rethink their 2015-bound sequel Finding Dory. Officially unveiled this spring, Andrew Stanton is returning to direct and all we’ve known thus far is that the story will pick up where the 2003 hit left off. Now this new report tells us that during the scripting stage, writer Victoria Strouse has adjusted the film’s finale, which was originally set to take place in a marine park.

They add that Pixar “decided to restructure that part of the story so that the fish and mammals taken to its aquatic center have the option to leave.” We can’t blame Disney and Pixar for skirting controversy early on, even if their film is more than two years away from being released. We expect much more will be revealed about the film, and other Pixar works, at the D23 expo this weekend, so in the meantime, check out a quote Stanton gave to LA Times recently about creatively making the sequel for financial reasons.

“There was polite inquiry from Disney [about a ‘Finding Nemo’ sequel]. I was always ‘No sequels, no sequels.’ But I had to get on board from a VP standpoint. [Sequels] are part of the necessity of our staying afloat, but we don’t want to have to go there for those reasons. We want to go there creatively, so we said [to Disney], ‘Can you give us the timeline about when we release them? Because we’d like to release something we actually want to make, and we might not come up with it the year you want it.’”

Are you surprised Pixar altered the ending of Finding Dory? Have you seen Blackfish?

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