MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM SHORELINES
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Finding Dory inspiration

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Finding Inspiration and Finding Dory



Finding Dory

After keeping it a secret for two years, we're thrilled to finally share how we helped Pixar Animation Studios create Finding Dory. We schooled Pixar staff about marine animal behavior, especially that of octopuses, sea otters and shorebirds. As movie goers have noticed, we also influenced the design and depiction of daily life at the film's fictional Marine Life Institute.

Pixar is known for its high attention to detail, and animators spent hundreds of hours observing our animals and learning about their behavior and physiology—with a lucky few even interacting with our resident giant Pacific octopuses, their inspiration for Hank the "septopus."

"They spent a lot of time on octopuses," says Director of Husbandry, Jon Hoech. "When I told one animator that octopuses can individually move the thousands of suckers on their tentacles, I thought she was going to faint."

Jon says he enjoyed seeing how the animators applied what they learned, and even exaggerated some animal traits for comedic effect.
Animators for Piper, the short film about a young sanderling that precedes Finding Dory, worked with Aquarium aviculturists. Their focus was on feathers, which are difficult to animate.
Curator of Aviculture Aimee Greenebaum gifted the animators with real feathers from Makana, our Laysan albatross, who's used to encountering humans at close range.
"She modeled for them a few times so the animators could watch how her feathers moved and shone in different light," Aimee says. "Once Makana molted, I sent some feathers to Pixar so they could continue to study the real thing."
We also worked with the Disney-Pixar marketing teams to help promote the movie—the summer's biggest blockbuster, here and abroad. We hosted Disney Channel kid stars Jenna Ortega and Isaak Presley (from Stuck in the Middle) as they learned how we protect the ocean and its inhabitants. They also explored Dory's world, coming face-to-face with some of the animals that inspired characters from the movie—just as our visitors do every day.


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Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Awards

2016 Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Awards

On World Ocean Day, the Aquarium and the Paul Walker Foundation honored two individuals who are making a difference for ocean conservation. Executive Director Julie Packard and Walker's daughter, Meadow Walker, presented actor, filmmaker and ocean advocate Adrian Grenier with the 2016 Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award.

Adrian has long been active on behalf of environmental and social causes—from his role as the first Social Good Advocate for Dell, to creating the Lonely Whale Foundation in 2015 as a vehicle to inspire empathy and action for protecting the ocean and marine life.

Executive Director Julie Packard praised Adrian for his dedication to ocean conservation. "Time and time again, Adrian has demonstrated his deep commitment to working on behalf of the health of the ocean and our planet," she says.
Julie and Meadow also presented the Paul Walker Youth Award to Meg Kikkeri of Cupertino, a former Teen Conservation Leader at the Aquarium and mentor to other girls in our Young Women in Science program.
Meg received a college scholarship from the Paul Walker Foundation to support her continued studies of ocean and conservation issues at Smith College in Massachusetts.
Julie also praised Meg for her contribution as a volunteer at the Aquarium. "She is an inspiring and effective ocean conservation advocate, and has such a positive influence in the lives of the people she touches," she says. "She's truly a remarkable young woman."
The Aquarium and the Paul Walker Foundation established the awards in 2014 to recognize individuals who use their public stature to advance ocean causes and support philanthropic ventures.

Cooking for Solutions

Culinary Events Celebrate Sustainability

The Party

Ages 21 and up
Saturday, October 1
7–11:30 p.m.
$100 Aquarium members/$125 general public

Wine Dinner Series

Ages 21 and up
Saturday, October 22
6 p.m. Reception
7 p.m. Dinner in Cindy's Waterfront
$150 Aquarium members/$180 general public

Join us in October for two delicious culinary events.

The first is our final—and fabulous—Cooking for Solutions event of 2016. The Party offers ocean-healthy food and drink by more than 60 restaurants, wineries and breweries—plus a later-night dance party with a variety of live and DJ-spun music.

Over the past 15 years, Cooking for Solutions has put sustainable cuisine on the map, in festive fashion! The Party is a lively way to celebrate its success, as well as 15 years of educating our guests and promoting sustainable seafood and ocean-friendly cuisine.
Our Wine Dinner Series events return later in the month. Join Chef Cindy Pawlcyn and Winemaker Annette Hoff Danzer from Cima Collina Winery. A reception in the Open Sea galleries starts off this exclusive evening, which is limited to 40 people and features a multi-course meal of fresh and local products prepared by Cindy and her team, perfectly paired with Cima Collina wines.
To purchase tickets and for more information, call (831) 647-6886.