Secrets of Zootopia Unlocked Part 1

Disney animation has been hard at work since 2011 working on a new animated feature called Zootopia. I shared a bit of information last month in an interview with the Zootopia Director and Producer. This month I’m going to be sharing other interesting facts about the making of Zootopia and at the end of the month I’ll be traveling to Walt Disney World to learn even more and share with you first hand all about animals from Animal Kingdom. (I’ll tell you more details about that upcoming trip in another blog post later… stay tuned for all that fun and adventure)






The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a
place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a
police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time
Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.




So in true Disney form a good movie starts with a good story…..

Clark Spencer shared with us how the story began

We finally came up with this idea of an Animal City called “Zootopia” and John loved the idea so much, he literally got fired up and he hugged him because John is also a huge fan of talking Animal Films. John was just very excited, we’d be going back into this realm. He charged everyone on the Team with creating an Animal Movie that no one has ever seen before……….

……….So our Films, they always begin at the same place. It begins with research and with Zootopia, the Director spent 15 months studying Animals. Our research took us incredible places starting with our own Animal Kingdom down at Walt Disney World where they have a huge array of Animals and some of the best Animal experts in the world. We were able to get right up to the Animals and observe their behavior up close and Animal Kingdom and their experts, they really taught us so very much about these Animals……..

….But once we’d seen the Animals in a man made facility, we wanted to see them in the Wild as well. So we went to Africa. We went to Kenya to study Animals on a Savannah, get a sense of their movement and their natural environment. Now to find out what a real Animal Society is like, we needed to go there, see them all around us. And when we got out of that Plane, we saw huge Birds and Giraffes and Zebras way out in the distance. And as we got closer to the Animals, the Animals got closer to us………

…………..And when we left Africa, our lives did change. They truly changed. We were inspired by these trips to make our characters feel like the Animals they are, and capture what makes them so amazing. And we wanted everything from the big City of Zootopia to the individual strains of fur, each Animal Character to feel believable. So that led us back to research again, literally researching fur at a microscopic level……

You might remember how I described the polar bear’s fur in the last interview I posted about Zootopia.

The Progression of the story…..

It was interesting to talk to the head of editorial Fabienne Rawley who said that it’s not until you watch the entire thing that you realize certain pieces of a story aren’t working. For Zootopia there are many different versions of the movie and it took time to get to where the movie is now. They are very happy with how it ended up. It took Disney about five years to make this film and over 900 people worked on it.


Next week I’ll share more about the actual character development starting with Nick the Con Artist fox and ending with how much everyone loved creating the sloths.




Zootopia arrives in theaters March 4th, 2016!

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Giveaway: Don’t Miss Nine Lives in Theaters This Summer! #NineLives

Nine Lives

Gift card provided.

Get ready to laugh with Nine Lives, a new family comedy coming this summer that has Kevin Spacey getting into a cat-astrophe no one saw coming!

Starring Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Malina Weissman, Cheryl Hines, Christopher Walken and Robbie Amell, NINE LIVES is the story of a stuffy businessman, Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey), who finds himself trapped inside the body of his family’s cat. If any hope exists of returning to his family as the husband and father they deserve, Tom will have to learn why he has been placed in this peculiar situation and the great lengths he must go to earn back his human existence.

Keving Spacey NinE Lives

M266 (Left to right.) Melina Weissman, Kevin Spacey and Christopher Walken star in EuropaCorp’s “NINE LIVES”.
Photo Credit: Takashi Seida
© 2015 EuropaCorp.

Nine Lives hits theaters on August 5, 2016 – you can follow Mr. FuzzyPants himself on Instagram and find the movie on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer Garner in Nine LivesNine Lives film still

Enter To Win:

One MomStart reader will win a $25 Visa gift card that they can use to see Nine Lives in theaters this summer!

To Enter:

To enter this giveaway, use the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to residents of the continental US, 18+ (No PO Boxes) and will close on February 15th, 2016 at 11:00 PM PST. See the widget for full details and click here to read our giveaway rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kung Fu Panda 3 Entertains

My family and I had the opportunity to go and see Kung Fu Panda 3 and everyone loved it. I was surprised because even my husband liked it and we haven’t seen any of the previous movies. Kung Fu Panda 3 is the third installment to the Kung Fu Panda movies where Po played by Jack Black keeps the audience laughing from beginning to end. In this movie Po has to discover who he is. Is he a teacher  is he a Kung Fu master or is he a Panda that is not eating to his potential. He is reunited with his father who teaches him how to be a Panda but then they are all put in danger and he has to save the day.


When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible-learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas.

Who will like this movie?

This movie will appeal to all ages. The really young will laugh at the slap stick humor as will some adults. Older children will get a few more of the jokes and adults will get them all. My son laughed so much during this movie. Oh and the cast on this movie is more than just Jack Black. This movie has an amazing line up of actors. Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, Bryan Cranston, J. K. Simmons, Kate Hudson.

What was my daughter’s favorite part of the movie?

She said her favorite part was the same scene they used in the commercial. Where he’s telling everyone the fight plan and then the babies eat all of his examples.

My son’s favorite part was just how funny the movie was.


I just loved listening to my son laugh and that it ended up being a movie that the whole family could enjoy.

They Day I Went to Jail for Impersonating Agent Peggy Carter #AgentCarter #ABCTVEvent

Did you watch Marvel’s Agent Carter last week on ABC? It was a great way to start the season off with these really fun characters that are the beginning of S.H.I.E.L.D. I say beginning because they are still just known as the SSR and they just relocated to the LA office that is hidden in a talent agency. (all these photos are credited to Marvel)DSC_0610


I got to visit the set of Agent Carter and everything came to life for me, beginning with being promoted to chief!


I was very busy and perturbed that my photo had to be taken. There is lots to get done as chief of the SSR you know!! Look at my desk it’s full of papers to be signed and I’m dying to find out what’s in the envelope on the left. Walking the halls of Agent Carter was really amazing. There is so much detail on every wall and desk that you pass. They even had real donuts under the glass case in the office.


On each of these desks were different letters and instructions for the agents. One of the letters I read was to an agent applying to the agency.



It’s people like my husband that will pause a show and zoom in and try to read what’s on these letters. So, then this happened….


Yep, I guess pretending to be chief gets you thrown in jail for the day. Won’t do that again, their jail is quite crowded. After spending the day on the set of Agent Carter we got to go to the costume department and try on the hat.


Yep, I’m styling. I love the costume department. This is a room full of people dedicated to their craft. They have to be prepared for all kinds of accidents and they repurpose everything. You might see an amazing purse with an amazing button on it, and that button could have been on a previous jacket.


These are my kinds of looks!DSC_0628


And the guys love how the suits are made to be cooler for the California climate. DSC_0629DSC_0639DSC_0640DSC_0641DSC_0642

In addition to being ready for repairs to costumes they usually have a different costume for stunts verses just walking around.


Don’t miss Marvel’s Agent Carter, tonight and every Tuesday on ABC at 9:00.

Disney’s Signature Collection: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is the oldest classic with so much history. Forever enchanting and inspiring, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs embodies The Walt Disney Signature Collection’s legacy of animation.  In this epic story of love and friendship, the kind and beautiful princess Snow White wins the hearts of the Seven Dwarfs and triumphs over the evil plans of a wicked Queen.  Share the movie called “The Greatest Animated Film Of All Time,” (American Film Institute) on Blu-ray February 2nd and now on Digital HD, with special features for the entire family!


The special features to me are so fun to watch. I love seeing how things were made and new material that Disney has decided to share. The extras on this disk include:

Bonus Features: In Walt’s Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – For the first time ever, hear Walt himself talk about Snow White. 

Iconography – Explore how this film influences pop culture, art, and fashion.

@DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess – Modern day Disney artists discuss the design of Snow White and how it influenced the look of some of your favorite Disney characters.

The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Facts You May Now Know About Snow White – Disney Channel star Sofia Carson reveals seven intriguing facts about Snow White.

Snow White in Seventy Seconds – Rap along with this hip reimagining of the story.

Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White – A never–before-seen story board sequence where the Prince meets Snow White.

*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer

And much more!SnowWhiteComboArt (1)

Animation isn’t made like it used to be. There used to be this device that single cells were drawn on different pieces of glass. Then a camera was over the top and it would zoom in and out. It was a very expensive way to make art. This is how Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was made. Now it’s either hand drawn or created with a computer or a combination of both.


Forever enchanting and inspiring, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs embodies The Walt Disney Signature Collection’s legacy of animation.  In this epic story of love and friendship, the kind and beautiful princess Snow White wins the hearts of the Seven Dwarfs and triumphs over the evil plans of a wicked Queen.  Share the movie called “The Greatest Animated Film Of All Time,” (American Film Institute) in High Definition Blu-ray and for the first time ever on Digital HD, with special features for the entire family!

10 Best X-Files Episodes (According to Me) #TheXFiles #StreamTeam

Best X-Files Episodes

MomStart is a member of the Netflix Stream Team.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since I first started watching my favorite show, The X-Files. I saw my first episode in 1996 when I was 12, and I’ve been hooked ever since. As you may have heard, the show is returning to TV this weekend with a special miniseries event, and I am so excited! The first website I created back in the late 1990s was actually a somewhat popular X-Files fansite on Geocities, so it seems very fitting that I am still writing blog posts about the show in 2016. It’s a New Year, and we have new X-Files!

We haven’t seen Mulder and Scully on the small screen since 2002, so there’s a lot to refresh your memory on. Fortunately, Netflix has all of seasons 1-9 of The X-Files available for streaming – isn’t technology great? I remember back when the only way to catch up on re-runs was by setting my VCR…

202 episodes is a lot to take in before the premiere, so if you want to view a sampling before tonight’s revival debut, I am humbly presenting my personal top ten list. In my opinion, there are no bad episodes – yes, I even enjoyed season 9! – so these ten episodes are simply the ones that I, personally, have appreciated the most over the years. If you’re a new viewer, I recommend starting with some of the humorous standalone episodes, as they can be enjoyed without previous knowledge of the series and give great examples of the writing and acting that make me love this show so much!

10 Best X-Files Episodes (According to Me!)

Humorous/Standalone Episodes:

Conspiracy/Mythology Episodes:

So tell me: What is YOUR favorite X-Files episode? Are you as excited about the revival as I am?

Shakira’s “Try Everything” Music Video #Zootopia

Shakira "Try Everything"

I’ve been a fan of Shakira since I got her album Laundry Service, and I love her even more now that she is a coach on The Voice. Shakira’s latest gig is voicing the character of Gazelle in Disney’s upcoming animated feature Zootopia. Get a sneak peek of her new song from the movie, which will be released on the film’s soundtrack through Walt Disney Records on March 4th:

Marvel’s Agent Carter Interview with The Woman in the Hat

Last year, Agent Carter was just supposed to be a short run but turned out to be the next Marvel hit. It’s a show that’s great for the entire family with humor, action and suspense. It’s everything Marvel is in a short TV series and season two is packed with all those things and more. We start the season in LA, as there was a miscommunication between Peggy and Jarvis. Jarvis left and now Peggy has joined them. Will their reunion be a happy one? Find out tonight as Agent Carter returns. Marvel’s Agent Carter” returns for a second season TONIGHT, TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, with a two-hour season premiere (9:00-11:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network.


Just in case you have never heard of Agent Carter…….

Years before Phil Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team swore to protect those who cannot protect themselves from threats they cannot conceive, there was Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell, Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier) who pledged the same oath but lived in a different time when women weren’t recognized as being as smart or as tough as their male counterparts. But no one should ever underestimate Peggy.

Dedicated to the fight against new Atomic Age threats in the wake of World War II, Peggy must now journey from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous assignment yet. But even as she discovers new friends, a new home – perhaps even a new love – she’s about to find out that the bright lights of the post-war Hollywood mask a more sinister threat to everyone she is sworn to protect.

Almost two months ago I was on the set of Agent Carter, yes I got to visit the West Coast SSR office and interview Haley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter) and James D’Arcy (Edwin Jarvis). Together this duo was quite a funny pair. They have great chemistry together and seem to have a lot of fun working together. So much so that pranking ensues on set.

Hayley: Alright, so at any given time, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. You know, my trailer is still, because I can’t really take it down, but it’s covered in pictures of James. He, went on to Google and got the art department to print every possible online picture and they plastered it all over my trailer. I was like, oh for God’s sake.

James: I was going to say, but like no one has ever seen the picture. There’s only one copy of it in existence. I also got her hat, her red, iconic hat and struck the Burt Reynolds 1970’s pose complete with mustache, with the hat. You’ll never see that picture, but you are, I permit you to know that it exists. It was my Halloween gift to her.

Hayley: It greets me every morning. I even found a picture of you in the toilet.

James: Yes, if you open up the loo, there’s a little picture of me staring up at her. Happy Halloween.


Now Marvel is always very tight lipped about spoilers but the question on everyone’s mind is what’s going on in Season Two of Agent Carter……..


James: Well, ah, we’ve moved to Los Angeles, ah, or actually no, I’ve moved to Los Angeles, but then for reason, ah, I can’t ever remember how, we can’t ever tell you anything, so it’s terrible. These (kind of interviews) are always very frustrating. Things happen, which are terribly exciting, but they all take place in L.A., so it’s, so instead of being a sort of New Yorky, dark, dingy vibe, now it’s bright sunlight and palm trees and sort of Chinatown type deal.

Hayley: And glamorous, but D’Arcy, Jarvis doesn’t like L.A., do you?

James: No.

Hayley: With palm trees and everyone eats avocados with everything.

James: Yes, they do, and now they eat brussel sprouts with everything, which I hate…

Hayley: Which you hate. I like.

James: Personally, I don’t what Jarvis thinks about it.

Hayley: You like avocado though.

James: I do.

Hayley: You’re funny like that.

James: But Jarvis doesn’t.

Hayley: Jarvis doesn’t. It makes for a quite iconic moment.

James: They have I think particular fun with my character in terms of the Los Angeles-ness of it all because they didn’t want to make me any more costumes. So I’m wearing three-piece woolen suits, which is alright now, but in August when we started was complete misery. The writers just came and sort of hooted with laughter all day long. They loved it. They had been looking forward to it since May when they started writing. They send me texts going  (Laughing as he pretends to text)

Later Hayley talks about love interests in Season Two…..

Hayley:…….She gets out and about this season, doesn’t she? She does. There are a few gentlemen callers and not just one but multi, would-be Mr. Carter. And as for taking up Sousa on his drink offer from the end of last season, the thing is when you first, without giving too much away when you see them reunite after Season 1, they’re so awkward around each other that they just ruin it the minute they see each other because they want it so bad. Because it’s six months later, stuff has happened. And it’s also the first time they meet and it’s a huge misunderstanding because Peggy has been told that he’s asked her to come out. She gets out there and she’s like “I’m here.” And he goes, “What are you doing here?” That immediately makes her feel a little bit rejected and taken back again. They’re kind of back to their awkward stage, really, so they have again this kind of long way to go. And in the mean time, this sexy, hunky scientist comes along, so she’s like well, you know. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) is the scientist helping Peggy throughout the season. When they meet, each of them instantly sees something in the other.”



But what about Jarvis….after this interview I’m starting to really like his character even more than I did before….so what is it about Jarvis??? James gives us his two cents.

James: Oh, because he just plows his own furrow. He really doesn’t care if people don’t like him. He has his way of doing things, and he’s totally at peace with that. And I personally, I don’t know about you guys, but I respond really well to anybody who is just very comfortable being themselves, you know, even if they’re nothing like, I like people that are nothing like me, but they’re really comfortable in their eccentricities. I’m really good at that. I’m like, oh yeah, great. Actually, I think I should have a mustache like that, too. That would look really good on me. You know, I’ve become very susceptible to that. I sort of fall in with it.


Here’s a sneak peak into tonight’s episode……