Wednesday, December 7, 2016

‘Zootopia’ creators on how their ‘weirdly timely’ story
trumped real-world events


YOU MIGHT recognize the teeming, diverse world of Disney’s “Zootopia” with its competing animal agendas, identities and personalities. The filmmakers behind the billion-dollar animation hit think it’s a lot like our own — never more so than now, in the wake of the presidential election.

“There’s no way we could have possibly foreseen this would happen, especially this year,” “Zootopia” co-director Byron Howard told TheWrap’s Steve Pond on Tuesday at Q&A following a screening of the film. “It’s weirdly timely — the fear-mongering, the political upset, the divisiveness …”

“It’s not like this is a new phenomenon, unfortunately,” said Phil Johnston, one of the film’s several writers. “You could say we were prescient but I think we were just paying attention to what was going on. It’s not like it’s been rosy for the last 400 years.”

The Disney film, which opened in March, follows an adventurous rabbit who leaves her small town bound for Zootopia to be a police officer — unheard-of at a Zootopia Police Department populated by animal predators. What follows is an allegorical study of how prejudice affects Zootopian society — and how principles of diversity and inclusion create a common bond between predators and prey. ...

Read the full story in TheWrap

Image credit: Zootopia poster: © 2016 Disney

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