The internet has been freaking out over Finding Dory ever since the news that the fish favourite was getting a sequel broke in 2012.
A few things have slowed down the release of the follow-up to 2003's Finding Nemo — the director Andrew Stanton not believing in a sequel, a rammed Pixar schedule, a change of ending...
But now it’s happening — and it’s premiering in the UK this weekend, as the first reviews have been giving it two very enthusiastic thumbs up. (It has currently got a 9/10 on IMDB.)
Here’s why it’s the most 2016 film ever…
1. There’s a transgender stingray — a stingray that’s becoming ‘sting-Rhonda’. Just so great.
2. On the back of everyone leaping on the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend (referring to the Frozen protagonist) everyone went bonkers over the maybe-revelation that Finding Dory features a lesbian couple. It all started with the release of the trailer that appears to show two women in a relationship, and doesn’t seem to have been cleared up by Ellen DeGeneres or the full film.
Ellen, who is the voice of Dory, joked at a recent press conference that ‘just because someone has a short, bad haircut doesn’t mean she’s gay’, before saying: ‘Whether they intended it to be a woman with a bad, short haircut being gay or not, I think it’s a great thing.’
3. As well as an excellent cast, it’s got Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, who has broken boundaries for the LGBTQ community, inspiring people and winning awards for her general brilliance.
‘I want to say also it feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen,’ the TV presenter said when she accepted her Choice Comedian award last year. 'I was the opposite of chosen because I was different, and I think I wanna make sure that everyone knows that what makes you different right now, makes you stand out later in life. So you should be proud of being different, proud of who you are…The most important thing I wanna say is just really embrace who you are because being unique is very, very important and fitting in is not all that matters. It's being unique and being who you are.’
Though there appear to have been a few gay characters in recent Disney films (yet unconfirmed by the film company) — Frozen’s Kristoff, whose husband and children seemed to wave from the sauna, and the pair of antelopes in Zootopia who share a surname — there’s still a long way to go.