- “Welcome to the Marine Life Institute, where we believe in rescue, rehabilitation, and release.”
- ―Sigourney Weaver on PA
The Marine Life Institute (shortened as MLI) is a fictional aquarium seen in the 2016 Disney/Pixar animated feature film, Finding Dory, located in Morro Bay, California. It is the place where Dory was born to her parents Charlie and Jenny.
The Marine Life Institute is located in Morro Bay, California. It houses several exhibits and rescues several animals that need shelter before releasing them back to the ocean as said by the Institute's PA system. The Marine Life Institute's logo is a circle with some kelp engraved in it.
Points of Interest
- Seal Cove: This place is where Fluke and Rudder live on their own rock while they tell Gerald to stay away from their spot.
- Otter Bay: This place is home to wild sea otters, as its name suggests. Dory, Charlie, Jenny, Bailey, and Destiny encountered some otters and Bailey decides to use them as a plan to distract the passengers in order to stop the cars and the truck that contains Marlin, Nemo, and Dory inside.
- Pump House: The place where Dory and Hank passed through while trying to get to the Open Ocean Exhibit. However, Dory (who is still inside the coffee pot) falls into a bucket marked "Destiny" as she believes that it is fate until it is revealed that it is actually a feeding bucket for Destiny, a whale shark living in her enclosure.
- Quarantine Area: This is the area where fish that receive transport tags are shipped to permanent aquariums. It is where Dory first met Hank in this area as he tells her that the transport tag that Dory has means that she gets shipped to a permanent aquarium. When Dory, Marlin, and Nemo arrive in this area, they discover that Dory's parents are not there as Hank gets captured by two employees who try to release the octopus back to the ocean as Hank manages to escape, resulting in Marlin, Nemo, and Hank to be stuck inside the transport truck.
- Former Whale Shark and Beluga Whale Exhibits: These two exhibits are located within the Kelp Circle route. These exhibits are where Destiny and Bailey used to live in until they escape their exhibits by leaping out of their exhibits during the climax of the film.
- Salt Water Return: Seen only in the Institute map.
- Maintenance Ward: Seen only in the Institute map.
- Neptune's Sound of the Deep: Seen only in the Institute map.
- Rehab Pools: Seen only in the Institute map.
- Journey to the Deep: Seen only in the Institute map.
- Jellyfish Jungle: A jellyfish exhibit, seen only in the Institute map.
- Otter View Point: This exhibit is home to sea otters and this is the place where talk shows occur.
- Gift Shop: This is the gift shop where Marlin and Nemo ended up in a tank with a wind-up toy fish that looks like Dory. Behind the gift shop is a tide pool exhibit.
- Tide Pool Exhibit: This is the exhibit where a clam did not have anyone to talk to for years until he encountered Marlin and Nemo who temporarily stayed there to talk with him. When Marlin and Nemo are bothered, the two fish manage to escape the exhibit.
- Kid Zone: This is the place that exhibits a touch pool. The touch pool exhibits several animals, such as starfish, sponges, and sea urchins. The animals inside the exhibit are usually the ones that get poked at or touched by children, harming them. When Dory and Hank arrive in this exhibit, Hank is suddenly touched by one of the children while trying to escape, spreading ink all over the touch pool and scaring away the children trying to touch the animals.
- Open Ocean: This exhibit is where Dory was born. It is where Dory's parents Charlie and Jenny taught their daughter the song "Just Keep Swimming" and to stay away from the undertow (which is an underwater current), in which the underwater current can capture fish and lead them back to the ocean of Morro Bay. One night, Dory gets caught in the current when she was a baby, as she ends up in the ocean of Moro Bay. When Dory returned to this exhibit, she then realizes that her parents are not in this exhibit after they left her some shells. It is home to various species of fish, including a sunfish who tells Dory to be aware of her surroundings as well as two crabs (one male named Bill and one female).
Voice of the MLI Intercom
The voice of the MLI intercom contains dialogues that explicitly mention it is Sigourney Weaver as frequently mentioned in the film; however, in the international versions of Finding Dory, the voice contains dialogues that explicitly mention that it is someone else who frequently mentions his or her own name. This is because the voice of this character (who never appears on screen) was localized for several countries (France, Germany, Japan, etc.) so that the MLI intercom was voiced by various famous people (mostly people related to science or nature). This localization is very similar to what happened in the Pixar film Cars 2, where the character Jeff Gorvette is replaced by regional characters. These voices that replace Sigourney Weaver and explicitly mention their own name include:
- Anne Dorval: Stage/film actress and singer; also voiced Dory in this dub (Canadian French dub)
- Rodolfo Neri Vela: Mexican astronaut who works for NASA (Mexico and Latin America)
- Marília Gabriela: Journalist, actress, interviewer, and presenter (Brazil)
- Claire Chazal: Journalist (France)
- Franziska van Almsick: World-class swimmer (Germany)
- Licia Colò: TV hostess and journalist (Italy)
- An Lemmens: Television and radio presenter (Netherlands)
- Cecilie Skog: Adventurer (Norway)
- Jonas Wahlström: Famous animal expert (Sweden)
- Krystyna Czubówna: Famous narrator of animal documentaries (Poland)
- Nikolay Drozdov: Doctor of biological sciences (Russia)
- Aki Yashiro: Singer and painter (Japan)
The Marine Life Institute was brought into Tokyo DisneySea as the hosts of the Nemo & Friends SeaRider simulator attraction at the Port Discovery area. In contrast to the more realistically grounded setting of the film and to better fit into the land it was placed in, the Marine Life Institute was given more futuristic technology in the form of a shrinking, fish-shaped submarine to better interact with the film characters.
- The Marine Life Institute is based on the production team's research trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Vancouver Aquarium, and Marine Mammal Center in real life.
- Numerous cameos and references to other Pixar films were featured in the Marine Life Institute:
- Certain visitors in the Marine Life Institute are reused background human characters from other Pixar films such as Toy Story 3 (Sunnyside Daycare children, specifically the ones from the Caterpillar Room) and Inside Out (Riley Andersen, some of her classmates, and also Jordan and other human characters especially the Imaginary Boyfriend) even alongside the patients of Philip Sherman's office from the first film.
- When Dory meets Hank in the Quarantine area, a photo of Darla from the first film can be seen.
- In that same scene, Uku makes a cameo appearance as a sticker.
- During the scene where Marlin and Nemo watch Becky and the other pigeons eating popcorn, one of them is identical to Feathers, a pigeon featured in Toy Story 3 who tried to eat Mr. Potato Head with his parts on a tortilla.
- Several of the starfish are identical to Peach, a member of the Tank Gang. One of them, however, speaks with a male voice.
- Models of minor characters from the first film such as Jellyfish and the Whale can be spotted in the Kid Zone and Open Ocean sections.
- Also, a sea turtle model resembling Crush can be seen in the Open Ocean section.
- A calendar branded "WALL-E" can be seen from a far distance when Hank prepares to drop Dory into the Open Ocean exhibit, named after the 2008 film of the same name focusing on a titular character of the same name.