“Good vs. bad,” “us vs. them.” Labels, preconceived bias, discrimination, stereotypes… I know these well. They create suffering and separation. They hurt. They confine you to expectations based on what others think they know about you.
Sometimes you feel discouraged, feel like giving up, because you buy into their idea of who you are and how that’s all you can be. “Maybe that’s all I am after all. Who am I kidding?”
Sometimes you use the judgment as fuel to prove yourself… and prove them wrong in the process.
Sometimes you feel so alone, so unloved, underestimated and under-appreciated that you isolate yourself and end up becoming what you despise.
Zootopia is one of the best animated films I’ve seen with my family in a while. It’s a movie you will watch over and over again, especially now that is finally available on DVD, Digital HD, Blu-ray™ and Disney Movies Anywhere.
Zootopia is a compelling story of a modern metropolis where prey and predators live together, and a parable to challenge many ills that plague our society. Tough, complex, and controversial topics (such as racism, sexism, stereotyping, Xenophobia, and the deliberate use of fear, segregation, and drugs in pursuit of power) are navigated with ease in Zootopia, without it feeling preachy or being scary, and in a humorous way that is relatable for both adults and children (even my two-year old Pige).
I was really honored to be able to interview some of the filmmakers, animators, and voice talent for this impactful film, and I am still beyond inspired to know the research, heart, and dedication it took to bring Walt Disney Animation Studios’ wildly witty, vibrant world of “Zootopia” to life, and how it turned out to be so relevant for the world we live in… no matter where we are or who we are.
Voted as “one of the best animated films ever,” directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and produced by Clark Spencer (“Wreck-It-Ralph,” “Lilo & Stitch”), the progressive mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a melting pot where animals from every habitat live side by side and “anyone can be anything.” But when new rabbit police officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives in town she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of tough, hulking animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack an unsolved, challenging case even if it means working with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. But the case leads these two unlikely partners to an uneasy conclusion that Zootopia’s “evolved” society is being pulled apart by unseen forces determined to use fear to take control of the city by turning predators and prey against each other.
With the in-home release you can go on a journey to the early days of Zootopia, to find out why they started over to make the Zootopia story better, and all the animation details you didn’t catch the first time around, as well as explore through an exciting lineup of bonus features!
Zootopia Bonus Content BLU-RAY 3D, BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:
Zoology: The Roundtables
In this section, Ginnifer Goodwin, the voice of Judy Hopps, hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more. The artists at Disney Animation give a rare and in-depth look at the complexities of bringing an all-animal world to life from the ground-breaking technology behind the characters’ fur and clothing to the varied and vast environments of Tundratown, Sahara Square and the Rainforest District as well as the deep thought and research given to bringing 64 unique animal species to life through animation. Zootopia instills in our kids a desire to learn more about the animal kingdom.
The Origin of an Animal Tale
Follow the story’s development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down. In this documentary, filmmakers give a candid look into the difficulties of creating the story of Zootopia and the bold decision to switch the main character late in the production process, putting one resolute rabbit center stage. It’s fascinating to see a studio so committed to the best story that they will start from scratch after so long!
Research: A True-Life Adventure
Learn how the filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia. They reflect on the importance of research and how a deep dive into animal behavior at Disney Animal Kingdom theme park and a deep immersion into animal society on the African savanna shaped and inspired the characters of Zootopia and changed the filmmakers’ lives forever.
Z.P.D. Forensic Files
My daughters are thrilled with the Zootopia’s hidden Easter Eggs. Every city has its hidden gems, especially when it has been created by the filmmakers of Disney Animation who love nothing more than sprinkling hidden references to some of Disney’s greatest animated features throughout the story.
In a home of musicians, it was exciting to see Academy Award®-winning composer, Michael Giacchino spotlighting five of cinema’s greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his powerful and emotional music score.
You will love Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore as they introduce citizens of Zootopia who did not make the final cut. When I interviewed Renato dos Anjos and Chad Sellers, I was just how much the animators love each character they develop, so it’s great to see they still get some spotlight, after all.
Alternate Opening ~ Young Judy Hopps rescues a fellow classmate and realizes she can reach beyond a life in carrot farming to a future in law enforcement.
Wild Times! Pitch ~ Nick desperately pitches the bankers of Zootopia on funding Wild Times!, an amusement park made exclusively for the predators of Zootopia and a sure-fire, money-making scheme for Nick and his friends.
Alternate Homesick Hopps ~ After a frustrating first day on the force, Judy has a conversation with her parents. See how this scene changed from a heartfelt conversation with her parents to tough love when her parents discover their daughter is only a meter maid and not a “real cop.”
Detective Work ~ Judy borrows a fellow police officer’s computer to conduct research, which turns out to be no small task.
Alternate Jumbo Pop ~ In this early version of the story where Nick was the main character, the filmmakers and Jason Bateman were able to take hustling to a new level.
Hopps’ Apartment ~ When Judy’s entire family pays her a surprise visit they are shocked to discover the company she’s keeping.
The Taming Party ~ In this emotional clip from an early version of “Zootopia,” Judy attends her first “taming party” and gains a deeper understanding of the plight of the predator
“Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira
DVD: Scoretopia, “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira (aff)
DIGITAL HD EXCLUSIVE: International Character Reel – See the variances in news reporters in Zootopia around the world!
I’ve honestly lost count as to how many times we’ve watched Zootopia. I particularly love that now that you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home, you can pause and rewind to go deep into all the little details. From reading actual articles on the on-screen newspaper to figuring out what one of the characters put down on his job application. It’s really fun and exciting for the whole family.
As a bilingual family, I really appreciate that I can now change the audio to Spanish, and activate the Spanish subtitles. The Spanish version is impressive: everything has been translated in the picture and the correct use of exclamation (¡ !) and enyes “ñ” made my heart sing. Elyssa, my twelve year old daughter, said it’s the best translation she’s ever experienced – and she’s really demanding about those things! Other languages and subtitles available are French and English SDH. LOVE!
But what I personally love most is the opportunity to teach our kids positive principles in a fun way, whether you are homeschooling or have time off this summer!
Topics you can teach your kids using Zootopia characters
…and there are so many more!
Can you see in your head which scene in Zootopia matches each topic?
I explore all these topics with my daughters and it is a humbling process, because no matter our age or our stage, we are all learning. And we’re all struggling with these issues in one way or another, because the world is a diverse place and we’re all different.
And we can fail. As a matter of fact, we fail daily, because we aren’t perfect and we don’t usually know or understand the big picture or all sides of the story. But we mustn’t give up on trying to make the world a better place. We can learn from our mistakes and become a bit better each day. Progress is success.
As a little girl, growing up in a rural slum and being labeled as “the black sheep,” “the problem child,” I worked so hard to prove myself that I lost who I truly was. In the journey of finding myself and finally feeling a bit closer to whom I’m meant to be, it’s been a blessing to be able to pay the lessons forward, which ends up making it all worth it.
Experiencing judgment and discrimination helps us in teaching our kids about bias in a diverse world. And Zootopia is a great tool to use in that long, complex, and messy process.
Zootopia is an affirmation to the little girl inside me and to anyone who wears an imposed label that there’s more to you than what others see, that your potential is not defined by what others perceive your nature to be, your size, your looks, or the category they decided you fall into. You are powerful beyond measure and you can try anything… because even though you could fail, it’s also true that you could win.
You can pick up your personal copy of Zootopia wherever movies are sold. I guarantee you will love the plot, the graphics, and the lessons you will learn!
For more fun, be sure to visit the official ZOOTOPIA website, Like Zootopia on Facebook, Follow@DisneyAnimation on Twitter, and Follow @DisneyAnimation on Instagram.
What Zootopia bonus content are you most excited about? Post your most exciting discoveries below and share away using #ZootopiaBluray so your mommy friends don’t miss out.