What if Nick Were the Focus of Zootopia? – BluRay/DVD Review

The Zootopia home release has more features than Judy Hopps has siblings!  Okay, maybe not quite THAT many, but Disney really pulled out the stops when putting together the special features for Zootopia.  Already a sure-fire home release hit, there are a bunch of reasons other than just the movie itself why you need to pick this up for your collection.

One of the most interesting things about the special features is seeing how much the story has changed over the course of development.  Probably the biggest difference is the switch from Nick to Judy as the main focus of the film.  It was heartbreaking to watch Nick with a T.A.M.E. collar.  In the first incarnation, all predators had to wear a shock collar to regulate their “predator instincts.”  Probably the scene that best emphasized this prejudice the most is the Taming Party where Nick and Judy accidentally stumble into a predator coming of age celebration.  This deleted scene tugs at your heart strings when you see how humiliating and degrading it must be for the predators to fit into the Zootopia world.

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All of the deleted scenes on the home release are worth watching.  Some are in full animation and voice-over while some are in rough cuts and sketches, but it’s interesting how these scenes may have shaped the movie in a different way.  The one my daughter and I felt should have been left in is the alternate phone call between Judy and her mom which is much more supportive and inspiring than what actually made it in the movie.  A cute and funny one that was deleted for time and pacing was watching Judy borrow a fellow officer’s computer to research her case – an elephant officer!  Judy has to navigate the size difference between bunnies and elephants to make it work.

Judy trying her best to make use of an elephant keyboard in a deleted scene
Judy trying her best to make use of an elephant keyboard in a deleted scene

This release not only features deleted scenes but deleted characters where you get to see animals that didn’t quite make it into the movie.  Some were deleted because of time and others because of the change in direction of the film.  But it was fun to see who didn’t make the cut.  The ZPD Forensic Files was a great bonus feature, too.  Playing off the police motif, the filmmakers reveal some of the hidden “Easter eggs” in Zootopia.  Hidden Mickeys, film homages, and even a reference to another well-known bunny (think before Mickey) are sprinkled throughout the movie and this feature helps point out a few.

Saving the residents of Rodentia from a bouncing donut
Saving the residents of Rodentia from a bouncing donut

Add to that, a couple of in-depth features on the making of Zootopia including details about the change in direction from Nick to Judy, roundtable discussions about the development of key aspects of the film, the original sounds used to score the movie, and of course the Shakira “Try Everything” video and you get a plateful of material to watch.  Oh, and did I mention the $1 billion grossing film Zootopia is included?  The Zootopia home release is a winner just like the movie itself!

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