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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 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 explained by the Institute's PA system. The Marine Life Institute's logo is a circle with some kelp engraved in it.

Official Description

The “Jewel of Morro Bay”—the Marine Life Institute (MLI), is a rescue and rehabilitation center and premiere aquarium.

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:

Voice Actor/Actress Real-Life Occupation Country/Dub Other Notes
Anne Dorval Stage/film actress and singer Canadian French dub Also voiced Dory in this dub
Rodolfo Neri Vela Astronaut Mexico and Latin America Voice heard throughout Latin American releases
Marília Gabriela Journalist, actress, interviewer, and presenter Brazil
Claire Chazal Journalist France
Franziska van Almsick Swimmer Germany
Leonor Alcácer Actress, voice actress, theatre director Portugal
María Luisa Solá Voice actress Spain Also dubbed roles played by Sigourney Weaver in Castilian dubs
Licia Colò TV hostess and journalist Italy
Cecilie Skog Adventurer Norway
Jonas Wahlström Animal expert Sweden
Krystyna Czubówna Animal documentary narrator Poland
Nikolay Drozdov Biological science doctor Russia
Aki Yashiro Singer and painter Japan

Places 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.
  • 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 escaped their exhibits by leaping out of their exhibits during the climax of the film.
  • Salt Water Return: Seen only on the Institute map.
  • Maintenance Ward: Seen only on the Institute map.
  • Neptune's Sound of the Deep: Seen only on the Institute map.
  • Rehab Pools: Seen only on the Institute map.
  • Journey to the Deep: Seen only on the Institute map.
  • Jellyfish Jungle: A jellyfish exhibit, seen only on 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, sea anemones, sea worms 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 Morro 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).

Disney Parks

Tokyo DisneySea

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.


Concept art




  • 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 original film.
      • Also, some of the cars parked outside the Institute's parking lot during the climax of the film are reused models of the ones from Cars and its sequel. This also applies to the ones leading from California to Cleveland, Ohio.
    • 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 (only they're purple instead of pink). 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.
  • The concept art book "The Art of Finding Dory" featured an unnamed dolphin character living in the Institute who was cut from the final version of the film.

v - e - d
Finding Nemo - Logo.png
Films: Finding Nemo (video) • Finding Dory (video) • Exploring the ReefMarine Life InterviewsDory's Reef CamPixar Popcorn (Dory Finding)

Video Games: Finding NemoFinding Nemo: The Continuing AdventuresFinding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Disney UniverseNemo's ReefFinding Dory: Just Keep SwimmingDisney Crossy RoadKinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar AdventureDisney Infinity: 3.0 EditionLEGO The IncrediblesDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Music:: Finding NemoFinding DoryFinding Nemo: The MusicalFinding Nemo: Ocean Favorites
Books: Little Golden BookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingBig Golden BookThe Art of Finding NemoThe Art of Finding Dory
Cancelled projects: Finding Nemo 2

Disney Parks
Disney's Art of Animation ResortDisney's Explorers LodgeCrush's CoasterDisney Animation BuildingFinding Nemo Submarine VoyageIt's a Small WorldNemo & Friends SeaRiderPixar Pal-A-RoundThe Seas with Nemo & FriendsTurtle Talk with CrushMr. Ray's Pop QuizBruce's Shark ChallengeFinding Dory's Friends

Entertainment: Disney KiteTailsFantasmic!Finding Nemo: The MusicalPixar Playtime PalsRivers of Light: We Are One
Parade: Disney Stars on ParadeHappiness is Here ParadeMickey's Storybook ExpressPaint The Night ParadePixar Play ParadeTokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights
Firework: Disneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMomentousTogether Forever: A Pixar Nighttime SpectacularILLUMINATE! A Nighttime CelebrationTree of Life AwakensWonderful World of AnimationWorld of Color
Summer: Mickey's WaterWorksPixar Water Play Street Party!Summer Blast

Finding Nemo: NemoMarlinCoralDoryPearlTadSheldonMr. RayBruceAnchorChumGillNigelCrushSquirtDr. Philip ShermanDarlaAnglerfishSeagullsMoonfishWhaleTank Gang

Finding Dory: JennyCharlieBaileyDestinyHankFluke and RudderGeraldBeckyOttersGiant SquidStanBillStingrays
Other: SeaRider

AustraliaGreat Barrier ReefSydney HarbourSharks' LairAbyssopelagic ZonePhilip Sherman's Dentist OfficeEast Australian CurrentAngel's CoveCaliforniaMorro BayMidnight ZoneMarine Life Institute
AquaScum 2003Pixar BallA113Pizza Planet TruckP. Sherman's Diver Goggles
Finding Nemo: Nemo EggFirst DayField TripLet's Name the SpeciesJust Keep SwimmingBeyond the Sea

Finding Dory: Main TitleO, We're Going HomeWhat a Wonderful WorldUnforgettableSolsbury Hill
Musical/Theme Parks: In The Big Blue WorldDory's DittyFish Are Friends, Not FoodWhere's My Dad?We Swim TogetherGo With the Flow

See Also
The Science Behind PixarPixar in a BoxFinding Nemo (franchise)Finding Nemo 2