AFI Movie Club: ZOOTOPIA – American Film Institute
Zootopia Film Still



ZOOTOPIA, an animated adventure about a bunny cop who joins forces with a fox to solve a governmental conspiracy, was honored with an AFI AWARD in 2016 – recognizing it as one of the 10 outstanding films of the year.

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ZOOTOPIA – Reelgood

Watch ZOOTOPIA’s Bonnie Hunt in this exclusive AFI Archive clip:

Movie Trivia about TODAY’S FILM

DID YOU KNOW? The idea for ZOOTOPIA originated with co-director Byron Howard, who wanted to make an anthropomorphic animated feature in which animals lived in worlds that were designed from their own perspectives.

DID YOU KNOW? The screenplay initially featured Judy Hopps as a sidekick to Nick Wilde, but the roles were reversed to put Judy in the lead role.

DID YOU KNOW? Disney animators studied real-life animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the San Diego Zoo and in Kenya, Africa – resulting in the creation of 800,000 mammals that were used for the film.

DID YOU KNOW? ZOOTOPIA featured new technology for rendering animal fur called iGroom, which enabled lead characters Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde to have roughly 2.5 million strands of hair apiece.

DID YOU KNOW? The urban landscape of Zootopia is based on a compilation of several landmark cities, including New York City, Las Vegas, Paris, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Brasilia.

DID YOU KNOW? Co-directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore also voiced several characters in the film – including a ferret named Travis and a security guard named Larry, respectively.

DID YOU KNOW? ZOOTOPIA marked Disney’s highest earning opening weekend in the studio’s history at the time. It was also the fourth highest-grossing film of 2016, earning over $1 billion in its worldwide release.

DID YOU KNOW? ZOOTOPIA was the first Disney film since TREASURE PLANET in 2002 to be released in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D and IMAX.

DID YOU KNOW? ZOOTOPIA was renamed ZOOTROPOLIS for many of its foreign releases so that it referred to a city – or metropolis – instead of a utopian vision of society.

DID YOU KNOW? ZOOTOPIA won the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film.

DID YOU KNOW? A ZOOTOPIA attraction is currently under construction at Disneyland in Shanghai.

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

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-ZOOTOPIA makes an effort to examine and overcome species stereotypes as an analogy for diversity, equity and inclusion in human society. Can you describe some scenes in which species stereotypes reflect human stereotypes, and how the film contains anti-racist messaging? What is different about animals, and is the comparison apt?
-Critics hailed Disney for deviating from its princess franchise in ZOOTOPIA by making the female lead a police officer with professional hopes and dreams. How do you see Judy Hopps in contrast to famous female characters from other Disney movies? Why is this important?
-A ZOOTOPIA attraction is currently under construction at Disneyland in Shanghai. If you were in charge of materializing the movie into lived experiences, what parts of the story would you want to include?
-ZOOTOPIA has been compared to live action “Buddy Cop” movies. Can you name any of its references? Have you seen any other animated movies that have tackled this genre?
-ZOOTOPIA makes many references to technology, social media and life in the digital age. What scenes reflect our current culture and our connection to technology?
-When ZOOTOPIA was released in 2016, it marked Disney’s highest grossing opening weekend in the studio’s history. Why do you think it drew such a large audience? How does its message resonate with viewers? Do you think ZOOTOPIA reflects escapist entertainment, or did it have a greater social impact on its viewers? Or is it possible it achieved both?
-How would you rate ZOOTOPIA?

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