‘Finding Dory’ Soundtrack Insights From Andrew Stanton & Thomas Newman (Track Listing & Pre-Order)

Andrew Stanton and Thomas Newman sit down to discuss the Finding Dory soundtrack and impart some amazing insights into the process.
Finding Dory Soundtrack Cover

“We Just click” – Andrew Stanton exclaims when chatting about veteran composer, Thomas Newman (WALL-E, Finding NemoFinding Dory). In a recent discussion provided to us by Disney, Stanton and Newman dig into the simple decision of working together again, the process of discovering the emotional moments of the film, and the percussive elements of the score.

Read more about the process below as well as a full tracklist and pre-order details (in stores and online, June 17, 2016).

UPDATED: Our Finding Dory soundtrack review can be found here.


“Finding Dory” welcomes back to the big screen Dory, friends Marlin and Nemo—and composer Thomas Newman. “To me, he was one of the cast members of ‘Finding Nemo,’” says director Andrew Stanton. “We formed a close relationship ever since, and now that he is behind the score for ‘Finding Dory,’ it feels like the last member of the family has arrived at the reunion.”

According to Stanton, scoring a film like “Finding Dory” with a composer like Newman takes the films to places he has yet to imagine. “It forces me to have to really explain out loud what my intentions are. It can lead to a very intense conversation between the two of us.  But I get so much out of it. I end up understanding my movie ten times better—it’s almost therapy for me. We just click.”

Thomas Newman and Andrew Stanton
Thomas Newman and Andrew Stanton

“There was no way I could not do “Finding Dory,” says Newman, who was nominated for an Oscar® for his work on “Finding Nemo” and won a Grammy® (best song written for motion picture, television, or other visual media) on Stanton’s “WALL•E.” “It’s ironic that a movie about fish—some in aquariums, some in open water—has such a huge range of emotive possibilities—from the hysterical to the deeply profound and primally frightening. That’s exciting to ponder musically.”

According to Newman, the score is designed to support the film’s big themes of loss and the characters’ efforts to conquer their individual shortcomings. It also showcases the deeper, less sunny side of Dory’s personality. “Dory’s theme has a certain amount of quirkiness and a certain amount of sadness built-in,” says the composer.

The goal, says Newman, is to complement the story. “If there’s humor or pathos, I want to bring it out, but I don’t want to re-describe it. I just want to underline it. I want to make it more of what it already is.

Finding Dory Scoring Session
Finding Dory Scoring Session from Andrew Stanton’s Twitter

“I liken music to makeup on a face,” continues Newman. “At its worst, it’s garish and overdone. At its best, you don’t notice it and it brings out the best qualities.”

The “Finding Dory” score features both an orchestral and electronic approach, allowing the composer more flexibility. He employs dulcimer guitars, tympani drums, and soprano vibraphones to support the storytelling in a unique way. “I have such a love of percussion color,” he says. “I like the high-metal rhythms and quirky sounds.”

The 83-player orchestra officially started scoring on March 22 and wrapped up April 26 — we can’t wait to hear the full soundtrack and experience it alongside the film’s theatrical release.


UPDATED: Our Finding Dory soundtrack review can be found here. Check out the full track listing and link to listen on Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon in our post.

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