‘Blackfish’ Inspired? Pixar Changes ‘Finding Dory’ Ending

marine animals

“Finding Dory” the sequel to the popular 2003 hit “Finding Nemo” has been rewritten to support the release of captive marine animals.

Originally set to end with the aquatic cast all moving into a marine-based theme park, the writers and producers of “Finding Dory” have now altered the film’s ending, and the recent documentary “Blackfish” may have something to do with it, reports the Los Angeles Times, “[with] questions about the health of whales in captivity, the studio decided to make substantial changes to the “Dory” script.”

“Blackfish” is a powerful documentary that tells the story of a SeaWorld trainer killed by Tilikum, the largest orca whale in captivity. Several of his former SeaWorld trainers are featured in the film and share candid first-hand experiences of what it’s like keeping captive marine animals in such unnatural environments, and why it’s likely that Tilikum turned on his trainer.

According to the Times, after viewing “Blackfish,” both Pixar’s chief creative officer and “Finding Dory” director met with “Blackfish” director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite and ultimately reworked the film’s ending, giving the characters a choice as to whether or not they want to stay at the marine park. “They told Gabriela they didn’t want to look back on this film in 50 years and have it be their ‘Song of the South,'” a reference to the 1946 Disney musical that was widely viewed to be racist.”

Another factor may be the actress playing Dory, talk show host and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, who has been an outspoken advocate for animal rights. While she hasn’t confirmed whether or not she voiced any concern over the original film ending and its message about captive marine animals, it’s likely she’s more inclined to see the characters swim out to sea rather than around and around in a salinated bath tub.

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.