“Zootopia” Concept Art Display Promotes Upcoming Film at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park (Photos, Video)

Hi everyone!

Zootopia concept art and information is currently being presented at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park within Conservation Station, in an exhibit titled “Discovering Disney Zootopia at Conservation Station”. It’s nice to see a concept art display even after Magic of Disney Animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios closed, we’ve been following the animation displays for years (the last display at DHS was Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out). While smaller in scale, there are still 30+ pieces of concept art as well as facts about the movie. Zootopia was researched not only in Africa, but at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Zootopia opens on March 4th, 2016 and stars Jason Bateman voicing fox Nick Wilde and Ginnifer Goodwin voicing bunny Judy Hopps. Alan Tudyk plays Duke Weaselton, a reference to his Frozen character, The Duke of Weselton. Now on to the concept art and videos!

To get to Conservation Station, guests need to take the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

Once inside of Conservation Station, the Zootopia exhibit is hard to miss.

There is an elephant with an “Ipaw” behind the display cases.

Unlike most other films that we’ve shared concept art from, we have quite a lot of familiarity already about Zootopia – first from an interview in 2013 about the film, and then we sent a correspondent to a press day in California a couple of months back (we have posted a “7 Fun Facts” article & an article about the press day). I can’t wait to see it! The filmmakers and artists spent a lot of time conducting research for the film, including at Walt Disney World.

Before looking at the photos, here is our video of the display!

Filmmakers studied how each animal moved, and incorporated it into the film. Like in this case, elephants use their trunks like an arm – and that will be seen in the movie. This concept art shows an elephant behind an ice cream counter.

In Zootopia, artists needed to create animals that walk on two feet…but to have their own animal characteristics too. In this world, there have never been humans.

Disney artists watched giraffes, like here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. They noticed that giraffes looked like they ran in slow motion – and that needed to be incorporated with giraffes walking on two feet.

At Conservation Station, you can take a look at the “walk cycle” test that the Disney Animation team used.

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Photographs of the filmmakers and the Disney Animation team are part of the display (director Byron Howard and writer Jared Bush are to the right).

Here is our interview from 2013, it includes both Byron Howard and Jared Bush, along with producer Clark Spencer. They talk about the animal research and much more. Howard says in the interview how John Lasseter told them, “I will support any movie that has little animals running around in clothing”. It was a fun interview, and surprising how much they’d researched already and how clear a vision they had for the film.

Here, you can see the various animals on their two legs.

Movement is shown in this artwork.

And the many moods of a giraffe are in this concept art.

Another photograph is of giraffes and other animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at night.

This sign explains how each species in Zootopia moves in a unique way, and that real behaviors are used to animate the characters.

Here is a giraffe walking.

Chief Bogo is a cape buffalo, and the chief of the Zootopia police force.

Judy Hopps is the first bunny on the police force – a force that is mostly made up of very large animals like elephants and rhinos. She ends up in charge of parking citations, but soon finds herself on a real case.

There are 157 unique animal characters, and filmmakers made sure to bring realism to them.

The many faces of Nick Wilde are shown here. Director Byron Howard was inspired by his love for the film Robin Hood.

Several more Nick Wilde concept drawings.

Here are more animals on two feet.

This shows how the animals should move.

There is a test video showing wind through fur. I still remember in Monsters, Inc. how incredible it was to see Sully’s fur in the wind – it was a big deal back then.

Judy Hopps goes through the wind test.

Here it talks about how Disney artists studied animals and their fur “at the microscopic level”. Until Zootopia, I had no idea that polar bears had clear fur.

Concept art of Officer Clawhauser.

The makers of Zootopia studied the ratios of the animals, to make sure that they were properly sized. A giraffe to mouse ratio is 1:95 and it takes 24 mice to equal a wildebeest.

The filmmakers and artists had to figure out how each animal could live and work in the city.

Here is a look at the proportions of some of the animals. The giraffe is the tallest, and you can see how small Judy Hopps is in the grand scheme of things.

This is another scale with a look at a giraffe, human and Nick with Judy at the left. It also shows how very small the mouse is comparatively.

If you’ve seen the preview at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney California Adventure, you’ll recognize this scene.

Here is a look at a few pieces of concept art.

Mr. Big.

The giraffe needs an extra tall car to get around Zootopia.

Scale is important to feel the animals are true to size.

Concept art for the rodent subway.

A mouse.

I like the different doors for different animals below.

Since the world of Zootopia is designed for so many sizes of animals, filmmakers had to figure out how to create access for all – such as the newspaper stand below, where an elephant and a mouse are able to look for periodicals.

These three pieces of concept art show how the filmmakers designed environments for all animals.

A mouse with his car.

Everyone can have a place to sleep at a hotel.

Here is a closer look at the elephant and mouse browsing magazines.

Nick Wilde is front and center in this piece of concept art.

Nick can also be seen here, in the center of the herd.

It’s great that Disney had a place for the filmmakers to go and learn.

I like the photo ops with the different characters as cardboard cutouts, including Flash.

Jeff poses with Chief Bogo.

Behind Flash, filmmakers and artists are shown at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Photos include tigers from the Maharajah Jungle Trek, animals on the safari and Conservation Station, and Wild Africa Trek. The last photo is night vision of giraffes, most likely at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (the resort has night vision viewing there).

Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps.

Yax (to the left) is from the “naturalist” group where animals don’t wear clothes. Tommy Chong voices Yax.

I look forward to reviewing Zootopia, the trailers for it so far have been a lot of fun and geared towards both adults and kids.

We will be sharing more information about Zootopia soon!