Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia is finally out in the wild now, and we’re pumped because we have a couple of fun (spoiler-free) facts to share with you all! Are you ready to learn more about the animation process, and how artists took inspiration from real-life animals? Keep on reading!
1. There are a lot of different species in Zootopia.
There are 64 to be exact. The cool thing is that the creatures are unique in terms of topology. For example, elephants have trunks, pigs have snouts; some animals have hooves, while others have paws!
2. Animators took inspiration from classic Disney films for the design of Assistant Mayor, Bellwether.
If after seeing Bellwether, you were reminded of the lambs in “Make Mine Music” or “Melody Time,” you’re not alone! Animators were inspired by the adorable creatures.
3. Artists added a touch of realism to the animals by putting debris in their fur.
In order to “bolster the animal-feel,” artists added bits of debris (like hay, sticks, leaves etc.) to the coats of animals. If you look closely at Yax the Yak, you’ll see what we mean!
4. Six unique outfits were designed for Bellwether.
The fabric of choice? Wool, of course! The mayor’s wardrobe includes a stellar houndstooth dress, a blazer with a bell (in honor of her moniker), and an orange dress featuring a scissor pattern that represents shears.
5. Judy’s upper lip is different from your ordinary rabbit.
Despite the fact that real rabbits sport a split upper lip, animators decided to forego authenticity and keep Judy’s lip all together.
6. Lionheart was inspired by Mufasa.
When creating Mayor Lionheart, artists looked to the lion king himself, Mufasa, for inspiration. We’re glad they did, because he looks great!
7. The characters’ fur is true to the real animal they represent.
While researching the creatures they wanted to include in Zootopia, the artists discovered that their fur coats varied quite a bit. For example, polar bears actually have clear fur (the white appearance is actually due to light reflection), whereas fox fur transitions from root (dark) to tip (light)! To make them look as believable as possible, filmmakers incorporated those unique features.
8. Special technology revolutionized how artists animated fur.
While working on the movie, filmmakers used advanced technology to trim the animals’ hair (as opposed to plucking individual strands one by one, like they did in Bolt) that fell beneath the clothing so that the outfits hung correctly.
9. There was a close encounter during production.
While working on the film, director of cinematography-layout, Nathan Warner, got more than he bargained for when caretakers introduced filmmakers to a rescued, real-life cheetah during their research trip to Africa. The big cat seemingly wasn’t fond of the camera Warner carried, and leapt up to let him know. Note: Neither filmmaker nor cheetah were harmed during the encounter.
10. Artists incorporated an iconic cheetah facial feature in Officer Clawhauser’s design.
Though Clawhauser isn’t as fit as his real life counterpart, he does share the same iconic tear-like markings with the species. If you look closely, you’ll notice the line that runs from his inner tear ducts, down to the outside edges of his mouth!
Which fun fact was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!