It’s hard to argue that Finding Dory isn’t the highlight of the summer movie season so far. It seems to cover all bases for all audiences, and by working around its predecessor Finding Nemo as well as adding to Dory’s character, it feels necessary — which is not often the case for sequels.
However, while the film may add some lovable new characters (as well as the tricky to love Hank the Octopus), there is a distinct lack of a certain someone…
Bruce (the vegetarian shark who is arguably the protagonist of Finding Nemo going by his wide coverage on the movie poster) is nowhere to be seen in the sequel. Finding Dory does manage to soften this blow by including the two hard-man seals Fluke and Rudder — who really have it in for Gerald the somewhat demented seal, despite being positively affiliated with Becky the somewhat demented loon (both of which I can only assume were victims of that 2010 oil spill). But alas, despite the fresh meat, we were not treated to Bruce, his two mates, or their freaky support group.
Fear not though, as I’m putting myself forward to write the spec script for the next film in the franchise: Finding Bruce.
The elevator pitch is this — we follow Bruce across two different timelines: one being his origin story of how he swore off eating fish — while the other takes place shortly before the events of Finding Nemo and follows turmoil and corruption within the ‘Fish are friends, not food’ community.
The film opens in darkness — we hear gentle ocean waves before Bruce’s voice booms through…
“Hello… name’s Bruce.”
Ah yes, his classic catchphrase. We’re already off to a good start.
“I was a little bite when I first smelled blood. Ooooooh… it was good…”
We jump into the action as Bruce is hot on the tail of a small fish. His grin is wide and his pupils dilated.
Bruce pounces and takes a chomp.
As blood and organs rise up around them in the water, the victimised fish stares at Bruce intently. He is quivering, holding back the pain.
Bruce shows no mercy and continues to rip his teeth into the fish. Until their eyes meet…
With his jaw locked in attack mode, Bruce’s pupils return to their normal state. He gently eases away from the fish.
“R…r….Ricky?” Bruce’s eyes are now welling up with tears.
Ricky the fish breathes heavily. “Hello Bruce…”
At this point, the screen turns to black, the opening credits roll, and the audience begin to understand the controversial R rating.
From here we follow Bruce as he lives by Ricky’s dying words: ‘Fish are friends, not food’. However, within the community he started, all is not well. It is revealed that Chum, one of the founding members, has in fact been eating fish as if they weren’t friends at all. This causes upheaval, as many of the sharks’ trade agreements are based on the notion of peace between the species.
The dolphins, who have long been frustrated with the way the sharks make fun of them behind their backs, lead the outrage and declare war on Bruce and his community.
As the gang wars take precedence, Bruce begins to doubt the friendly nature of fish, since all he can see is fear and rage. As the Coral Sea quite literally becomes a blood bath, Bruce’s eyes dilate once more. He pounces on the nearest target.
It’s Nicky. Ricky’s only son.
From here we flash forward closer to the events of Finding Nemo when Bruce is based at the familiar minefield. He has since exiled himself and the two other founding members to this secluded location so they can reconnect with the morals and virtues of Ricky’s dying words.
They have started a support group — modest in size compared to the waves they previously created, but enough to make small ripples of difference within the ocean.
So there you have it, my pitch for the next Finding Dory sequel, I…. oh…. I’m getting a phone call…. hey, it’s Pixar! …mmhmmmm…. mmhmmmm…. I see….. okay….. the studio is unanimously against my pitch? … okay…. restraining order? Yeah, sure, that sounds fair…. mmhmmm… see me in court? I don’t understand how it’s come to that but sure I’ll keep the date free.