Stepping in the Disney Recording Booth for a Zootopia Voice Acting Lesson! #ZootopiaBluray

Disney voice over

I think everyone knows that I love Zootopia and I think it’s a fantastic movie. Given my strong love for the movie, I was so excited to go into the recording booth at DisneyToon Studios to try my hand at voice acting for a scene in the movie!

Since Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD, more people than ever will recognize the “Icing” scene I got to work on.

zootopia mr big fru fru voice

If you’re not familiar, it’s the part of the movie where Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde are brought before Mr. Big, the mafia boss, and his daughter Fru Fru.

Here’s the video of my Disney voice acting recording session. The first part of the video is a few practice rounds I had with the script, and the last part is the finished video with my voice as Fru Fru:

I was able to do a different voice acting session for Disney on a different press trip for Big Hero 6. Let me tell you: voice acting was hard then and it hasn’t gotten any easier since then!

disney recording booth

After I did my Zootopia recording I was able to sit down with the Paul McGrath, the dialogue mixer who worked on Zootopia to find out more about what happens when voice actors record their lines and what’s done to the recordings afterwards.

About Dialogue Mixing in Animation

I learned that the dialogue mixers are involved in the filmmaking process from the very beginning all the way through to the very end. Everything starts with the script, but the very next part of making an animated movie is the voice.

In animation, the voice recording is done very early. It starts when the movie is simply sketches and drawings and continues on as it goes into animation and layout. the voice recordings give animators direction as to who the character is going to be on screen.

Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD. Order it at a big discount today!

There are some fantastic bonus features that you can enjoy when you watch the movie.

hidden mickeys zootopia blu ray

Zootopia’s Blu-ray and Digital HD bonus features include features on deleted characters, deleted scenes, Zootopia Easter eggs and much more!

Know where to find the Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia.

Check out my exclusive interview with Flash from Zootopia!

Be sure to get my free printable Zootopia coloring sheets and activity pages!

Finally, read my parent’s review of Zootopia!

The Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia + Blu-ray Bonus Features #ZootopiaBluray

hidden mickeys in zootopia

I’ve been talking about Zootopia for quite a long time here, and it’s no secret that I love the movie!

One of the fun things that comes with Disney films is all the Easter eggs that can be found. Hidden Mickeys are a special Easter egg that only Disney does, and I want to share the Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia with all of you!

I also want to share that Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD!

Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia

The idea for this post started when I was interviewing two of Zootopia’s lead animators and they revealed the first Zootopia Hidden Mickey:

1. Officer Clawhauser has a Hidden Mickey in his markings on his right cheek:

hidden mickeys in Zootopia

2. Another Hidden Mickey with Officer Clawhauser. The cereal on his spoon is Mickey-shaped:

hidden mickeys in zootopia cereal

 3. Check out the top of the pen the hippopotamus police officer is holding as Judy Hopps takes her seat at her first ZPD meeting:

hidden mickeys in zootopia pen

4. As Nick wheels Finnick down the street in a stroller, they pass another stroller-pushing parent with a Mickey Mouse underneath the seat:

zootopia hidden mickey stroller

5. I had to brighten up this still of Nick and Judy on the bridge in the Rainforest district, but you can see a small Hidden Mickey on the right side of the screen:

zootopia hidden mickey rainforest bridge

6. There’s even a Hidden Mickey on the dashboard of Mr. Big’s chauffeur’s car:

zootopia hidden mickey mr. big car

7. It’s easy to miss, but Assistant Mayor Bellwether’s necklace makes a Hidden Mickey formation when she’s helping Nick and Judy with the traffic cameras:

zootopia hidden mickeys sheep mayor necklace

8. Finally, there’s even a Hidden Mickey in the Zootopia poster that was released months ago:

zootopia hidden mickey posterThanks, Reddit!

Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD. Order it at a big discount today!

There are some fantastic bonus features that you can enjoy when you watch the movie.

hidden mickeys zootopia blu ray

Blu-ray and Digital HD bonus features:

  • Zoology: The Roundtables – Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more!
  • The Origin of an Animal Tale – Follow the story’s development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down.
  • Research: A True-Life Adventure – Learn about how the filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia.
  • ZPD Forensic Files – Find Zootopia’s hidden Easter eggs!
  • Scoretopia – Watch Academy Award-wiinning composer Michael Giacchino spotlight five of cinema’s greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalist sound to Zootopia.
  • Deleted Characters – Directors Bryon Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootopia who didn’t make the final cut.
  • Deleted Scenes – Check out seven scenes that didn’t make it to the theatrical release of Zootopia.
  • “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira.

Check out my exclusive interview with Flash from Zootopia!

Be sure to get my free printable Zootopia coloring sheets and activity pages!

Finally, read my parent’s review of Zootopia!

Thanks to OhMyDisney for some of the images. 

An Exclusive Interview With FLASH the Sloth from Zootopia #ZootopiaBluray

flash sloth raymond persi disney bloggers press trip

I’ve experienced some pretty exciting things as a blogger on Disney press trips. There have amazing surprises, like visiting a Captain America set, or when Fergie unexpectedly started singing mid-interview, or meeting Jimmy Kimmel, but I’m pretty sure the most recent surprise was more fun than anything I’ve done in the past.

Last month when I visited Los Angeles for the #ThroughTheLookingGlassEvent I also participated in a #ZootopiaBluray press day. I had the fantastic experience of interviewing the directors and producers of Zootopia then meeting and talking to animators from the movie.

raymond persi voice of flash zootopia

But the real fun came when our group of 8 bloggers entered a conference room at DisneyToon Studios and to interview Raymond Persi – the voice of Flash in Zootopia – and saw this:

flash zootopia puppet

Yes, that is definitely the body of Flash, the slow-moving DMV employee from Zootopia, and I was going to have the chance to interview and see what having a real conversation with Flash was like!

Before that, though, Raymond Persi, the voice of Flash, was in the room and had answers to questions we had! So we sat down with him and learned how the character of Flash came about and how he felt about it.

Scroll down to get right to the video of my interview with Flash!

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An Interview with James Bobin, Director of ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS #ThroughTheLookingGlassEvent

Disney press trip bloggers James Bobbin

I’ve interviewed a handful of film directors over the past few years, and every single one leaves me wowed at how much a director has to say about the movie and how much passion he or she has for the project.

That is definitely true for James Bobin, the director of Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. I had the opportunity to interview Bobin on a recent Disney press trip, and I couldn’t be more excited to share everything I learned about him and the movie!

As you’re reading more about the movie, don’t miss my post with Alice Through the Looking Glass quotes about time!
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Animating Animals: An Interview with ZOOTOPIA’s Renato dos Anjos and Chad Sellers #ZootopiaBluray

bloggers disney press trip
Last month I spent an entire day at Disney Toon Studios for a Zootopia Blu-ray press day. It was on that day that I realized Disney keeps simultaneously adding things to my bucket list and crossing them off at the same time.

Like, I didn’t realize how much I wanted to know about the details of drawing and animating animals. Interviewing Renato dos Anjos and Chad Sellers, animators who were leaders in the making of Zootopia, revealed how much work was put into making the animals that we see as amazing characters in the movie!

Interview with Renato dos Anjos and Chad Sellers

zootopia chad sellers renato d anjos

Zootopia In-Home Global Press Event

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Drawing Judy Hopps: An Interview with Disney’s ZOOTOPIA Directors and Producer #ZootopiaBluray

Disney's zootopia posterI’m a huge Disney fan and I love pop culture, so it’s always thrilling to be able to sit down with the people responsible for some of my favorite movies.

I was especially excited to meet Clark Spencer, producer, along with Bryon Howard and Rich Moore, the directors of Zootopia.

I was able to ask them some questions about the movie, about Disney and about their life experiences, and then I had a quick art lesson where I learned to draw Judy Hopps!

clark spencer zootopia producer

Was there an initial idea or something going on in your lives that sparked the idea for Zootopia?

The bias theme came very organically from a period of research that we did. We really drive in and try to become experts on the subject of what we’re working on.

Like Rich is the expert on video games. From when he was a child it was his destiny to direct Wreck-It Ralph. I know a lot about hair because of Tangled. I learned more about hair on that movie than I ever thought I would know.

For this movie, we knew we had to find out about animals, and we did an amazing research trip where we went to Kenya. The first camp they put us up at was near a watering hole where animals of all kinds come to drink.

We noticed was that predators would come and drink right next to antelope and zebra, which the predators normally eat. During the day, they just come in and they see each other. They’re aware of each other but they just drink and they go their separate ways. 

Everyone is well behaved around the watering hole. That’s like two groups that frequently don’t get along and have different goals in survival, but in certain situations they have to figure out how to work together. 

We thought that’s an interesting parallel to our own world. As we dove deeper into the subject and learned more about what bias does to societies and to people, it was very compelling. 

Disney films can be very powerful. Bambi was a very powerful film for us all, and The Lion King helped our families talk about death. We thought, with all the stuff that’s in the news it was something we should try to do. 

We spent a long time talking with each other and talking to experts about bias. Doctor Butler was a great touchstone for us during the film told us how tricky and dangerous these ideas and these problems can be. 

But we really wanted to present it not as a message movie but through the journey of characters. That’s why we’re so happy that people really bonded with Judy and her journey and saw that she’s not perfect.

Judy makes mistakes and she learns that these issues are not as simple as she thought. 

It was tough but we’re very proud of the fact that people have gotten the message of the movie and have related to it through the journey of the characters. 

What’s your favorite scene in Zootopia?

Rich Moore: I love the scene with Nick and Judy in the gondola when they start to bond. It takes me back to the day we recorded it with Jason Bateman.

zootopia judy nick gondola

We know Jason Bateman is a comedian, and here he is in this scene where Nick is dropping his guard and sharing this painful moment from his past.

Just the full committal that that Jason gave to the scene and how good he was at taking us to the moment and becoming vulnerable. I’ll never forget the act of creating the scene and putting those pieces together.

Bryon Howard: It’s the scene under the bridge where Judy goes to Nick and apologizes; it’s so incredible for so many reasons.

First, the writers, Phil and Jared, did such a great job crafting that scene. We recorded it up in Vancouver and Gennifer Goodwin just broke down. She was sobbing. 

When we got that take, we loved it. When you give a take to an animator, you’re hoping for the best. We asked our lead animator, Kira Lehtomaki to do the scene. She came back and showed the rough pass on it. It’s almost exactly what you see in the movie. She’s a natural animator. It feels like she’s not even trying. She’s just doing it and it feels real.

When I look at Judy Hopps breaking down and feeling that, I can’t believe that’s not a real living character. 

Clark Spencer: In our industry, animators and actors are cut from the same cloth. Actors emote with their body and voice, and animators do it with a pencil or computer. 

What’s next for Disney Animation?

We have Moana coming out at Thanksgiving. That’s a beautiful, beautiful movie. The Rock is incredible. It’s very funny, with great songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

How do you decide which Disney Animation project you’ll get behind?

Rich Moore: We’ll have a meeting with John Lasseter and present to him at least three ideas of something we’re interested in. The projects come from a discussion with him. What are we passionate about? What would we like to explore.

The projects are never assigned. It comes from the heart. 

Byron Howard: It’s one of the many great things about John Lasseter. He believes that the projects come from you, or you’ll eventually become either bored or disinterested. 

Rich Moore: And you can feel that in the movie. If a director doesn’t have his heart in the project that’s when things start to feel cliche. 

All three of us loved working on Zootopia, because it was a story we crafted with real depth and really had something to talk about. For a director, every day was exciting on Zootopia, and that’s what we’re trying to put forth. 

After the interview we all sat down to have a quick drawing lesson. Who better to draw than Judy Hopps?

how to draw judy hopps

Bryon Howard was super quick and made drawing her seem easy. I’m not an artist and it’s not easy! Here’s a video Disney Animation Studios put out for how to draw Judy Hopps:

Zootopia is being released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD on June 7, 2016. Pre-order it at a big discount today!

Be sure to watch the official Zootopia trailer!