5 Things You Never Knew About ‘Zootopia’

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Zootopia is a People’s Choice Awards 2017 nominee for “Favorite Movie.” Check out all of our Surprising Facts features on the “Favorite Movie” nominees here!

With its unforgettable characters and its heartwarming message, it safe to say that Zootopia is one of our favorite movies of 2016, and it’s clear you guys felt the same way!

In fact, the movie about an optimistic bunny who teams up with a smooth talking fox even scored a fan-voted nomination at People’s Choice Awards 2017.

If you’re anything like us, chances are, you’ve already seen Zootopia multiple times. Despite your many viewings, however, there still might be a few things you don’t know about one of Disney’s latest blockbuster hits! Check out some of the most interesting facts we’ve managed to dig up about Zootopia below!

1. The film boasts a slew of Easter Eggs sure to please Disney fans.
There’s plenty of reasons to watch Zootopia more than once but one of the biggest reasons is to make sure you catch all the references you might have missed the first time around.

Some of our favorite Easter Eggs include the bootleg DVD covers that Duke Weaselton is selling on the street. The DVDs at the stand range from past Disney releases such as Tangled to upcoming feature length films like Frozen 2.

2. Animating the fur on all the animals was one of the biggest challenges.
In fact, producer Clark Spencer revealed in an interview with Screen Daily that they went to great lengths to study everything from polar bear fur to fox fur to understand why it looks the way it does.

“We had to create technology to make the fur,” explained Spencer. “Usually we use human hair as proxy and human hair has the same property, so we had to create new shaders to create the low of these different furs, whether they were coarse, or whet or soft as on a mouse.”

3. The subtle homage to AMC’s Breaking Bad wasn’t premeditated.
Fans of the hit AMC drama might have caught on to the fact that the scene where Judy and Nick happen upon an underground lab where Bellwether is having her cronies Jesse and Woolter cook up a a blue serum that turns animals wild bears a striking resemblance to Breaking Bad.

In an interview with EW, director Rich Moore revealed that the scene wasn’t originally meant to be a Breaking Bad homage. Instead the hilarious nod was born after animators spent years using the AMC series as an example of what the scene should be like.

“We would just kind of add to the end of it, ‘Like Breaking Bad,’ We’d say, ‘A lab…like Breaking Bad’ or ‘Blue flowers, like Breaking Bad.’ And little by little, it just became like Breaking Bad,” explained Moore.

4. Bellwether’s name is a play on words.
The first time we saw Zootopia, we never would have guessed that Bellwether would have been the evil genius behind everything, but it turns out, her name should have tipped us off!

In an interview with the LA Times director Rich Moore revealed that it was a story artist by the name of Lauren Macmillan that tipped them off about the term “bellwether” in reference to sheep.

“There is a term for the smartest sheep in the group. It’s called a ‘bellwether,’” explained Moore. “The shepherd puts a bell on his collar; the other sheep will follow that one.”

5. Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore already have a few ideas for a sequel.
Disney has yet to green light a follow-up to Zootopia but that hasn’t stopped its directors from imagining where the story could go from here! Back in June, Howard revealed that he and Moore can easily see Zootopia breeding either a sequel or a spinoff television show.

“We cut a lot during the making of the film. We introduced districts that we talked about that couldn’t fit in, other characters that were eliminated from the movie,” said Howard in an interview with EW. “There’s a vast potential for this world, so I’d love to see something more come from it.”

Zootopia is nominated for Favorite Movie at People’s Choice Awards 2017 alongside Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool, Finding Dory, and Suicide Squad. Tune in to the show on Wednesday, Jan. 18 on CBS to find out which movie wins!

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