Merch Review – Zootopia Deluxe Junior Novel Barnes & Noble exclusive edition!

Hey hey, fellow Zootopians, Surrika Tunnah here with another merch review, and this time we are going to be taking a look at the Zootopia Deluxe Junior Novel — with a bit of a bonus, as I have my little meerkat paws on the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition and will share with you what makes this edition different than the normal novelization!

This is quite a bit different from this interpretation of the film, including scenes that were otherwise deleted from the theatrical release. 

Also, there is a little something special for you diehard Wildehopps shippers! So join me after the break!

The Zootopia Deluxe Junior Novel is my favourite book interpretation of the film that we all love. Why? Well, because it doesn’t pull any punches; nothing is ripped from the story like in other books. In some books, Mr. Big and Fru Fru aren’t even a factor, being completely omitted from them.

Not only that, but this book also changes a couple of things and re-introduces some deleted scenes, as I mentioned before

Remember how I said the book doesn’t really pull any punches? This goes for some of the more violent scenes of the film, such as Gideon’s swipe at Judy, Nick getting ready to defend himself with a bit of driftwood from the timberwolves, Nick’s Junior Ranger Scout scene, etc.

Here’s how the scout ranger scene plays out in the book.

Wow, they didn’t hold back as much as they do in the film!

They seemed to do more than just put a muzzle on him — they got a bit more violent it seems, so much so that they tore up his uniform and did enough damage that he had to limp away to leave. 
I appreciate it when family friendly media doesn’t baby away from scenes of conflict, as I discussed in my Magical Story Book Review. This is not the only scene where they are a bit more descriptive with what happens in the more conflict-driven scenes of the film, but to find those parts out, you’ll have to grab a copy!
As for deleted scenes, here’s one that actually makes it into the book.

Well now, I wonder what this magazine is about?

This scene is also in the book with additional dialogue; in the scene you can see he discovers the magazine in the mailbox and remains silent, while in the book he exclaims, “Oh! He’s a kitty!” Nick’s attitude shines through, and he starts becoming condescending and somewhat speciesist, trying to lure Manchas out of his home with promises of tuna and yarn as one would talk to a cute cuddly cat

Nick has a lot more quips in the book than he does in the film. This one got a chuckle out of me, and it doesn’t even stop there!

I have to take a moment to talk about a slight change a character receives, much to my surprise — none other than Mayor Theodore Lionfart-heart. The change he receives is a very simple one but less selfish overall. When we discover that Lionheart is the one behind the entrapment and kidnapping of the missing mammals, it seems he’s doing it more to protect his job more than anything. Meanwhile, in the book, the way he phrases it is that he is more afraid of the press causing panic by covering the story. The funny thing is he is kind of right, because that is kind of what happens to Judy.
The arrest of Lionheart also happens differently; rather than arresting him at the asylum itself after calling backup, Judy goes in person back to the ZPD, and they raid his office and Judy cuffs him, so the scene is a little bit more action-oriented.
I can’t hold it back any longer. Time for the Wildehopps treat.

One thing that is of noticeable difference in this interpretation of the movie is Nick Wilde’s and Judy Hopps relationship and how it evolves throughout the book. I won’t give every single Wildehopps moment in this book, but I will wet your whistles with a few examples and even an excerpt from the book that changes a certain line that is the foundation of a lot of Wildehopps support in quite a significant way.
One such example is at the Tundra Town Limo Service garage. We all know that Judy hustles Nick into climbing over the fence, while in the movie Nick becomes a salty ball of grump. In the book, he actually admires the trick the rabbit pulled off on him. 
It’s from this scene that I think that the line “Well, Officer Fluff, I am impressed, you out-foxed a fox” is derived from in the Tomy’s Talking Nick Wilde Plushie
Nick also seems to warm up a lot quicker to Judy, even before the gondola scene where the Junior Ranger Scout flashback happens. Nick compliments her a bit more, mainly because Judy seems to initiate a lot more of the hustling scenes. For instance, when they are trying to get inside Manchas’  house to talk to him about the case, she is the one that initiates the, “We’re here to talk about the Night Howlers” trick, and Nick is the one that plays along. When it succeeds, Nick responds with, “Wow, you’re not as dumb as you look.”
“But Surrika! What is this change you mention to the phrase that is the foundation of Wildehopps support?!” 
That line is the “You know you love me” exchange that happens in the ZPD cruiser in the closing scenes of the film. 
Check this out:
Welp, pretty sure Nick just confessed his love.

As you can see, Nick has pretty confessed his love for Judy in this interpretation, haha. It’s amazing how much changes due to just a simple altering of phrasing.
That is the movie portion of the book covered, but as I said, I have my paws on the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition, and you might be wondering what differences there are between the regular edition and this exclusive one.

Firstly, it’s a hardcover instead of a paperback. But the biggest difference is that this book has 48 pages of full-color bonus material that you will not find in any other book! This includes ‘The official notebook of Officer Judy Hopps,’ which is a retelling of the film completely from Judy’s first-person perspective, as she logs all her findings in this notebook.

The front of both bonus content that comes in the exclusive edition!  

The second is a copy of ‘The Zootopia Chronicle’ that is published after the events of the movie. It includes interviews of the Ottertons and accounts from other characters’ perspectives! 
The only complaint I have about the bonus material regards where it is in the book. Now, I understand that they are probably where they are because it made the book easier to bind together, but Judy Hopps’ notebook is located in the middle of the book, and if you read it, congratulations, you just spoiled the rest of the book for yourself. I mean, yeah, chances are if you own this you’ve already seen the film, but if this was your introduction to the story of Zootopia, the bonus material is just a giant spoiler for the rest of the book!
I can’t recommend this book enough, though! It was a joy to read through it again, just for this review. 
So if you want to get your paws on this book, you have to buy it directly from the Barnes and Nobles site. There is a non-B&N edition, but it is paperback instead of a hardcover. You can also get that from B&N’s site or from Amazon!
This has been Surrika, your friendly meerkat of merch, signing off!


  1. Is it weird that I prefer the movie's slower, noncommittal approach to WildeHopps? Regardless, I'm still looking forward to getting this book; thanks for the review!

  2. I actually like the phrasing in this version. It makes Nick's line come across as more heartfelt.

    This reminds me. Have you guys seen the book "Prequel Of Nick Wilde"? It's a bit of a backstory on Nick, before he met Judy. Not sure how canon it is, but I do enjoy the artwork.

    • I believe I saw something to that effect two years ago and it was in japanese as well…But haven't been able to find out if it was an official thing or not. I think it was just a really well put together fan thing.

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