Finding Dory Movie Review by a Marine Biologist

Dory from Finding Dory picture by: Disney/Pixar
Dory from Finding Dory picture by: Disney/Pixar

Finding Dory was an immensely enjoyable movie, exactly what I expected from a Pixar/Disney movie. The short animated film shown before the movie, “Piper,” (about a baby shorebird) is worth the price of admission alone! Don’t miss it!

I genuinely laughed and I went through a full range of emotions, from sadness all the way to I’m so happy that I’m crying! The movie takes place at the fictional Marine Life Institute in the not-so-fictional Morro Bay, California.

My only scientific beef with the movie is that the waters of California are a frigid 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Dory, Nemo and Marlin live in a tropical coral reef where the seawater is a warm 70’s-80’s degrees Fahrenheit. The gang couldn’t survive the cold waters off of California. Bailey the Beluga Whale is from the Arctic Ocean so he could survive, but Destiny the Whale Shark needs warmer waters (up to 30 degrees North and South for you geography buffs).

The movie starts with Dory as a youngster, doe-eyed and voiced by a child (not Ellen DeGeneres yet). Dory’s parents treat her short-term memory loss as a disability, a parallel that many human parents will identify with. It isn’t until later flashbacks (yes, Dory will remember some events!) that we see how she and her parents were separated.

The whole movie rests on one memory of Dory’s of “The Jewel of Morro Bay,” which turns out to be the Marine Life Institute. MLI rehabilitates marine animals for eventual release. We have the documentary “Blackfish” to thank for that, as originally the MLI was just an aquarium (that doesn’t release animals).

Ellen DeGeneres does a fabulous job of keeping the audience entertained while keeping you involved in the story. One note if taking young children, my 6 year old was frightened by the squid chase when Dory, Marlin and Nemo first arrive in Morro Bay. She enjoyed the rest of the movie though.

Hank the cranky octopus was animated amazingly, even if his camouflaging abilities were a bit exaggerated for the real world (not out of place in their animation world though).

My new favorite character is Destiny. I didn’t like how she had poor eyesight (anyone who has snorkeled with whale sharks knows that they can turn on a dime in order to avoid swimming into you!) But she won me over anyways with her warm personality.

They didn’t say Bailey’s, the beluga whale, name enough so moviegoers may forget it. The ending is far fetched, but should satisfy most audiences, especially those into animal rights.

I highly recommend Finding Dory. It was well worth the wait, and it will delight fans of Finding Nemo. It can stand alone for those who have not seen Finding Nemo, like young children.

Last note, stay until the very end of the credits for a treat. Hint, we’ve seen them before, somewhere…

What Type of Fish is Dory in Finding Dory?


What type of fish is Dory from the Finding Nemo and Finding Dory movies?

What type of fish is Dory and her parents?

Dory and her parents are Yellow Tail Blue Tangs or Blue Hippo Tangs or Pacific Blue Tangs or Palette Surgeonfish. Her Mom’s name is Jenny and her Dad’s name is Charlie.

What type of fish are Marlin and Nemo?

They are Ocellaris or False Percula Clownfish or Clown Anemonefish.

What kind of sea turtles are Crush and Squirt?

They are Green Sea Turtles, one of 7 species of sea turtles. Green sea turtles were named green for the fat on their body, not the color of their shells or skin.

What kind of ray is Mr. Ray?

He is a Spotted Eagle Ray. Fortunately he’s not the type of Stingray shown migrating in the movie or else he’d be leaving his students behind! There is a specific kind of ray known as the Golden Cownose Ray that may migrate in groups of up to 10,000!

What kind of whale is Bailey?

Bailey is a Beluga Whale. Belugas are often called the “canaries of the sea” because of their vocalizations. Their (squishy) fat-filled melons (heads) are supposed to help with echolocation, the sonar that many whales use in the ocean.

what type of fish is Dory, Finding Dory, Destiny, Dory, Whale Shark
Dory and Destiny the Whale Shark from Finding Dory Photo: © Disney Pixar 2016

What kind of fish is Destiny?

Destiny is a Whale Shark. It’s cute that she and Dory knew each other and can speak whale, but Destiny is a Shark, not a Whale! She’s the largest shark in the ocean, but only eats tiny plankton with her cavernous mouth. Whale Sharks do have poor eyesight because their eyes are so tiny compared to their bodies, but they are not clumsy. Anyone who has snorkeled with Whale Sharks know they can turn on a dime to avoid swimming into you!

What kind of octopus is Hank?

Hank is a generic octopus. Octopuses are masters of camouflage and many can turn orange like Hank. He is actually missing an arm, so he’s a “septopus.” In real life, the octopus would grow any missing arms back. There are so many neurons in a severed octopus arm that it can move and hunt on its own!

What kind of Sea Lions are Rudder and Fluke?

Sea Lions are probably California Sea Lions. I’m guessing they are California Sea Lions because part of the movie takes place off of California. If they were both male, then they could be found off of Pier 39 in San Francisco where bachelor males hang out and entertain tourists.

What kind of Sea Otters are the baby Sea Otters?

The baby Sea Otters are oh so cute! They are probably Southern Sea Otters, mainly found off the California coast. Sea otters don’t stand up on their hind legs like river otters do, and they couldn’t climb up the poles to the freeway! In some press pictures, it looks like there are baby sea otters in a group. There would never be a group of babies together because a wild Sea Otter pup stays with Mom 24/7 and they rarely socialize with other mother/pup pairs. Even surrogate Sea Otter Moms at the Monterey Bay Aquarium only take care of one pup at a time!

What type of bird is Becky?

I speculate Becky is a Pacific Loon. Loons may mate for life! They eat mainly fish, crustaceans, and insects.

I loved seeing Finding Dory and here is my review!

For more images of the movie visit Finding Dory Images at collider.com
or
side-by-side (Finding Dory image vs. real animal images) at Mother Nature Network’s Meet the Real Animals Behind Finding Dory

Click here for The Real Fish of Finding Nemo
Click here for The Real Fish (and Sharks!) of Finding Nemo Part 2

The Real Sharks (and Fish!) from Finding Nemo

real fish of finding nemo
Chum, Bruce and Anchor from Finding Nemo

The Real Sharks (and Fish!) from Finding Nemo

Now for the Sharks from Finding Nemo:

What kind of shark is Bruce?

Bruce is a Great White Shark. Did you know Bruce is endangered? Read more about Bruce here

What kind of shark is Anchor?

Anchor is a Hammerhead Shark. No one knows exactly why their head is so distinctly shaped, but scientists hypothesize that it helps them navigate, find food, or makes it easier for them to swim around.

What kind of shark is Chum?

Chum is a Mako Shark. Mako Sharks are the fastest swimming sharks, reaching a speed of up to 46 mph (74 km/hr).

What type of fish is Dory?

Dory is a Yellow Tail Blue Tang or Blue Hippo Tang or Pacific Blue Tang or Palette Surgeonfish

What type of ray is Mr. Ray?

Mr. Ray is a Spotted Eagle Ray. His blue coloration is more likely to be black in the wild

What type of sea turtles are Crush and Squirt?

Crush and Squirt are Green Sea Turtles. Did you know 6 out of 7 species of sea turtles are threatened with extinction? Read more about Sea Turtles here and meet Crush’s brother Crash!

What kind of seahorse is Sheldon?

Sheldon the Seahorse is a generic juvenile Seahorse

What kind of fish is Tad?

Tad is a juvenile Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish

What kind of octopus is Pearl?

Pearl is a Flapjack Octopus that usually lives in the deep sea (and not coral reefs)

What kind of bird is Nigel?

Nigel is an Australian Pelican.

What is the school of fish that does charades?

The school of fish that does charades for Dory are Moonfish. There are many species called “Moonfish” though.

Click here for The Real Fish of Finding Nemo Part 1 (The Tank Gang)
Click here for What Type of Fish is Dory in Finding Dory?

The Real Fish from Finding Nemo

The Tank Gang from Finding Nemo includes the following common aquarium fish:

the real fish of Finding Nemo
The Tank Gang from Finding Nemo

Coral, Marlin, and Nemo = Ocellaris or False Percula Clownfish, Clown Anemonefish

In a home aquarium, clownfish are much easier to take care of than the anemones! The anemones demand high water quality and specific lighting. Clownfish, in pairs, can live fine without a live anemone in their tank.

Gill = Moorish Idol

Moorish idols are very hard to keep in captivity, please leave them to the experts to take care of.

Bubbles = Yellow tang
Yellow Tangs are herbivores, and in an aquarium can lose their bright yellow color if their diet does not include enough plant matter.

Bloat = Porcupine Pufferfish, Porcupinefish

Pufferfish fill themselves up with water to puff up, not with air (except in an emergency) like Bloat in the movie. There is enough tetrodotoxin in one pufferfish to kill up to 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote!

Gurgle = Royal Gramma, Fairy Basslet
Royal Gramma really are purple and yellow like Gurgle! In a home aquarium, Royal Gramma are peaceful, hardy, and eat readily. In the wild they eat plankton and are cleaner fish.

Deb Flo from Finding Nemo
Black and White Damselfish

Deb/Flo = Black and White Damselfish
Deb is based on a real damselfish with black and white coloration, not blue and white like her. As in the movie, all residents of aquarium tanks can see out (I have SCUBA dived in public aquarium tanks and can attest to that!), as well as see their own reflection at certain angles. Many fish in home aquariums recognize the person(s) that feeds them!

Jacques from Finding Nemo
Pacific Cleaner Shrimp

Jacques = Pacific Cleaner Shrimp, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp

A cleaner shrimp is omnivorous, which means it eats both plant and animal matter. A cleaner shrimp does clean other fish at cleaning stations in the wild, but will also scavenge for food.

Peach from Finding Nemo is a Pink Sea Star
Pink Sea Star

Peach = Sea star

Sea stars, or starfish are scavengers. They do not have eyes like Peach, but very simple eyes at the end of each arm that sense light and dark. Sea stars do have a mouth under their body like Peach. A sea star can regenerate a leg if it is cut or bit off!

Click here for The Real Sharks (and Fish!) of Finding Nemo Part 2
Click here for What Type of Fish is Dory in Finding Dory?

Endangered Animals of Finding Nemo: Marlin the Clownfish

”Marlin
Nemo the clownfish from Finding Nemo

Did you know that 1 in 6 animals featured in Finding Nemo is endangered? Marlin the clownfish and Nemo the clownfish may soon be listed as endangered:

Hi, I’m Nemo, and I’m a clownfish! In school today Mr. Ray told us that clownfish might become an endangered species. Unfortunately, humans have no idea how many of us there are in the ocean! Many divers have seen less clownfish in areas where there used to be a lot of us. This may be because humans are collecting us for pets, or because our coral reefs are sick. Marlin the clownfish told me that other clownfish pairs used to have to share anemones! But now where I live, there are plenty of anemones to go around.

Officially, the Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned to list clownfish under the Endangered Species Act. Surprisingly, that doesn’t mean that there are so few of us that we are endangered. What it does mean is that where we live, the coral reef, needs protection. The Endangered Species Act protects the places that endangered animals live.

Global warming warms the ocean and causes coral bleaching (see Ollie the Octopus’ post on coral bleaching). Global warming also causes the ocean to become more acidic (see Terry the Pteropod’s post on ocean acidification) . All ocean habitats are affected by pollution, especially from garbage like plastic (see Ollie the Octopus’ post on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch). Marlin the clownfish, my dad, says plastic is everywhere now sadly.

You can help me and my friends by not buying clownfish for your home aquarium. If you do, please get help from an expert and only buy captive born and bred clownfish. Please just enjoy seeing us in the ocean, in public aquariums or in Finding Nemo!

Also see The Real Fish of Finding Nemo