Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Video- Zootopia Talks at Google!

(Article by YFWE)

On March 4, 2016, coinciding with Zootopia’s wide release in theaters in the United States, Google held a talk as part of its Talks at Google series featuring a discussion among members of the film’s crew, including directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, producer Clark Spencer and four of the voice actors: Ginnifer Goodwin (Judy Hopps), Katie Lowes (Madge Honey Badger), Tommy Chong (Yax) and Nate Torrence (Benjamin Clawhauser).

The video precedes the official start of our site (Zootopia News Network posted its first article on March 31, later that month), so hey – as the two-year anniversary of the film’s original release approaches (or is here, if you’re from certain areas of Europe – hi, European Zootopians!), let’s dive into this nearly one-hour video, which recently made the rounds yet again on the Internet.

All told, the clip is great insight into the creative process of Zootopia, from its earliest incarnation to the final product. Yes, a lot of what you’ll see and/or hear is similar (if not ad nauseam) to what members of the crew, particularly Howard and Moore, have stated in other interviews, but the Google (Zoogle?) talk threads these discussions into one longer-form presentation rather than bite-sized articles, with the added bonus of being able to skip around if one so chooses. Nifty, eh?

Sit down, grab some popcorn, and check out the full video below, if you haven’t already! 

Early on, Moore, Howard and Spencer discuss the bevy of changes made on the film’s original plot. “You realize the most important thing is telling a great story,” Spencer says. “And so definitely in that moment, you think to yourself, ‘Are we really going to be able to turn this around?’ But what we try to do -- and we do it a lot in animation -- is we very quickly make a new version of that film. And I always feel like we have the other version sitting on a shelf over here; let's go experiment, because we need to know for sure whether this is the right idea or not.

“And when we did it, and we turned it around in about six weeks, you could just see this was the right way to go. You really fell in love with Ginnifer's character right away. You were rooting for that character, which is the thing we were struggling with with Nick's character, because he's a cynical kind of a character. It was really easy to get on to Judy's side, and it just felt like it was the right thing.”

A little later in the program, the specially made Google Photos ad for the film (“Zoogle Photos”) is shown, followed by photos from the film’s official premiere taken via different vantage points depending on the animal snapping the pic.

If nothing else, the video offers a glimpse into the rapport between the voice cast and its crew in a tangible (see: on-camera) way and allows some of the cast whose voices and opinions about the film don’t get to be heard as often (like Chong and Lowes) a chance to shine.

And then there’s its ending, which concludes on a positive note especially for fans who would like to see the story continued in some capacity.

“The movie Clark and I worked on about seven years ago – Bolt – is sort of a closed-ended story,” Howard says. “The dog and the girl are happy on the farm together, and it’s sort of buttoned up nice and clean, and you can walk away and that story exists in that little envelope. [Zootopia] was built with so much potential. … There’s so much potential of where you could go with the world, and even the things we were talking about earlier, things we couldn’t include that are so much fun and so compelling that when you mention them to people, people go, “Oh my god, that would be great!’”

“We’ll see how it does when it goes out in the world, but I would love to come back to this world sometime.”

Which is, of course, encouraging. Bear in mind that the video was released on the day of the film’s U.S. release, before it had even reached the majority of its eventual fandom. If the film’s creators were hopeful about returning to the world even then, not knowing it would eventually become a billion-dollar success at the box office, the ensuing triumphs are unlikely to hinder that yearning to revisit the world of Zootopia.


  1. Even then, we live in a world where, despite the endless possibilities to Zootopia, from other districts of the eponymous city to Judy and Nick's relationship status, Disney continues to outright neglect the movie even after two years since its launch. And what is Disney milking the living crap out of instead? Moana. Mother F-ing Moana, just because it's a safe and marketable princess movie, compared to Zootopia being a massive risk due to its controversial social commentary.

    There still isn't any more Zootopia merchandise in the Disney Store, both physical and online. There will be a Moana theme park attraction, but no attractions for Zootopia. And, we got a lot of Disney on Ice shows for Moana, but barely any for Zootopia, and even then at a small, insignificant level compared to Moana.

    So why celebrate Zootopia's second anniversary if all anyone ever cares for is Moana, even after almost a year and a half since its release?

    1. Because image the pay out of all those things if a sequel dose as good if not better.

      That’s what keep telling myself anyway.

    2. your seeing Moana... thats a step up from Frozen... i wish i was seeing Moana... its not as good as Zootopia not by a long shot but a hell of a lot better then Frozen... i just can't get away from Frozen its everywhere :'(

  2. The Zoogle clip with Nick running into the camera...I wish that had been in a trailer somewhere, but at least I've seen it here now (and this interview has been out for almost 2 years and I haven't seen it yet? Sigh...).
    I don't know why, but I like commentaries especially by actors talking about the films, so this sort of thing appeals to me a lot. Plus they all have so much passion for it...really hope that does convey into more Zootopia-related stuff sometime in the future.

  3. It's so interesting to hear them talk about the film before they knew what a success it would be. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. I know her role was originally a lot more prominent, but the decision to have the voice actress for Honey Badger be on this panel is an odd one when you consider how minor her role is in the final film.

      She's only in one scene and isn't even named in the credits, she's just listed as "Honey Badger".

      Again, I don't oppose her being there, just saying the choice seems odd to me.