We had sent a correspondent back in November to a press day for the highly anticipated film Zootopia, the 55th animated film from the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Our first article about that day is here, and we wanted to add some fun facts about the film. I’ve enjoyed the trailers so much, and can’t wait to see “Zootopia” in its entirety. Creating an animal world for an animated film is actually serious business, with the filmmakers wanting it to be authentic as well as engaging. We will have another article soon about the actual press day itself. Zootopia brings with it one of the biggest casts ever assembled for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film, which I’m sure is a challenge in its own right – but all of the characters have such different personalities, I’m looking forward to seeing other characters we’ve not met onscreen yet. Zootopia will open in theaters on March 4th, 2016.
– Zootopia includes 50 different species of animals. The animals in Zootopia range from mice to giraffes, buffalo to wildebeest. While staying true to their own nature, the animals also walk on 2 feet and have human qualities. For one example, the giraffes run like giraffes, but only on 2 feet. And Wildebeest are actually similar to lemmings in behavior, and that is shown in the film. There are over 1000 unique animals in Zootopia.
– Animal research took 18 months. Filmmakers spent time not only stateside at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park to learn about animal behavior, but as far as Kenya, Africa for a 2-week trip to talk with animal experts. Director Byron Howard said that, “We studied how they interact in the wild, how they socialize and how their individual communities are built in the natural world”.
Here is a look at the first trailer, which played before The Good Dinosaur.
– Filmmakers stayed true to the scale of the animals. – Much thought went into proportioning the animals in regards to each other. Like, the smallest animals vs. the tallest in Zootopia are mice and giraffes, with 97 mice standing head to toe to equal one giraffe.
– There are 6 individual neighborhoods that the characters reside and work in. For example, Tundratown is for polar bears and and moose. Bunnyburrow is for all the bunnies, including Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin). Savanna Central is where all the different animals/mammals in the film can congregate and work together. Each neighborhood is unique.
– Zootopia is a buddy movie. Director Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) says about Judy and Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), “A rabbit and a fox are natural enemies by definition”. They become partners and learn about each other as they work together to solve a mystery. This goes against the natural world in which similar animals tend to stick together.
This is the second trailer, also a lot of fun!
– Director Byron Howard’s favorite childhood film was Robin Hood. The character of Nick Wilde looks very similar to the original animated Robin Hood.
– In Zootopia, “Anyone can be anything”. This is the crux of the film, with optimistic Judy believing in it firmly as she takes on a job that others may feel is not in her realm. Judy becomes a police officer, the first bunny to do so. Most officers tend to be rhinos, elephants, larger animals.
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 produced by Clark Spencer (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “Lilo & Stitch”) opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.