After years of anticipation, development and even a bit of controversy, we finally have our first look at Pixar's "Finding Dory."

The animation giant's sequel to its 2003 hit "Finding Nemo" focuses on the forget blue fish Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) and her quest to track down her long-lost family. The story apparently picks up some six months after the events of the first film and takes place off the coast of California.

While the film will no doubt be another major hit for the studio, it's already had a big impact in raising awareness for captive orcas. The film's original ending had some of the main characters living out their lives in a kind of rehabilitation marine park based off SeaWorld. In early 2013, after "Blackfish" Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite screened her documentary for Pixar executives, the ending was rewritten to give the animals the option to leave.

Finding DoryThe gang's all back: 'Finding Dory' hits theaters on June 17, 2016. (Photo: Pixar)

In an August interview with Yahoo! Movies, DeGeneres championed the film's fish-friendly message.

“I think that fish should be in the ocean,” she said. “It’s what this whole sequel is about: It’s about rehabilitation and putting them back in the ocean… And we have to protect our oceans. Hopefully that discussion starts with this film, because we really need to protect that environment.”

"Finding Dory" will swim into theaters on June 17.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Finding Dory' trailer takes us back under the sea
Pixar's highly anticipated sequel to 'Finding Nemo' will feature a fish-friendly conservation message.