Finding Dory is more than just a Finding Nemo sequel. The newest Pixar film earned rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, and dominated the weekend box office, proving it's more than just a regurgitation of the 2003 animated hit. That said, Finding Dory would not exist without Finding Nemo, the adorable film about Marlin, an over-anxious clown fish, who embarks on an ocean-wide adventure with a forgetful fish, Dory, to find his son, Nemo. And Nemo fans will be happy to know that Dory doesn't ever forget its roots. The new movie is full of callbacks to Finding Nemo, references to past characters, jokes, and beloved scenes that have become Pixar classics around the world. While a lot of the nods to the original film in Dory are pretty obvious — returning characters being the foremost example — not all of the callbacks to Finding Nemo in Dory are that easy to spot.
True Finding Nemo fans will probably manage to tie everything in Finding Dory back to the first film, but I'll leave the minor details to Nemo junkies. This handful of nine Finding Nemo callbacks present in the new movie are ones that even casual Nemo fans will undoubtedly spot, which makes them all the more sweet. Beware, small spoilers ahead.
1. Fish Tank Squad
The original Fish Tank squad from Finding Nemo — Gill, Bloat, Peach, Gurgle, Bubbles, Deb and Flo, and Jacques — shows up briefly in Finding Dory in for a small but sweet callback.
2. School Trips On Mr. Ray
Mr. Ray, the stingray, is back in Finding Dory, teaching Nemo and his other young friends about the mysteries of the ocean.
3. Nemo & Marlin Secret Handshake
Nemo's lucky fin is in full effect in Finding Dory, and that includes the secret father-son handshake he shares with his dad, Marlin.
4. Sea Lions "Off"
Though the sea lions, Fluke and Rudder, aren't in Finding Nemo, their chorus of "Off! Off!" as the sea lion call is a callback to the seagulls in Finding Nemo who squawk "Mine! Mine!" when they see food.
5. Crush & Squirt
Of course, surfing sea turtles Crush and Squirt are back for Finding Dory, because some things are just too good to leave behind.
6. Dory Speaks Whale
Dory is famously fluent in whale, and that fluency is actually explained in Finding Dory.
7. "Just Keep Swimming"
Because it wouldn't really be a movie about Dory without her themesong, "Just Keep Swimming."
Darla, the braces-wearing fish-owner from hell in Finding Nemo, has a brief cameo in Finding Dory. Thankfully, she's not there to terrorize any of the fish. Instead, her photo can be seen in th ebackground at the Aquarium.
Squishy is, apparently, Dory's favorite quality in an object. In one scene in Finding Dory, baby Dory becomes distracted by sand, saying, "I like sand. Sand is squishy."
Not only is Finding Dory full of callbacks to Finding Nemo, but it's also got its fair share of Pixar Easter Eggs, so fans better be on the look out when they go to the theater if they want to spot them all.
Images: Disney/Pixar; Giphy (9)