Dory, Nemo and Marlin are back!
Dory, Nemo and Marlin are back! (Photo: © Disney Pixar/cbpix & Dobermaraner/Shutterstock)

Ever since Pixar released the trailer for "Finding Dory," fans of the original 2003 fish-focused hit have been gearing up for another exciting cinematic journey through the world's oceans. While the touching story of Dory's search for her family is sure to pull at your heartstrings, one of the most appealing (and educational!) aspects of the film will be the introduction to a diverse, fascinating cast of marine species.

If you're already a long-time fan of the franchise, you might already be aware that Dory is an ever-forgetful Pacific blue tang fish and Marlin and Nemo are a father-son clownfish duo (as seen above), but how well do you know the other marine species represented in the films? With just a few months left until the film's release date on June 17, Pixar has released a slew of official character renderings, including what is possibly one of the cutest additions to the series:

Baby sea otters
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/worldswildlifewonders/Shutterstock)

That's right! Sea otter pups!

It's been hinted that the film will partially take place in California (judging by the latest trailer, perhaps at an aquarium?), which is exactly where these fluffy, charismatic marine mammals can be found. As you can see from the comparison above, these little bundles of fur are going to be just as adorable in the film as they are in real life.

Continue below to see more real animals that inspired some of Pixar's newest characters (as well as some old favorites):

Hank the octopus
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/Rich Carey/Shutterstock)

Hank is a cantankerous, seven-legged octopus voiced by Ed O'Neill.



Bailey the beluga whale
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock)

Bailey is a beluga whale voiced by Ty Burrell.



Crush the green sea turtle
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/Hans Gert Broeder/Shutterstock)

Crush, voiced by Andrew Stanton, is the green sea turtle that made serious waves in the first film.



Becky the loon
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/Michelle Lalancette/Shutterstock)

Becky is a common loon voiced by Torbin Bullock.



Destiny the whale shark
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/Krzysztof Odziomek/Shutterstock)

Destiny is a whale shark voiced by Kaitlin Olson.



Rudder and fluke the sea lions
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/Bruce Raynor/Shutterstock)

Fluke and Rudder are sea lions, voiced respectively by Idris Elba and Dominic West.



Mr. Ray the spotted eagle ray
(Photo: © Disney Pixar/aslysun/Shutterstock)

Mr. Ray is a spotted eagle ray that served as the school teacher in the original film. He is voiced by Bob Peterson.



Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.