While in Los Angeles last month, one of the stops on the trip was the Walt Disney Animation Studios. We were able to do a fun Q&A with Zootopia Directors Byron Howard , Rich Moore and Producer Clark Spencer. Plus, we got to see a few sneak peeks!
The more I learned about the film, the more I look forward to seeing it.
The intense amount of study and time spent researching the animals is jaw-dropping.
There are 50 different species in this movie. They spent 15 months studying all of these animals in order to make the movie real. We are talking down to the details like the way they move, their hair, the wind through their hair, size relativity, EVERYTHING was taken into consideration.
Plus — how do you actually make these animals that walk on all fours, walk on two feet. How would their clothes fit, how would they move. I was in awe at the time that is actually invested into this. Plus — I love that it was, it makes it more real for my children to learn about the animals in watching the movie. Which we all know, happens on repeat often for the little kids.
The film makers brought up the legacy of Disney Animation and how it has changed over the years.
10 years ago today, John Lassiter and Ed Catmull joined Disney Animation and everything changed. One of the first things they did was they put film making where it belongs. They put it back into the hands of the film makers and not into the hands of Executives. John had created what we call the story trust. This is a mixture that’s very trusting. Today it’s a mix of veterans and young talent. It’s directors, it’s writers, it’s story artists, who each and every day challenge each other and push our films to a new level of excellence. It’s a really important route and so we always ask ourselves, what makes a Disney Animation Film and if you look at that montage, there are so many things. – Clark Spencer
I think that statement is very evident in the making of this movie too. The time and detail truly is outstanding and you will see that when you watch the movie too!
One of the most impressive details is the scaling, how do you make a movie where the Elephants, Giraffes and the Mice all interact? And make it REAL?
They managed to figure out the details and it’s very fun and real.
You might wonder how this story came about? That is exactly what we asked and here is Rich Moore response:
Very early on we found out that we really needed to become experts on how cities evolved and how people interacted, how these cities get built. When we went to Africa, one of the things we noticed was around the watering hole during the day, we filmed those giraffes. There were literally about 30 feet from us. They were very, very close to us and during the day, the lions and leopards and the giraffes, everyone got around the watering hole so we figured out that this city is the place where people come together and live together and they have to agree on certain types of behavior, to make living work.
And that’s where we really got interested in this idea of predator and prey and how these different groups have evolved to get along and it’s been a fascinating journey. We always try to become experts as much as possible,so that the story is fed by the research.
The movie has a fantastic take-away too.. Byron Howard explains:
I would say the big one that I really take from it is the theme that we define ourselves. You know the world may have an opinion of us, but it is up to you to define who you are. The world does not define you, you do. That’s the theme that I went away with. Yes because both of the Characters, both of the lead Characters Nick and Judy lived their whole lives with people and animals telling them who they should be, and struggling against those limits. It’s all threaded throughout the whole film.
You’ll see as great as the City is, it has a lot of barriers that Judy runs into because of her size because of where she comes from, because of what people believe she knows or believe she’s capable of and to see her overcome that is really the journey of the movie. And it’s that will, that idealism, and that determination to survive. I think as we’ve shown the film around the world, I think that’s what people really seem to key in on with Judy and that’s why Ginnifer Goodwin did such a great job in bringing that to life.
Zootopia is hitting theaters March 4, I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see this one! Check out the trailer below.