In the world of movie criticism, Finding Dory is currently the 11th best reviewed Pixar movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes, right between Monsters, Inc. and A Bug's Life. That's its place in the official world of Pixar, but how does Finding Dory fit in the world of Pixar fan theories?
Fan Jon Negroni believes that whether a Pixar character is a toy, fish, or monster, they're all actually part of the same universe. Negroni showed how these movies can actually be stitched together and his theory is supported by Easter eggs throughout the films. And now, YouTuber Jon Carlin has an idea about how Finding Dory fits into that timeline: It happens just before Ratatouille.
Part of the Pixar theory features animals getting smarter — hence adorable talking fish going to school — as human society backslides, as shown by the humans of WALL·E basically being (unknowingly) held hostage by their own utopia in space.
It also supposes that animals can only develop so far, because humans destroy the planet (see WALL·E) and that Finding Dory and its focus on the polluted ocean marks the beginning of the end. But it's not all bad — the next movie in the Pixar timeline is Ratatouille, and as Carlin points out, more trash (at least in the short term) is good for rats, possibly giving them the boost they need to develop to the point where they could be excellent chefs. It's comforting to know all the Pixar puzzle pieces are clicking into place.