Not only did I have a chance to watch all of the new Disney+ shorts series, Zootopia+ early, BUT I also attended the Press Conferences with the creators!
Bringing these fun and unique stories to life wasn’t as easy as A, B, and C. The idea didn’t even come from the original creators themselves! Director Trent Correy gives full credit to the pitch program at Disney. The program is open to anyone who works at the studio, and they can blind-submit a story they come up with. Then the judges process all the submissions. One of Correy’s favorite films he’s worked on is Zootopia. So, it was a no-brainer!
I was an animator [and] I loved working on [Zootopia]. I animated the sloth. One of the highlights of my career. And I thought, what a rich world I wanna go back to.All my favorite characters in Zootopia are Mr. Big and Duke Weaselton and Stu and Bonnie Hopps. And so, I just wanted to revisit the world.
– Director Trent Correy
HOW DID THEY CHOOSE WHICH STORIES TO TELL IN ZOOTOPIA+?
According to director Josie Trinidad, whose previous Disney Animation credits include Co-Head of Story on the original film, Zootopia, as well as Ralph Breaks the Internet, that idea came from Correy. He wanted to write stories that are interwoven into the movie.
Originally, they had 10 ideas for various shorts. So, of course, they had to narrow it down to the six episodes we have now. However, they didn’t want them to all feel the same. So, instead, they made sure that each episode was its own genre, from action to romantic comedy, and even a noir thriller episode, as well as a heist one.
[Zootopia] the film, it’s harder, I must say. It felt like the shorts were very bite-size. They were really fun to make. And they were very contained… you could really go to town with each genre. And so, it was, you know, it was a blast, [laughs] really.
-director Josie Trinidad
RETURNING TO THEIR ORIGINAL ROLES, BONNIE HUNT AND DON LAKE!
Hopp on Board is the action episode! When Judy Hopps heads off to the big city of Zootopia her baby bunny sibling becomes an accidental stowaway. So, Bonnie and Stu Hopps have to ‘hop’ into action and rescue them! Bonnie Hunt absolutely loved the idea because to her all parents are action heroes.
I think of every parent as an action hero. I don’t have any of my own children, but I have 15 nieces and nephews. And I’ve seen when the one-year-old gets too close to the top of the steps, I’ve seen my sisters turn into action heroes.Moving faster than they’ve ever moved and lifting things they never thought they could ever lift to push things out of the way.
Bonnie Hunt – “Bonnie Hopps”
Don Lake’s favorite thing about returning to the characters is working with Bonnie again. The two have been great friends for decades. Working with someone like that makes it easy to play together and make something great. “We’re there to play. It’s not work. Bonnie and I are just having fun, right? We’re just playing. So, it was a treat”.
Zootopia+ is now playing on Disney+! Make sure to check it out and let us know what you think in the comments!