Behind The Scenes of Disney’s ZOOTOPIA
During my time in Los Angeles last December I had the opportunity to sit in on a few presentations for Disney’s upcoming film ZOOTOPIA. I also screened a few clips from the movie, which had me laughing hysterically!
Zootopia is a city like no other that’s comprised of neighborhoods that celebrate different cultures. There’s ritzy Sahara Square for desert animals, Tundratown for the polar bears and moose, the hot and humid Rain Forest District, Little Rodentia for the the tiniest mice, and Bunnyburrows for the millions and millions of super cute bunnies. The downtown area, Savanna Central, is a melting pot where a wide array of mammals from every environment come 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 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, to solve a mystery.
I spent some time seeing the animation and storytelling process, which was incredibly interesting and, once again, I was blown away by Disney’s in-depth research and talent.
STORY SAFARI: FROM WORD TO DRAWING TO IMAGE
We met with Writer and Co-Director Jared Bush, Writer Phil Johnston, Co-Head of Story Josie Trinidad and Head of Editorial Fabienne Rawley to discuss the unique journey of creating ZOOTOPIA from script to story sketches to the editing room.
“I think all of us were profoundly changed by our trip to Africa,” adds Jared Bush, who’s co-director and one of the screenwriters. “It’s such an amazing experience, being around the hundreds, thousands of animals. In this movie, we want to feel that density, which is a lot of work. We came back after that trip with a sincere need to make it right.”
ZOOTOPIA features a remarkable roster of voice talent tapped to help bring the mammal metropolis to life, including Ginnifer Goodwin (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” “Something Borrowed,” “Walk the Line”) as rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps. “Ginnifer has such a sweet nature to her,” says Moore. “But she’s tenacious, just like Judy, and she’s got some great comedy chops, too. She knows how to play a wholesome character in a funny way. She understands exactly what makes Judy funny.”
How slow are sloths? How does a giraffe run? How does a tiger dance? We asked the Head of Animation Renato dos Anjos and Animation Supervisors Nathan Engelhardt and Chad Sellers, who, along with the talented artists of the animation team, merged animal and human behavior to create the unique and varied performances of the animals of Zootopia.
One last bit of fun for this post – a ZOOTOPIA selfie! This was a ton of fun to make. 🙂
ZOOTOPIA opens in theatres everywhere on March 4th!
Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles.