Joined by helmer Andrew Stanton, co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins, DeGeneres discussed the sequel’s plot, which follows Dory on her quest to reunite with her family. Nemo and Marlin set out to accompany the forgetful fish to “the jewel of Monterey, California” in order to find her parents — but needless to say, they run into a few obstacles along the way.
As previously announced, Diane Keaton voices Dory’s mom, Jenny, and Eugene Levy plays her dad, Charlie, with Ty Burrell playing Bailey, a beluga whale who thinks he has a head injury — without realizing that all beluga whales have a bump on their heads.
Also joining the cast is Burrell’s “Modern Family” co-star Ed O’Neill as Hank, a curmudgeonly octopus with seven legs. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Kaitlin Olson lends her voice to Destiny, a whale shark who thinks she’s a whale. A still of Dory and Hank interacting (below) was unveiled at the panel.
The sequel will pick up shortly after the beloved 2003 original left off, with Dory living in the reef with neighbors Marlin and Nemo. Based on the panel, “Finding Dory” will include plenty of whale-speak and a few familiar faces. One clip shown during the panel teased Dory’s seemingly idyllic life on the reef, until one night, Nemo catches her muttering and “sleep-swimming” after being plagued with nightmares brought on by something she’s struggling to remember. In a later clip, Dory encounters O’Neill’s Hank at the Marine Biology Institute of California, where the sneaky octopus tries to trick our heroine into a questionable deal.
“Finding Dory” bows in theaters on June 17, 2016.