Five Faves: The Many Fish of Finding Dory

The Many Fish of Finding Dory

Which of these characters are you likely to see on your next underwater excursion?

Spoiler alert! There are fish in the new Disney•Pixar film Finding Dory!

That’s the only revealing plot-point we’ll dare to share from this, our favorite movie of 2016 thus far. And while these underwater characters are brought to life with fantastic personalities, spot-on voices, and the usual Disney magic, their real-life inspirations are just as fascinating. So today we ask: Where can you find our five fave fish (and other underwater creatures) from Finding Dory?

Dory – Pacific blue tang

Our favorite forgetful fish is a surgeonfish that had a ton of tang-based aliases before it was made famous by Ellen DeGeneres. It’s found in the shallow tropical reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and though the Pacific blue tang has razor-sharp spines on its tail used for self-defense, scientists are worried about the impact the fish’s newfound popularity might have. Specifically, the fish breeds in the wild, not in tanks, so a person’s temptation to have a Dory of their own now may negatively affect the species in the long-term. So if you do find Dory, please leave her be.


Nemo – Clownfish

Clownfish, on the other hand, are bred in captivity, a sustainable alternative to the overharvesting that dented clownfish populations following the first film. Nemo and his father, Marlin, are ocellaris clownfish, which in the wild find their shelter in sea anemones in the eastern parts of the Indian Ocean and in the western parts of the Pacific, including the Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea.


Hank – Octopus

Although the eight-legged octopus is considered to be the most intelligent invertebrate, it’s not spoiling anything to say the Ed O’Neill–voiced Hank has some trademark differences. Some consider Hank to be an East Pacific red octopus, one of the first invertebrates to demonstrate personality in the ways of boldness, shyness, and passiveness; when individual East Pacific red octopuses were tested with a “threat” (being touched with a comb), some responded by squirting ink and fleeing while others went into attack mode.


Destiny – Whale shark

It’s hard to tell using just Dory for scale, but the whale shark is the biggest fish in the world, growing to around 11 tons and 40 feet long on average (though sightings of larger ones are common). This filter feeder migrates wherever there’s food and warm, tropical seas, opening its 5-foot-wide mouth to take in absurd amounts of water and filter out “delicious” plankton. Quite the convenient process when your weakness is being able to see food. Get it? Seafood?! (Full disclosure: Porthole was not a joke-writer on the film Finding Dory.)


Bailey – Beluga whale

Beluga whales like Bailey, on the other hand, are one of the smallest whale species. They thrive in the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean and other subarctic waters, with a keen sonar sense that lets them navigate sheet ice to better find blowholes. They are also known for their social skills, communicating with other belugas with clicks, whistles, and an array of other sounds. But can they say “Finding Nemo Trilogy?”


— Rico Bronte

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Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!