Disney’s Zootopia is sure to be your new favorite animated film. The animals, the storyline, the fabulous animation – my seven year old daughter and I absolutely loved Zootopia when we saw an early screening last week. Like so many Disney films before, I left the theater wondering about all the creative work that went into bringing the vision to life. Just days later I had the opportunity to spend some time with the film Producer and ask questions in a media interview panel. I’m sharing my favorite fun facts about Zootopia from Producer Clark Spencer.
A few other local media representatives were also invited to the interview. Producer Clark Spencer’s beaming excitement for all the work spent creating Zootopia was obvious. He was humble, eloquent, and really really excited about Zootopia!
He answered many different questions from our group but a handful of fun facts stood out the most to me.
10 Fun Facts about Zootopia
1) 64 different animal species appear in the film. While scale is not something animated films generally keep true, each animal featured in Zootopia maintains their size to scale. Pay attention to the size of the mice in comparison to the giraffes. It takes 95 mice to make the height of one giraffe.
2) All 64 of the different animal species were well studied by the team. Their fur and hair was examined under microscopes to be sure the characters were representing the true texture and appearance of real animals. In the film Nick Wilde, the fox, is made up of two million strands of hair.
3) Zootopia drew inspiration from many different films and television shows but the initial idea was inspired by Robin Hood. Clothed talking animals were the beginning of the Zootopia creative process.
4) You’ll notice many different film and show references in Zootopia but you’ll also notice the fun play on real products too. Officer Clawhauser enjoys Lucky Chomps at his desk while a very busy Zootopia enjoys their morning Snarlbucks coffee. Clark said the team had quite a bit of fun with these references.
5) The silly rebranding continued with a preview of upcoming Disney films shown on the cover of DVDs. While it’s a very short scene, you’ll immediately recognize it and should pay close attention to the DVD titles.
6) Characters are not created with actors in mind but the animation process only happens after after the voicing is complete. It’s no accident that Judy Hopps, the bunny, talks with her hands like her real life voice actress, Ginnifer Goodwin. The animated characters naturally take on some of the more obvious traits of their voices.
7) While researching the animals of the film in Africa, the team learned there are naturally 90% prey and 10% predators. Pay attention during the film and you’ll see these numbers accurately depicted in Zootopia.
8) There are many hidden mickeys throughout the film.
9) I asked Clark which character evolved the most from the beginning of the creative process. His answer wasn’t one character but rather an explanation of the evolving story. Originally Nick was the main character but the realization of his cynical view of the world in contrast to Judy’s sweet optimism placed her at the front of the story.
10) A bias expert reminded the team when you get to know somebody you can’t be biased. Zootopia pairs up a “dumb bunny” and a “sly fox” to make a friendship they otherwise wouldn’t have imagined without taking the time to get to know each other. What a wonderful message to share through a film about a city of animals!
See Zootopia in theaters March 4th and be sure to keep an eye out for confirmation of 10 fun facts about Zootopia from Producer Clark Spencer.