Zootopia is one of the best films of the year and Disney has done a wonderful job at packing the Blu-ray full of bonus features that go deep into the filmmaking process. Whether you’re a fan of beautiful animation or a heartwarming story with a powerful message, this is the film for you.
As expected, the quality of the film is excellent. The animation is fantastic, with sharp and vibrant colors that really pop off your television screen. There’s a lot of fine detail to appreciate. The sound quality is great as well, so if you have a decent sound system be sure to crank it up for the full experience. Now, on to the bonus features...
Research: A True-Life Adventure goes into detail on how the production crew researched animals to get a better understanding of the world they were creating. It’s cool to see the amount of research that went into creating the film, and all the little details that went into making sure everything lined up with nature. Despite being animated there is a lot that is based on reality. The Origin of an Animal Tale explores the origins of Zootopia and how it evolved from a much darker and more philosophical storyboard. It’s fascinating to see the early stages of development (and animation) that revolved around Nick as the main focus and tame collars on all predators were a major plot device.
Zootopia: Roundtables is a series of conversations with the creators, animators, any other creatives involved in Zootopia as they discuss the making of the film with each other. They go into the finer details of the characters, environments, and animation. If you want to know the intimate workings behind the scenes of the film, this is the special feature for you.
Z.P.D. Forensic Files is a fun little featurette that plays like a Law and Order episode and reveals some of the hidden easter eggs in the film; things like Big Hero 6 references, hidden Mickeys, and even hints at Disney’s next film, Moana. Don’t worry, they don’t give away all of the easter eggs so you’ll have to watch the film many times to find them all.
Scoretopia, as you likely guessed, goes into detail about creating the score for the film. Here you get to see the various instruments and orchestral talent that goes into creating the atmosphere for every single scene. Speaking of music, there’s also the music video for Shakira’s “Try Everything,” the theme song for the film.
The last of the bonus features showcase the Deleted Characters and Deleted Scenes that were excluded from the film. Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore explain who these characters are and why perhaps they didn’t make the final cut. I was surprised that there is nearly 30 minutes of deleted scenes. Usually there’s only a couple, especially for an animated film. Of course they come in all kinds of forms from pure storyboards to simple and basic animation. Some of the scenes were scrapped completely while others evolved into something that made the final film.
Overall, the Zootopia Blu-ray is one of the best Blu-ray’s Disney has put out in recent years. The film is absolutely fantastic and one of the best of the year, and the disc is packed with loads of extra features that deliver even more content than you could ask for. This is a must-own for any animation fan.