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…..so 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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