Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Perspective in "Zootopia"

Walt Disney Animation Studios' new movie Zootopia came out last weekend and was an instant hit at the box office. In its opening weekend, it made more money than Frozen and critics gave it a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes' "Tomatometer." So what makes Zootopia so likable?

Many sources have reported that the movie is made both for kids and adults--which is something I find very common in animated films. What I learned through researching the film (I'm hoping to see it this week or weekend) was that two thirds of the way through, Walt Disney Animation Studios' made a tweak to the story that completely changed it.

Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps
Apparently it was originally supposed to be told from Nick Wilde's perspective. Nick (Jason Bateman) is a fox and low-level criminal that does not like the city of Zootopia. They ultimately changed the film to be told from the perspective of Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a bunny who wants to be a police officer and loves living in Zootopia.

Rich Moore, the director of the film explained why the perspective swap was necessary in a Q&A event in St. Louis:

"About two-thirds of the way through production, we changed the story to Judy's story, because Nick, being kind of a cynical character, he didn't like the city of Zootopia. He was kind of oppressed by the city of Zootopia. And in our movies, we want the audience to like the world, not dislike the world. And it was very confusing with our main character as someone who didn't like the city, how do we feel about this world? So we said, let's just try, as an experiment, making Judy the main character--since she's an optimist, she sees the best in everything--let's try making it her story and see what happens."

Based on the estimated $73.7 million made during the opening weekend, I think it's safe to say that this change paid off (literally) in a big way.

No comments :

Post a Comment