‘FINDING DORY’ cast weigh in on spontaneity versus planning

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Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and Hank (Ed O'Neill) in FINDING DORY. Courtesy of Disney-Pixar.

Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and Hank (Ed O’Neill) in FINDING DORY. Courtesy of Disney-Pixar.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

One of the myriad reasons we love about the Disney-Pixar character Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is her positive, upbeat attitude. Even when times are at their toughest, her advice to “just keep swimming,” is a beacon of light in the dark. In FINDING DORY, America’s beloved blue tang is forced to roll with life’s punches as she searches for her family.

Though Dory’s philosophy is very much a go-with-the-flow one she puts into practice with her self-soothing catchphrase, however, the ensemble that brings to life these characters don’t all necessarily share in a similar attitude, seeking the comfort of preparation instead.

Albert Brooks, who reprises his role as Nemo’s disciplinarian dad, Marlin, said,

I’ve never had a flow. I’m not a go-with-the-flow person. I’d be a planner.

Hayden Rolence, who voices Nemo, stated,

I guess I’m sort of a planner too.

Eugene Levy, who tenderly voices Dory’s father, wished he was more easy going like his cinematic daughter.

I’d like to think of myself as a go-with-the-flow type person, but I’m not. I would put myself in the planner category.

Kaitlin Olson, the voice of near-sighted whale shark Destiny, said parenthood has changed her outlook.

Since I had kids, I’ve turned into an anxiety-ridden, control-freak planner. The past two years of my life have been very much me, consciously, ‘go with the flow,’ and ‘let it happen,’ and ‘I got this.’ I’ve got all these mantras. I’m trying very hard to be a more go-with-the-flow type person.

Ty Burrell, who voices Destiny’s sonar-deficient beluga whale bestie Bailey joked,

I don’t think I’m a planner or a go-with-the-flow type person, which makes me a worried person without a plan. That’s not what you want.

With perfect timing, Olson added,

That’s giving me anxiety.

Ed O’Neill, who voices Hank, the curmudgeon septopus and Dory’s reluctant pal in the sequel’s journey, admitted to being the lone person in the group who’s into spontaneity.

I don’t plan. I don’t really go-with-the-flow either. [I’m] mostly confused. I just sort of put one foot in front of the other, which is sorta like ‘just keep swimming,’ right? I’m up in the morning and here I am. I just move around.

Brooks leaned over towards O’Neill, saying

And then what happens? What happens around three?

And unlike her character, DeGeneres is more into planning than going with the flow.

I’m pretty much a planner.

Brooks insightfully added at the end,

There may not be such a thing as ‘a flow.’ I think if you don’t plan, you’re flowing right out the door.

FINDING DORY opens on June 17.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.