Art of the Day #410: Zootopia, What a Concept

Gazelle & Tiger-Dancers by Cory Loftis
Source [1]

Greeting once again, Zootopia aficionados.

For some reason, a number of ‘lost’ Zootopia concept-art pieces have been surfacing on the web of late.  Witness our featured image. Originally drawn by Cory Loftis, it came to light by way of Zootopia co-director Byron Howard’s Twitter page.

With that in mind–and since it’s been a while–this week we present a collection of Zootopia Concept Art, featuring different characters from the movie Enjoy…and don’t forget to show the original artists some love by clicking on the source-links.


We open with a series of character studies

Judy Hopps Character Study by Cory Loftis
Source [2]

Ottertons Concept Art by Cory Loftis
Source [3]

Flash Concept Pic by Shiyoon Kim
Source [4]

Lionheart Facial Studies by Shiyoon Kim
Source [5]

Early Bogo Concept art by Cory Loftis
Source [6]

Nurse Finnick.  This how he was scheduled to appear in the rejected version of Zootopia.
(More on that below)

Nurse Finnick by Cory Loftis
Source [7]

Generic study of some ZPD officers

Zpd Concepts by Byron Howard
Source [8]

We move on to some concept drawings for the Zistopia (Shock Collar) version of the film.

Nick in his office at Wild Times.  Notice the oversize furniture and the giraffe-neck on the crane at lower right.

Nick Wild Times2 by man-arenas
Source [9]

Man Arenas’ concept drawings all have kind of a retro-vibe to them.

Nick Wild Times3 by man-arenas
Source [10]

‘Doctor’ Nick in his office, (which was actually the secret entrance to Wild Times.)  Note the eye-chart, behind and to the right of him.

Doctor Nick by Jim Martin
Source [11]

Early concept study of relative animal sizes in Zootopia.  The penguin waiters are a nod to Mary Poppins.

Table for 2 by Shiyoon Kim
Source [12]

Nick Commutes.

Commuter Nick by Bryon Howard
Source [13]

In the original version of Zootopia, Nick was supposed to have a running battle with some hamsters who kept running over his tail with their car, (in order to trigger him and make his tame-collar go off.)  I don’t know if this is supposed to be them or someone else.

Nick and the Lemmings by Bryon Howard
Source [14]

Interior room shot of the Palm Hotel (aka The Oasis Hotel) with Nick checking under the bed.  Apparently, this location was slated to play a very big role in Zootopia’s earlier version

Palm Hotel Suite by Matthias Lechner
Source [15]

That gadget on the left is supposed to be a fur dryer

Hotel Suite 2 by Matthias Lechner
Source [16]

Nick inside the Hopps family warren.  I hope we get to see more of this place in the sequel.

Hopps Warren Nick by Matthias Lechner
Source [17]

Concept pic of Judy in the Rainforest District

Judy in The Rain by Matthias Lechner
Source [18]

Nick Wilde revisits Happytown, the neighborhood where he grew up–and the the closest thing to a ghetto in Zootopia.  (The name is just visible on the sign at far-right.)
Note the storefront at left; John Wilde was Nick’s father.

Nick in Happytown by Matthias Lechner
Source [19]

And speaking of Nick’s dad…

Little Nick with his Dad by Byron Howard
Source [20]

Two different artists’ concept pics of the same scene; Nick makes a break for it, through Precinct-1

Precinct Chase 1 by Jim Martin
Source [21]

Precinct Chase 2 by Matthias Lechner
Source [22]

….and flees through Little Rodentia afterwards.  (In the final version, of course, it was Duke Weaselton who made this run.)

Little Rodentia Chase by Matthias Lechner
Source [23]

Now, we move on to some concept art dedicated to the theatrical version of Zootopia.

Judy on the train, heading for the city.

Leaving Burrow Burroughs by Armand Serrano
Source [24]

I actually think the scale here is better than it was in the film…though there’s no way an open observation deck would have worked.   Imagine being out on that thing with when the Zootopia Express passes through Sahara Square, then Tundratown…and then The Rainforest District

Leaving Burrow Burroughs2 by Armand Serrano
Source [25]

Two Views of Nick and Finnick in Jerry Jumbeaux’s ice cream shop.  Note that Finnick is not in his ‘Little Toot-Toot’ outfit. (He also appears to be wearing a ‘tame collar’.)

Jumbeaux’s 1 by Armand Serrano
Source [26]

Jumbeaux’s 2 by Armand Serrano
Source [27]

“What kind of wood is that?”
This pic is actually a little off model; a real forklift has a counterweight on the rear end, (so it won’t tip over while picking up a heavy load.)

Forklift Mouse by
Source [28]

Judy in Bogo’s office

Judy on the Carpet by Jim Martin
Source [29]

In the movie, the Gondola platform was somewhat longer; I like the organic look of this one, though.

Gondola Station by Armand Serrano
Source [30]

Concept pic, showing Larry and Gary at their posts outside the Cliffside Asylum.

Guard Shack by Jim Martin
Source [31]

After sneaking past them, Nick and Judy explore the sanitarium.  In the movie these cells had Plexiglas fronts and electronic locks; the lighting was also much dimmer.

In the Asylum by Jim Martin
Source [32]

This was a much more somber scene in the film, of course.

Judy at the Farmstand by scottwatanabe
Source [33]

Judy looks for Nick after returning to Zootopia.

Judy on the Bridge by Armand Serrano
Source [34]

Under The Bridge by Armand Serrano
Source [35]

The museum chase.

Museum of Natural History by Armand Serrano
Source [36]

And finally….remember this kid?
“My mommy says she wishes you were dead.”

Lil’ Hippo by Shiyoon Kim
Source [37]

Until next time…


  1. Re: pieces 13 and 14 -not sure how I haven’t noticed before, but I must wonder the reason for the tag in Nick’s ear. Looks like a cattle marker more than earring or other…

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