Jump to: Spoilers (22)
Originally, the film revolved around Nick Wilde. Test audiences said that they had a hard time connecting with him emotionally, and found themselves drawn to Judy Hopps, so the story was changed.
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Animators decided upon Judy's purple eye color because they thought the rest of her gray fur markings were too dull, particularly for a main character. Purple was chosen to represent her energetic and optimistic personality.
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Duke Weaselton is voiced by Alan Tudyk, who also voiced the Duke of Weselton (often mispronounced Weaseltown) in Frozen (2013). In contrast to the character of the latter, Judy mispronounces Duke's last name as "Weselton" in this movie.
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On her train ride to Zootopia, before Judy selects Gazelle, some of the other artists on her music player include: The Beagles, Black Sable, Catty Perry, Destiny's Cub, Ewe 2, Fleetwood Yak, Fur Fighters, Gun N' Rodents, Hyena Gomez, Kanine West and Mick Jaguar. These are references to the bands and singers, Destiny's Child, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Katy Perry, Fleetwood Mac, Guns N' Roses, Selena Gomez, Kanye West, U2, Mick Jagger, and Foo Fighters.
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Nick Wilde's design is heavily based on the title character of Disney's Robin Hood (1973) (who is also a fox).
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The nudist Indian Yoga instructor is named Nangi. Nangi refers to a naked woman in the Hindi language.
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Chief Bogo's name is taken from the Swahili word "mbogo," meaning buffalo.
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According to Nick's employment application form, he is 4 feet tall, weighs 80 pounds and his special abilities are "night vision, excellent sense of smell and business savvy". Also, when asked if he has a criminal record, he checked "yes" then crossed it out and checked "no."
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The pirated DVDs that Duke Weaselton is selling are movies with word plays to other Walt Disney Animation Studio features. Examples are: "Pig Hero 6" (Big Hero 6 (2014)), "Floatzen" (Frozen (2013)), "Wrangled" (Tangled (2010)) and "Wreck-It Rhino" (Wreck-It Ralph (2012)). He also claimed to have movies that haven't been released yet, which were "Meowana" (Moana (2016)), and "Giraffic" (Gigantic). These were intended to be foreshadowing of future projects of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Moana would be released later that year. However, Gigantic was shelved a year later and eventually canceled due to creative problems.
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To best accommodate various countries, the crew at Disney substituted a different animal for news anchor Moosebridge that Has significance in that particular country. Examples include: Australia: Koala, voiced by Australian Entertainer David E. Campbell; Japan: Tanuki (a raccoon dog), voiced by Japanese comedian and choreographer Koura Kazumasa; China: Giant Panda, still voiced by Peter Mansbridge; Brazil: Jaguar, voiced by Brazilian Journalist Ricardo Boechat; Moosebridge was going to be a corgi for the UK version, but they kept him a moose, renamed "Moosos Alexander" and voice by BBC sport reporter, Vassos Alexander. However, the UK home release kept the character's US name and voice.
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There are no reptiles, birds, fish, or amphibians throughout the entire movie; instead, there are only mammals and occasional flies. This was in keeping with the Prey and Predator theme of the film.
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HIDDEN MICKEY: If you look closely at Clawhauser's spots, you will see a hidden Mickey Mouse on his cheeks.
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There are numerous sight gags consisting of animal versions of common human brand names, including, Lucky Chomps (Lucky Charms cereal), Urban Snoutfitters (Urban Outfitters clothes shops), Zuber (ride hailing service Uber), Pawpsicle (Popsicle frozen pops), Lemming Bros. Bank (erstwhile Lehman Bros.), Trader Doe's (Trader Joe's food stores), Mousy's (Macy's department store), Moustercharge (MasterCard credit cards), Furs National Bank (instead of First), Targoat (Target), Catsio (Casio), MuzzleTime (FaceTime), and Hoof Locker (Foot Locker), among others.
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It was November 2014 when the production team decided to change the story to emphasize Judy Hopps as the main character rather than Nick Wilde. To help with the difficulties of the late sudden change, Jared Bush was hired as a co-director alongside directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore.
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This is the fourth consecutive Disney animated feature for Alan Tudyk as an antagonistic role, following Wreck-It Ralph (2012) (as the Main Antagonist), Frozen (2013) (as the Secondary Antagonist), and Big Hero 6 (2014) (as an Anti-hero).
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Some have speculated that Judy Hopps from Zootopia is a reference to Judy Hoffs from 21 Jump Street (1987). Other than their remarkably similar names, they are both law enforcement officers who face workplace discrimination. According to Zootopia director Byron Howard, this is "a hilarious but amazing coincidence."
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The actor who plays Peter Moosebridge is a real news anchor, named Peter Mansbridge, for the CBC in Canada.
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When interrogated Nick said he had been doing this "since he was 12." While Judy is multiplying everything together to figure out how much he owes in taxes, we hear her say "times two decades." That would make Nick 32.
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Assistant villains Woolter and Jesse are modeled after Walter and Jesse, two of the main characters in the American television drug drama Breaking Bad (2008). They have a similar hideout as well.
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Parodies of various songs from past Disney animated feature films on Judy's music player. These include "Let it Go" from Frozen (2013), "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid (1989), "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King (1994), and "Arabian Nights" from Aladdin (1992).
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In earlier versions of the script, Nick was the son of a tailor and was always sharply dressed in a suit and tie, while his friend Finnick wore the Hawaiian shirt. With the change in focus, not only was Finnick's role drastically changed, but Nick was given the Hawaiian shirt to make him look more relaxed and laid back.
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When Chief Bogo is handing out assignments at the end, he says, "Snarlov, Wolford, Higgins: undercover..." at which point, officer Wolford pulls a ram mask over his head. He is literally a wolf in sheep's clothing.
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The horn heard when Judy Hopps leaves her hometown and again when she arrives in Zootopia is the horn from the Monorail at Disney Parks. The SkyTram in the rainforest zone is a reference to the Skyway that ferried guests from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. The Sky Buckets were removed from Disneyland in 1994 and from the Magic Kingdom in 1999.
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Judy's two obnoxious next-door neighbors, who can constantly be heard to tell each other to shut up, are a reference to the infamous "shut up little man" recordings. The tapes were a pre-internet viral sensation where a pair of next-door neighbor male roommates were captured on audio arguing incessantly, often ending with the pair screaming at each other to shut up.
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As a change of pace, Kristen Bell, who voices DMV sloth Priscilla, is a slow-talker compared to her Frozen (2013) character Princess Anna, who is a fast-talker. Sloths are one of Bell's favorite animals.
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Josh Dallas voices a background character named "frantic pig." Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin, who voices Judy, star together in the ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time (2011) as Snow White and Prince Charming, and they are married to each other in real life.
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This is the second film by Walt Disney Animation Studios to be grossed over 1 billion to the gross revenue, the first is Frozen (2013).
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Judy's cellphone provider, as seen on her screen, is "PB&J," a reference to the company AT&T, and means "Peanut Butter and Jelly". On the back of her phone is a carrot with a bite taken out of it, a clear reference to Apple Inc. and the iPhone, which AT&T offers to users. PB&J was also used as the title for the Disney Junior (at the time Playhouse Disney) series PB&J Otter (1998).
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In this film, Maurice LaMarche voiced Mr. Big, an animal crime lord modeled after Marlon Brando's character in The Godfather (1972) movies. LaMarche also voiced the Godpigeon in Animaniacs (1993), another animal crime lord modeled after Brando's Godfather.
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Chief Bogo, when chastising Judy for having unrealistic dreams of becoming a "real cop", tells her that they aren't living "in a cartoon world where you sing a little song and all your dreams come true" before telling her to "let it go." This is an obviously self-referential nod to the large body of prior Disney animated classics, which frequently feature heroes seeking to fulfill lofty dreams, singing, and wishing, particularly the mega-hit Frozen (2013) whose feature song was the anthem "Let it Go" by Idina Menzel.
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Nick Wilde's full name is Nicholas Piberius Wilde, a play on Star Trek: The Original Series (1966)'s James Tiberius Kirk according to a tweet by the co-director Byron Howard.
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When Duke Weaselton is about to be iced at Mr. Big's place, he says "They offered me what I couldn't refuse. Money", a clear reference to the famous dialogue said by Marlon Brando's character Don Corleone, "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." from The Godfather (1972). In the earlier context, it actually meant that he was going to threaten to kill someone in order to get them to do what he wanted.
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In the short scene with young Nick and his mother, the wallpaper there has the same pattern and color as Nick's adult shirt.
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When Judy is assigned meter maid duty, she taps her foot rapidly in frustration just like Thumper from Disney's Bambi.
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Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake, who voice Judy Hopps' parents, are longtime friends and collaborators. Most recently, Lake had been an often on-screen producer of the Bonnie Hunt talk/variety show.
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Because the change in script was left so late in the production cycle, many character models and set pieces from the first script were retained with cosmetic changes. The abandoned warehouse in which Nick's "Wild Times" amusement park was to have been hidden is visible when Judy meets Nick at the bridge, for example, while the Oasis Hotel in Sahara Square was originally the Golden Palm in the Rainforest District (and would have featured a thrilling escape down the "leaf" roofs).
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Young Judy Hopps was nine years old in the beginning of the movie (where she was bullied and attacked by Gideon Grey, the Fox). The movie skips fifteen years into the future where Judy start the Police training. Judy confirms her age as being nine when the "incident" with Gideon Grey occurred. If the Police training last 1 year, this makes Judy twenty-five years old when she moves to Zootopia.
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Judy Hopps was originally going to be a cynical, no-nonsense, aggressive and seasoned police officer, but the screening for the film's development was felt to be dark and unpleasant. As a result, the story was revamped by Byron Howard and the rest of the production team, and they changed Judy's personality to an optimistic and starry-eyed rookie.
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In addition to being a popular phrase used to inspire hope and comfort, Judy Hopps's self-consoling line, "Tomorrow is another day," can be seen as a reference to the title of a major song from an earlier Walt Disney animated film, The Rescuers (1977), in which unlikely animal heroes also work together to investigate and solve a crime while facing menacing predators.
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As Judy's train passes the 'Leaving Bunnyburrow' sign, it can been seen that the population of the town is rapidly increasing. This, plus Judy's hundreds of siblings, is a reference to the formidable procreative ability of rabbits.
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Freeze frame on the first citation written, at 9:15 am, reveals that a parking with an expired meter is a $25 fine. So, writing 201 tickets means Officer Hopps has earned the city $5,025 in revenue in two hours and 45 minutes (at a pace of almost two tickets per minute).
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When Judy and Nick search records from traffic cameras in the City Hall, the system gives the coordinate of the one which can show the 'Sky Tram': '37.181716, -118.312193'. In the real world, these coordinates are located exactly in Los Angeles, California. Accordingly, this can be taken to mean that Zootropolis is actually LA at some unspecified point in the future.
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When Judy and Nick were being taken to Mr. Big, it said "Zoogle Photos" (Google Photos) on the phone of the polar bear sitting next to Judy.
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When Nick has his long monologue after Judy finds out about his "pawpsicle" hustle, both go along the street and pass a wooden fence where Judy almost gets hit by a walking-by rhino. Attached to the fence is a black-colored poster for the musical "Rats", similar to the original "Cats".
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Lemmings are erroneously known for committing mass suicides by jumping of cliffs or drowning -- a myth started by the 1958 Disney nature documentary 'White Wilderness.' In this film, lemmings in tiny suits are seen exiting a building with the sign "Lemming Brothers." This is a wordplay on Lehman Brothers, a company infamous for filing the largest bankruptcy claim in US history.
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STUDIO TRADEMARK: The common Pixar Easter Egg referencing their old lesson room, "A113," appears on Gideon Grey fox's van number plate JED3113.
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The coin of city Zootopia is the letter Z with two lines (like $).
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The scene at the DMV with the slow talking sloths is a variation on comedy team Bob & Ray's classic skit Slow Talkers of America.
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Shakira asked for her her character, Gazelle, to have more curves, as she found the original physical presentation of her character to be thin.
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The only types of Mammals not featured in Zootopia are Primates, due to their looking "Too Human"; Bats, since they would've been the only residents with the ability to fly, along with Flying Squirrels; and Marine Mammals like Seals and Dolphins, since it would've been odd to feature animals that can't move on land, beside the fact that they'd have been the only residents with fins. There is however a fish market, where presumably animals can buy them as a food source. Disney has done this before with their litany of talking animals who end up having a pet such as a dog.
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This is the first Walt Disney Animation Studios film to not be accompanied by a short film since Tangled (2010).
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Maurice LaMarche, who is the voice of Mr. Big, also gave his voice to The Brain of Animaniacs (1993) and its spin-off Pinky and the Brain (1995). Both Brain and Big are tiny animals with severe Napoleonic complexes.
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Bellwether is a sheep. All sheep in the movie have sheep-like eyes, except her. She has 'regular' eyes. Near the end of the movie she stands next to a sheep cop with the more accurate eyes, which makes for a strange contrast.
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The name of the Elephant in the film, Jerry Jumbeaux Jr. appears to be a reference to the title character of the Disney Film Dumbo (1941), who was originally named Jumbo Jr..
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The pause button on the printer located in the DMV is indicated by a paw print.
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Judy Hopps' full name is Judith Laverne Hopps, which is never spoken in the film itself.
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The crosswalks, also known as zebra crossings in the U.K., actually do have a pattern that matches a zebra's striped coat.
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Zootopia is called Zootropolis in Europe because the Danish Zoo called Givskud Zoo had trademarked zootopia for Europe. It should have been in use by it's 50th anniversary in 2019, but due to Disney calling their movie Zootopia in the rest of the world, they have decided to use it now, so the zoo now is called Givskud zoo Zootopia.
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The "YOU shut up!" exchange in Zootopia was also featured in Disney's Brother Bear (2003) between two rams when they were arguing, and heard their own voices echo through the mountains.
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The foxes try to buy a Jumbo-pop, but the manager of Jumbeaux's Café refuses, due to his strong hatred of foxes. Judy Hopps intervenes in a peaceful manner, and convinces him to allow Nick to have the Jumbo-pop. This scene was inspired by a similar scene in Giant (1956), where Rock Hudson's character, Bick Benedict, peacefully convinces a restaurant manager to allow Mexicans in the restaurant, before the situation escalates and Benedict engages the manager in a fistfight. The restaurants in both films have signs saying that they "reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."
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HIDDEN MICKEY: After Judy enters the Rainforest District on the tram and it starts raining, as the camera pans down to show the pedestrians walking under the tramway, a Hidden Mickey can be seen as the design on the top of one of the blue umbrellas to the right.
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This is the first Disney Animated Feature to use the phrase "Oh my god."
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Kristen Bell is a huge fan of sloths, so being able to voice a sloth was a great treat for her. She gets quite emotional about sloths, as seen in some of her Ellen appreances.
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In the trailers and ads, Nick can be seen using a cell phone to take a selfie or to text. In the film itself, he appears to not own a phone, or a wallet.
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The design and color scheme of the license plates in Zootopia is a direct homage to the license plates of Florida. Walt Disney World is located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
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Clawhauser is based on Jerry Gergich from Parks and Recreation (2009).
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In the DVD scene selection menu, Nick stops to stare at a Chinese Panda businessman -- possibly a rare species in the movie, as it is in the real world.
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Possible homage to Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) when Judy is attempting to start the train and transport the Nighthowler evidence to the ZPD. The sound effects match those of the Millenium Falcon when Han Solo is trying to start it up in order to flee the ice planet Hoth. Coupled with that, the camera shot and actions of the protagonists bear strong similarities.
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In Emmitt Otterton's wallet, the driver license number makes reference to both the year Disneyland opened (1955) and the birth year of John Lasseter (1957).
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This is Michael Giacchino's ninth music score for a Disney movie, and his only music score for a Disney movie made by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
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With a running time of 108 minutes, Zootopia is the 2nd longest Walt Disney Animation Studios animated film, behind Fantasia (1940) with 125 minutes.
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As Officer Hopps gives her statement to the press on 'cracking the case,' the station microphones on the podium are arranged in the order of channels 9, 2, 11, and 5. Coincidentally, 92115 is the ZIP code for the city of San Diego, home of one of the largest zoos in the world.
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The sixth Walt Disney Animation Studios film to not feature any humans, after Bambi (1942), Robin Hood (1973), The Lion King (1994), Dinosaur (2000), and Chicken Little (2005).
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When Judy calls Duke Weaselton "frozen", this is a reference to a character The Duke of Weselton from Frozen (2013). Both Weaselton in Zootopia (2016) and Weselton from Frozen (2013) are voiced by Alan Tudyk.
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In the Polish dub, the white wolf that was tricked by Judy to start howling is called Geralt, this is a reference to Geralt of Rivia, the main character of the Polish video game and novel series The Witcher, whose alias is White Wolf.
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Mark Rhino Smith's casting as Officer McHorn is an in-joke to his wrestling personality, the Rhino.
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The magic lamp from Aladdin is seen on one of Yax's shelves.
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On June 2, 2016, Byron Howard and Rich Moore stated that because of the film's success, a sequel or TV series to Zootopia is potential. On July 10, 2017, Mark Rhino Smith stated he was reprising his role as Officer McHorn in the sequel.
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At the end of the Homesick Hopps deleted scene, Judy Hopps sleeps and snuggles with a plush bunny.
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The sloths' role in the movie was originally to a small gag early in the movie where, after Judy exists the train arriving in Zootopia, a sloth leaving the train would be too slow to make it out before the doors close. Once their roles were expanded to the DMV scene later in development, the artists had to redesign their faces to accommodate more varied facial expressions and deliver an actual performance.
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In many respects, this film is a modern answer to the deficiencies of their previous major furry film, Robin Hood (1973). Robin Hood was derided at its original release as an unambitious kiddie film with anthropomorphic animal characters that was beneath the artistic standards of the late Walt Disney, such as recycling numerous animation sequences from previous films. In addition, the female characters like Maid Marian are strictly secondary and disappear when their particular scenes are concluded. By contrast, Zootopia is a big budgeted, widely hailed and Oscar winning film with anthropomorphic animals and noted cinematic innovations such as in the depiction of texture. Furthermore, whereas the animators of Robin Hood complained at how their character designs were arbitrarily rejected in favor of cliched animal stereotypes, Zootopia has the subversion of stereotypes, and the prejudices involved, as a central theme of the film. Furthermore, the female cop character, Judy Hopps, is the central character with her struggles largely being the primary plot of the film.
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This is the second Disney animated feature film to have characters voiced by Raymond S. Persi (A Hippo Officer and Flash the Sloth) and Rich Moore (A Security Wolf and Doug the Ram). The first one is Wreck-It Ralph (2012), where Persi voiced Cyril the Zombie and Gene, and Moore voiced Zangief and Sour Bill.
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Both Idris Elba and J.K. Simmons lent their voices for animated animal characters in separate animated films in 2016. Elba had three: one for Chief Bogo the Cape Buffalo in Zootopia, the second as Fluke the Sea Lion in Finding Dory (2016) and the third being Shere Khan in The Jungle Book (2016), although technically the last was meant to be an actual tiger, rather than an animation. Simmons' contributions were for Mayor Lionheart the Lion in Zootopia and Kai the Bull in Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) after all both Kai the Bull from Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book (2016) are villains who appear to be animals.
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Despite the fact that Koslov (who is a parody of a Russian mafia stereotype) is a polar bear, his name refers to the word "Kosyol/Kozyol", the Russian male word for "Goat", or the "Kosa/Koza", the female version of "Kosyol". But Koslov is also a common Russian surname.
On June 5, 2016, two days before it's Blu-ray and Digital HD release date, it grossed $1 billion worldwide, only the fourth animated film and second Disney animated film in history to reach this milestone.
Apes and monkeys are not featured in this movie. These animals were intentionally left out of the film as they were too closely related to humans. A now-debunked rumor claimed that it was due to fear of them being viewed as racist stereotypes of black people. Said rumor is thought to have originated with Sing (2016), released later that same year.
The flower shop that is robbed is called Flora and Fauna. These are scientific terms, flora meaning plants and fauna meaning animals, in addition to being the names of 2 of the Fairies from Sleeping Beauty (1959).
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The last Walt Disney Animation Studios film to feature the short 2011 Disney closing logo, until Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018).
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This is Bonnie Hunt's seventh Disney movie after A Bug's Life (1998), Monsters Inc. (2001), Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010), Cars 2 (2011), and Monsters University (2013).
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Seth Rogen, Chris Pratt, Jon Hamm, Bruce Willis, Matt Damon and Paul Rudd were all considered for the role of Nick Wilde.
Judy's service provider is PB&J.
Molly Shannon was considered for the role of Bonnie Hopps.
Kristen Wiig was considered for the role of Dawn Bellwether.
Benedict Cumberbatch was considered for the role of Chief Bogo.
Nicholas Guest voiced Pop-Pop (Judy's grandfather) in a deleted scene called Homesick Hopps.
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On March 21, 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Disney by Esplanade Productions, a company owned by Gary L. Goldman, screenwriter of Total Recall. The lawsuit claims that Goldman twice pitched a concept for a live-action/animation hybrid film titled Looney (which featured an animated component called Zootopia), to Disney in 2000 and 2009 but was twice rejected, and alleges that Disney then copied the concept and marketed the film as its own. Filed with the lawsuit was a graphic of early concept artwork of characters that are claimed to appear similar to major characters from the film, including Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, Flash, and Chief Bogo. A Disney spokesperson described the lawsuit as being "ridden with patently false allegations." In their defense, Disney requested a dismissal of the lawsuit on May 23, 2017. On June 26, 2017, it was ruled that Goldman had not provided enough evidence to justify the case going to court. However, Goldman was granted permission to file another complaint if he collects any further information.
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First Disney animated film to feature Bonnie Hunt that is not a Pixar movie.
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The opening segment of the bunny being hunted in the jungle at night is a clear reference to the opening of Disney's Tarzan (1999).
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Fru Fru and Mr. Big are the only tiny creatures in the movie with "regular" eyes.
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Nick Wilde, Finnick, and Gideon Grey are the eighth, ninth, and tenth Disney characters to be foxes. The previous ones were Honest John from Pinocchio (1940), Br'er Fox from Song of the South (1946), Robin and Maid Marian from Robin Hood (1973), Todd and Vixey from The Fox and the Hound (1981), and Foxy Loxy from Chicken Little (2005) - all but two of them are also anthropomorphic. In addition, Judy Hopps and her parents are the fifteenth Disney characters to be rabbits, after Max Hare from The Tortoise and the Hare (1935), Thumper his mom and sisters from Bambi (1942), Br'er Rabbit also from Song of the South (1946), The White Rabbit and The March Hare from Alice in Wonderland (1951), Skippy, Sis,Tagalong and Mother Rabbit also from Robin Hood (1973) as well, Rabbit from both The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) and Winnie the Pooh (2011), Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and Lucky Jack from Home on the Range (2004).
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A card game based on the film called Zootopia: Suspect Search was released, as well as a game for mobile phones titled Zootopia Crime Files.
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This is the first film from Walt Disney Animation Studios to not be released in November since Winnie the Pooh (2011) five years prior, as well as the first to be released in March since Meet the Robinsons (2007) nine years prior.
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The third Walt Disney Animation Studios film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, after Frozen (2013) and Big Hero 6 (2014).
The eleventh of Disney's animated films to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, after Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), WALL·E (2008), Up (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), Brave (2012), Frozen (2013), Big Hero 6 (2014), and Inside Out (2015).
The fifth of Disney's computer-animated films to have a female protagonist, after Tangled (2010), Brave (2012), Frozen (2013) and Inside Out (2015).
The sixth of Disney's animated films to be scored by Michael Giacchino, after The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), Up (2009), Cars 2 (2011) and Inside Out (2015).
The fifth Walt Disney Animation Studios film of 2010s to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Tangled (2010), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Frozen (2013) and Big Hero 6 (2014).
The third Walt Disney Animation Studios' computer-animated film to not feature any humans, after Dinosaur (2000) and Chicken Little (2005).
The third of Disney's computer-animated films to be released in March, after Meet the Robinsons (2007) and Mars Needs Moms (2011).
The eighth of Disney's computer-animated films to not feature any humans, after A Bug's Life (1998), Dinosaur (2000), Chicken Little (2005), Cars (2006), Cars 2 (2011), Planes (2013) and Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014).
The play in the beginning is similar to the Hamlet play in The Addams Family (1991).
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In the Judy Hustle scene, on Nick's 1040 his Zootopia Benefits number is given as 555-16-2239. If ZBN follow the rules for SSN, this would indicate a ZBN issued in the State of California between the years 1936 and 1950. Assuming that it was issued at Nick's birth, which is common, that it was the latest possible year, and Nick's age is 32, this puts the year that the movie was set in as 1982.
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ZNN, the news station in this movie, is also the news station for NCIS (2003).
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Byron Howard and Rich Moore were previously nominated in the Best Animated Feature category before they won with this film. Byron was nominated for Bolt (2008) and Rich was nominated for Wreck-It Ralph (2012). Both lost to Pixar films, Bolt lost to WALL-E (2008) and Wreck-It Ralph lost to Brave (2012).
The first animated film of Alan Tudyk's that is not associated with 20th Century Fox's Ice Age franchise where he voices an animal character he later did so in Moana (2016) and the sequels to The Angry Birds Movie (2016).
Jason Bateman plays a character called "Nick" both in this film and in Horrible Bosses (2011).
Drew Barrymore, Katey Sagal, Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz, Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson and Anna Kendrick were all considered for the role of Judy Hopps.
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The fox's name Gideon Grey is an amalgamation of the names Gideon Cross and Christian Grey, both are names of male leads in popular romantic novels.
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The city of Bunnyburrow is 211 miles (339 km) away from Zootropolis. It could have been any number but it so happens that Rennes, a really old city in northwestern France with a lot of places of interests and the capital of the region of Brittany, is 211 miles or 339 km away from Paris (to be precise: from Disney's Hotel Cheyenne). It is one of a few trips visitors might take if they are visiting Disneyland in Paris (another trip might be travelling to Lille, far north from Paris).
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The pairing of Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps is very similar to the pairing of Lupo Alberto and Marta from Italian Classic cómic Lupo Alberto by Silver. Alberto is a wolf and Marta a chicken (predator and prey) but they are falling in love.
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The seventh Walt Disney Animation Studios' computer-animated film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Dinosaur (2000), Bolt (2008), Tangled (2010), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Frozen (2013) and Big Hero 6 (2014).
The fourth Walt Disney Animation Studios' computer-animated film to be produced in 2.35:1, after Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Frozen (2013) and Big Hero 6 (2014). Apparently the author of this comment doesn't count hand drawn animated films which were produced in this aspect ratio like Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Black Cauldron (1985), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), and Brother Bear (2003). A mimuch more daring feat.
The two main sloths in the DMV scene featured hairstyles inspired by members of the crew. Flash's hairstyle was inspired by director Byron Howard's haircut, while Precilla's was inspired by Character Look Supervisor Michelle Robinson.
Kristen Bell and Alan Tudyk previously appeared in Astro Boy (2009) and Frozen (2013).
The second of Disney's animated films to feature Bonnie Hunt and Michael Giacchino together, after Cars 2 (2011).
The second Walt Disney Animation Studios film to gross a billion dollars worldwide, after Frozen (2013).
The third of Disney's animated films to gross a billion dollars worldwide, after Toy Story 3 (2010) and Frozen (2013).
The main story that was originally developed for the film was that Zootopia's predator population would be subjected to wearing mandatory shock collars, which would go off when the wearers got emotionally excited and presumably keep them from becoming aggressive with the various prey species. Furthermore, the story would have centered on Nick Wilde enduring this requirement as just the most obvious of the injustices in the city even as he sought a way for his people to escape them at least temporarily. However, various test audiences, such as the staff from Pixar, complained that this plot made the story too depressing with an intolerable setting of an unjust city that mistreats people so terribly out of blind prejudice and fear. Instead, it was suggested that the theme of prejudice and stereotypes be made more subtle and expressed more in social attitudes in the population that would lead to social policies and political conflicts that could be resolved to a degree in the end to allow for more hope for change. The producers decided to follow that advice and reworked the story along those thematic lines in addition to refocusing the plot on Judy Hopps and her own struggles with her prejudices.
The van driven by Nick's friend is a model Lobo Z1. Lobo is wolf in latin and relatives to foxes.
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Idris Elba and J.K. Simmons who are in this film have been in superhero films. Elba who is in this film plays Hemidall in Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Simmons, who is also in the film previously played J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007) and will play Com Gordon in Justice League (2017).
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Around 1'20" in there is a joke based around the mispronunciation of "Weselton" as "Weaselton". This joke was also towards the end of Frozen (2013).
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Nick Wilde is voiced by Jason Bateman. In Horrible Bosses (2011) and Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) Jason Bateman's character is also named Nick.
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Judy Hopps is 24 years old during the film's main events. If the movie takes place in 2016, she was probably born in 1992.
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The second Disney's animated film to feature Alan Tudyk and Kristen Bell together, after Frozen (2013).
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From the Creators of "Frozen" and "Big Hero 6".
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Ginnifer Goodwin, Bonnie Hunt, Madeleine Curry, and Kath Soucie worked on some episodes of Sofia the First (2013).
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Before she boards the train for Zootopia, Judy tells her parents, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." This is obviously a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, the world Judy lives in is one where humans supposedly never existed, so the quote must have had a different origin for her.
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The second of Disney's computer-animated films to have a female antagonist, after Tangled (2010).
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Walt Disney Animation Studios' first film without humans to be the winner of the academy award for best animated feature, Bambi (1942), Robin Hood (1973), The Lion King (1994), and Dinosaur (2000) all released before the award came to existence and Chicken Little (2005) lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).
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Walt Disney Animation Studios' 21st film to not be a musical of characters breaking into songs 3 or more times at random moments after Bambi (1942) (which only had songs sung in the background), 101 Dalmatians (1961) (which was simply a music-musical), The Rescuers (1977), The Black Cauldron (1985), The Great Mouse Detective (1986) (which was simply a music-musical), The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Tarzan (1999) (which only had songs sung in the background), Dinosaur (2000), The Emperor's New Groove (2000) (which only had a musical-like sequence), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Lilo & Stitch (2002) (which only had songs sung in the background), Treasure Planet (2002), Brother Bear (2003) (which only had songs sung in the background), Home on the Range (2004) (which only had a musical-like sequence), Chicken Little (2005), The Wild (2006), Meet the Robinsons (2007), Bolt (2008), Wreck it Ralph (2012), and Big Hero 6 (2014).
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Walt Disney Animation Studios' first film to not be composed by either Alan Menken, Mark Mancina, James Newton Howard, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, Alexandre Desplat, Christophe Beck, Henry Jackman, or John Debney compose the score since The Princess and the Frog (2009), which is also scored by a remote composer for Pixar films.
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At the beginning of the film, Judy stands up for a sheep against a fox. In the climax of the film, she does the opposite, standing up for a fox against a sheep.
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When recording Judy's apology to Nick, Ginnifer Goodwin was actually in tears.
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When Judy and Nick are in the subway car watching Doug make the Night Howler shots, the scene shifts to a subway map of Zootopia printed by the ZTA (Zootopia Transit Authority). The map has pictures of the predators pinned to the locations where Doug poisoned them. If you look closely at the map, the street names in each of the "districts" coincide with the central theme of that district. Tundratown has Plow St., Snowcastle Way, Glacier Falls, and Blizzard St.; Rainforest District has Shady Place, Misty Blvd, and Precipitation St.; and Sahara Square has Tundra Gate, Cactus Grove, Aloe Ave, Agave Ave, and Dry River Road.
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Nick calls Judy Hopps by her first name only once in the film, and it's after the scene where they flush themselves from a toilet. He more commonly calls her "Rabbit", "Carrots" or "Fluff". The fact he calls her by her first name when he is most frantic about her safety after falling into the water below marks his true feelings for her.
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When Judy asks to check the traffic camera feed in Assistant Mayor Bellwether's office, the name of Doug visible, with a phone number underneath. Doug is one of the rams creating the savage drug later on.
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The Assistant Mayor's surname is Bellwether, which is the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell around its neck. Additionally, a wether is a castrated ram. A ram is the sign of the devil, and can symbolise evil.
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Judy appears to be the only bunny in Zootopia until the scene after Nick walks out, and the reporters swarm around her. At that point, there is a bunny news reporter who asks her, "We can't even trust our own friends?"
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When Judy and Nick are in Bellwether's office watching the traffic cameras you can see a sticky note on her desk with a phone number for Doug. Doug is the name of the ram that's been turning the animals savage and works for Bellwether.
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When Judy and Nick are running from the wild jaguar, Judy radios in to the police station to give their crossroads. She mispronounces Tujunga and Nick is quick to correct. The Disney campus where Zootopia was created is on Tujunga in Burbank, California.
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Reference to Breaking Bad: when Judy and Nick are on the subway listening to the sheep making poison darts, the sheep gets a phone call but has to hang up because "Walter and Jesse" were there with his latte
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This is the ninth film from Walt Disney Animation Studios where the identity of the villain is a surprise, in this case it was Dawn Bellwether. The eight previous films that had villains who didn't seem villainous/antagonistic at first (though DOR-15 did serve as a Secondary Antagonist of her film, and though Gantu was the only one who failed to reform) were: Winky from The Wind in the Willows Segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949), Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone (1963), Clayton from Tarzan (1999), Gantu from Lilo & Stitch (2002), DOR-15 from Meet the Robinsons (2007), Gothel from Tangled (2010), Turbo (King Candy) from Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Prince Hans from Frozen (2013) and Professor Robert Callahan from Big Hero 6 (2014).
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Finnick (Little Toot Toot) is a fennec fox, hence his ironic name.
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While Judy is accusing him of Popsicle hustling, Nick steals and eats a blueberry from a nearby stand. This is the same fruit that he and Judy later use to trick Bellwether into revealing her villainy.
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According to Rich Moore, when Judy reconciles with Nick, the events from after the press conference incident occur between two to three months of Judy's return to Zootopia.
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Between the scene where Judy learns about the Night Howlers, and the scene where Mayor Bellweather is arrested, Judy and Nick are wearing clothes that are similar to the characters Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox from Song of the South (1946). Both films are known for how they depicted race relations. Song of the South was criticized for its condescending portrayal of freed slaves, while Zootopia was praised for its message on stereotypes and discrimination.
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When Officer Judy realizes Night Howlers refer to the flowers, and jumps in the family farm truck to drive back to Zootopia to solve the case, the license plate reads JER2911 -- referring to a popular passage in the Bible -- Jeremiah 29:11, a passage that states: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This could refer to the idea that Judy was meant to be a cop, and it is her destiny/calling.
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When Nick and Judy were investigating about the kidnapping of Manchas the jaguar. They asked assistant mayor Bellweather for help with the jam cams, you can see a post it with Doug's contact number by her phone (Doug 805-5550127) when mayor Lionheart paged her. Giving a clue that Bellweather has been contacting Doug and causing the missing mammals.
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Nick and Judy faking Judy's death at the museum is a small tribute to Song of the South (1946) and the Uncle Remus stories. In the stories, Brer Rabbit fakes his own death to escape from the main animal antagonists, most famously done in the "Everyone has a Laighin' Place" story.
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At the end of the film, when Bogo is handing out assignments, a well known saying is referenced. When they are told to go undercover, one of the officers, who is a wolf, disguises himself as a sheep, thus making him "a wolf in sheep's clothing."
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Judy got the idea of flushing Nick and herself down the toilet at Cliffside from having fallen into the toilet at the Zootopia Police Academy.
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There appears to be a brief homage to Avatar (2009) when Judy is being chased by the maddened Manchas. From the way he turns to look at the two main characters, to Judy saying 'Run, Run!' as Dr. Grace Augustine did, the scene plays out similarly to Jake Sully's being pursued by a relatively larger predator. The main character ducks into a hollowed-out log, and the predator tries to get at them through the sides.
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Strangely enough, there is one extra empty cage in Mayor Lionheart's secret laboratory, for Nick and Judy to hide in.
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