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Cameos, in-jokes, re-used animation and other trivia from Finding Dory.
References to Finding Nemo
- A lot of Dory's unusual behavior in the first film suggest that she was born (hatched) in an aquarium.
- It's revealed that Destiny the whale shark was the one who first taught Dory how to speak whale.
- Dory's iconic song: "Just Keep Swimming" was revealed to have been first sung to her by her parents.
- The scene where Dory first meets Marlin is taken straight from the first film, but is shown from Dory's perspective. However, unlike in the first film, shortly after Dory and Marlin first meet, instead of the camera panning to reveal Bruce, the film fast-forwards ahead one year to Dory sleeping in a brain coral right next to Marlin and Nemo's anemone. Also, a couple of quotes have been excluded.
- Dory claiming that sand is "squishy" as a baby is reminiscent of her calling a baby jellyfish "Squishy" as an adult.
- On the way to Nemo's school, Nemo tells Marlin and Dory that his father once took on three sharks on his journey to find Nemo, but Marlin claims that he took on four sharks.
- When Mr. Ray and his class are traveling to the stingray migration, he sings a song like the ones he sang on the way to the drop-off.
- When Dory tells Marlin about how painful it is for him to lose someone special that he truly loves, he glances at Nemo and replies, "Yes."
- Dory and Marlin travel with Crush and Squirt again this time on the California Current.
- The Giant Squid chase scene is reminiscent of Bruce falling off the wagon after smelling Dory's blood, causing him to devolve into a "mindless killing machine" and start chasing Marlin and Dory.
- Also, the Giant Squid lights up in a manner similar to the Anglerfish.
- When Marlin sees two Marine Life Institute scientists pick up Dory and take her to Quarantine, he exclaims, "Not again!"
- When Dory is dropped into one of the Quarantine tanks, the scene is similar to Nemo being dropped into Dr. Sherman's fish tank.
- Fluke and Rudder's recurring lines: "Off! Off! Off!" when shooing away Gerald is similar to the Seagulls cawing, "Mine! Mine! Mine!"
- The "Mine! Mine! Mine!" sound bite is also used when the camera pans to a group of seagulls flying.
- Hank inking in the touch pool after a child touches him is very similar to Pearl (also an octopus) inking after Tad touches her.
- Like the first film, it has a post-credits scene.
- At the end of the credits, the last thing the viewers hear from the Tank Gang is Bloat saying, "Now what?" again.
- At one point, Dory says "Where are they?" and "Can I help you?" again.
- The photograph of Darla holding Chuckles from Finding Nemo appears in the background when Hank meets Dory inside the Quarantine office.
- A picture of Piper from the eponymous short is also posted on the wall.
- A small sticker of Uku from Lava is seen in the same scene, and there is also a towel with his name in the MLI gift shop.
- A calendar with the text "WALL•E", stylized as in the film WALL•E, is visible far away in the background when Hank drops Dory into the Open Ocean exhibit.
- Stanton has confirmed that there is an allusion to Cars 3 in Finding Dory and noted that "it's not a literal car."
- Crush and Squirt return when Dory, Marlin and Nemo travel from the Great Barrier Reef to California.
- A model turtle resembling Crush makes an appearance inside the Open Ocean exhibit at the MLI.
- The Tank Gang makes a brief cameo after the end credits.
- During the Touch Pool scene, several starfish resembling Peach can be seen; however, one starfish is colored purple and speaks in a male voice.
- Some of the model animals hanging from the Open Ocean exhibit resemble minor animals from the first movie, like the Jellyfish and the Whale.
- A whale resembling the one that swallowed up Marlin and Dory and later spouting them in front of Sydney Harbour makes an appearance traveling the EAC (before Marlin tells Crush, "I'm totally sick!").
- A flock of seagulls resembling the ones from the first film can be seen when Dory and Hank drive the truck containing the quarantined fish into the ocean.
- Feathers the pigeon can be seen when Marlin and Nemo, while still inside Gerald's bucket, are stranded in a tree when Becky the loon starts eating a spilled tub of popcorn on the ground.
- One of the truck drivers near the end is voiced by Alexander Gould, Nemo's original voice actor.
- Some of the visitors at the Marine Life Institute are reused background human characters from earlier Pixar films like Toy Story 3 (particularly the Caterpillar Room children), Inside Out (some of the adults and teenagers, including some of Riley's classmates, the Yeast of Eden cashier, Jordan, and the Imaginary Boyfriends), and even some of Dr. Sherman's patients (particularly the young boy and mother duo sitting in the waiting room during Darla's checkup) from the first film.
- Some of the cars parked inside the Marine Life Institute's parking lot and on the highway leading from California to Cleveland, Ohio, near the end are noticeably reused from Cars and its sequel.
- Much of Dory's sleep-talking dialogue is material that was cut from Finding Nemo, but was inserted into the numerous behind-the-scenes portions of the director commentary on the 2-disc DVD. Her Finding Dory line: "Clowns and pinatas drooping," was recorded for the production of Finding Nemo as early as 2002.
- Dr. Sherman's speedboat, the Aussie Flosser, can be seen drifting above the water before Dory first meets Marlin.
- Ms. Davis' blue car can be seen during the climactic truck chase scene towards the end of the movie.
- A113 appears twice: first on the tags of Fluke and Rudder, which are labeled "A1" and "13" respectively, and again on the licence plate of the truck containing the quarantined fish, which reads "CAL A113".
- The Luxo Ball can be seen as the entire steering wheel of the quarantined truck.
- The Pizza Planet Truck is hidden as rusty refuse, all sunken and wrecked, during the Giant Squid scene.
- The Marine Life Institute's motorboat reads "1200 PA", a reference to Pixar's address, 1200 Park Avenue.
- The pipe in the Quarantine office reads "Seawater Supply TL59", a reference to a similar pipe in the "Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage" ride in Disneyland. The pipe itself is a reference to how Tomorrowland was first opened in 1959.
- Andrew Stanton has indicated that the film makes two references to Die Hard, in a nod to a video by Mashable which jokingly posits that all Pixar films exist within the same universe as the Die Hard films.
- Similar to WALL•E and Inside Out, this movie did not feature a main antagonist.
- Joe Ranft could not reprise his role as Jacques due to his death in a car accident in 2005. He is replaced by his brother Jerome Ranft.
- Alexander Gould could not reprise his role of Nemo because of his deepened voice. The role was given to Hayden Rolence.
- On some of the ideas behind the story of Finding Dory, director Andrew Stanton has said, "One thing we couldn't stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin."
- With over 24 million likes, Dory is the most liked character on Facebook from any Disney or Pixar film.
- The setting of the film was changed from an aquatic park to a Marine Biology Institute after the controversial documentary Blackfish (2013) was screened for the crew of Pixar.
- Finding Dory was first announced by Ellen DeGeneres, who voices Dory, on her talk show following a long campaign for a sequel.
- This movie was originally scheduled to be released on November 25, 2015. After Pixar's other movie The Good Dinosaur (2015) was pushed back, this movie was pushed back as well.
- Originally in the first movie, Marlin's backstory would have been explored in the form of flashbacks over the course of the film, but the idea was eventually scrapped. However, it was re-utilized here to tell Dory's backstory of how she got separated from her family.