Walt Disney World news

Plot of PIXAR sequel altered because of 'Blackfish' documentary?

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Aug 12, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
SeaWorld has been getting a large amount of publicity in recent weeks because of the documentary film Blackfish. The movie revolves around the issue of how killer whales (and other animals) are treated in captivity at marine parks like SeaWorld. Most notably, the film brings up the tragic death of a Shamu trainer in February 2010. Both the filmmaker and SeaWorld have been trading statements in the press to justify their stances on the issues raised in Blackfish. Now, it appears as if the media attention shone on marine parks like SeaWorld has affected the plot of an upcoming release from Disney/PIXAR.

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, who directed The Cove, an award-winning documentary about dolphin hunting, claimed some members of the PIXAR creative team met with the director of Blackfish. Psihoyos, who allegedly heard of this meeting from a friend, said Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite visited with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, the director of Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo. According to Psihoyos, "At the end of the [Pixar] movie, some marine mammals are sent to an aquatic park/rehab facility -- a SeaWorld-type environment. After seeing Blackfish, they retooled the film so that the sea creatures now have the choice to leave that marine park. They told Gabriela they didn't want to look back on this film in 50 years and have it be their Song of the South."

While PIXAR refused comment to the Times, Cowperthwaite did confirm screening the film for PIXAR employees, but didn't divulge any more detailed information regarding what employees were present. When asked about the meeting, Cowperthwaite stated, "These are obviously people who are dedicated to researching every topic they cover. Whether Blackfish affects their creative decisions, I can't say."