13 years after Pixar's blockbuster Finding Nemo hit theaters, the long-awaited follow-up Finding Dory is just around the corner, hitting theaters on June 17. Earlier this month, the second trailer debuted with the latest footage, but today we have our first look at a slew of new characters, thanks to photos courtesy of USA Today. The first characters we meet are a pair of sea lions, voiced by The Wire stars Dominic West (Rudder) and Idris Elba (Fluke).

Director Andrew Stanton told the site that he wanted these characters to sound like East London gangsters from a Guy Ritchie movie. While the filmmaker couldn't explain why he wanted those characters to sound like British criminals, he praised their work in the recording booth, while admitting to an ulterior motive in casting the two actors. Here's what he had to say below.

"Idris and Dominic are well-trained, dramatic, Shakespearean actors, but they can do comedy like nobody's business. They just ran with it. They played jolly and lazy really well. But the truth is, I really wanted to witness a Wire reunion. So we got them together."

In Finding Dory, the story moves to the West Coast, as Dory starts to remember who her parents are, which sets her off on a journey to Monterey, California to track them down. The change in scenery helps account for these numerous new faces, with Andrew Stanton revealing that he wanted to help convey how vast the ocean really is by showcasing plenty of underwater creatures of all shapes and sized. Here's what he had to say below.

"The ocean is teeming with literally millions of species. People don't want to feel like they just spent the movie in a pond. There are just certain species of animals or fish that are fun to watch in real life and you can't help but to throw a character on them. If they can find a home in Dory's story, great. It's a win-win."

Some of these new characters include Jenny and Charlie, Dory's parents, voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy, Bailey the beluga whale (Ty Burrell), a cranky octopus named Hank (Ed O'Neill) and a whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson). There are also a number of characters who don't speak, such as ocean loons and otters. Andrew Stanton teased that ocean loons pop up just as much as seagulls did in the original movie. Here's what the director had to say about how they changed the nature of otters for this family-friendly movie.

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"Loons are the seagulls of this movie. The truth is, otters are quite vicious. But no one wants that to be true. So we didn't follow that. The otters ended up being more successful as cute creatures that just stare at you. We knew the effect they have on people."

Finding Dory will be going up against Warner Bros.' Central Intelligence at the box office on June 17. This could result in an interesting showdown in theaters, pitting a beloved animated franchise against two of the world's biggest movie stars, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Take a look at the new photos, and stay tuned for more from Finding Dory.

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