Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
The Empire Podcast #107: Lukas Moodysson, Marc Webb, Avi Arad
Let's go Easter Egg hunting!
Spielberg Plans The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
Yet another potential directing job
First Jersey Boys Trailer
Clint Eastwood's musical adaptation is heating up
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
10 June 2010
Tangled Teaser Trailer Online
Disney pitches Action Rapunzel
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Tangled (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Bolt (2009)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Tangled Director Byron Howard Announces Zootopia
New animal-centric Disney comedy set for 2016

10 August 2013  |  Written by James White  

submit to reddit

One of the more intriguing projects announced at the Disney D23 Expo event on Friday was Zootopia, from Tangled director Byron Howard and Wreck-It Ralph producer Clark Spencer. A buddy comedy set in a world entirely populated by animals, it’s a chase film and a conspiracy thriller starring a fox, a rabbit and an entire ecosphere of other creatures who can walk and talk, but aren’t simply anthropomorphic.

It’s certainly a promising idea, made all the more mysterious by being kept so under wraps until now. Howard is working this time with writer Jared Bush to bring the story of smooth criminal Nick Wilde (the fox) and copper Lt. Judy Hops (the rabbit) to life.

After the presentation, Howard talked about how the spark of the idea first came to him. “I think all of us have a strong connection with animals," he explained. "When Jared and I started working together on the movie that was one of the key things that we bonded over. We love this animal world. John Lasseter is all about research. He wants you to do not just the first thing that comes into your mind, the expected thing, but to really dig into this world and find out real facts about what you're putting on screen.

“So Jared and I undertook about 18 months' worth of research, really diving into the world, which fed the story. We knew we wanted to do a comedy, we knew we wanted it to be smart, and modern, and a world no-one has ever seen before.” Added Bush: “The research actually pushed the story, as opposed to the other way round. The way we attacked it was, 'Let's let the research tell us where to take the story', which led to interesting designs and the way our characters interact with each other.”

And don’t go thinking that these are simply animals with personalities grafted on. “Usually in animal movies, people just make them all human and give them human abilities,” said Howard, “but we wanted to bring the animal abilities into the movie. In the same way we pushed human animation in Tangled, we want to show an animal movie the way no-one has seen before. Animals in our world are beautiful and amazing and we wanted to capture that and tie it to what we are as humans.”

They did, however, admit to one issue when they were busy researching. “We watched a lot of David Attenborough,” said Howard, prompting Bush to add, “I watch his shows almost constantly.” “It’s sort of messed him up a little bit,” laughed Howard.

No voice casting has been announced for Zootopia, although it should be out in 2016.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Amy Poehler, Bill Hader & More On For Pixar's Inside Out
And co-star Phyllis Smith talks up the film
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)