Oscar Animation Roundtable: Building Worlds in ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ and ‘Moana’

  • Indiewire
Oscar Animation Roundtable: Building Worlds in ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ and ‘Moana’
This year’s animated Oscar contenders offer brave new worlds: a unique mammal metropolis (“Zootopia”), a fantasy Japan (“Kubo and the Two Strings”), an untapped Polynesian paradise (“Moana”), a fuzzy fiber art environment (“Trolls”) and a tactile hybrid between storybook fantasy and reality (“The Little Prince”).

Zootopia

Disney’s design team built an imaginatively diverse animal world where predator and prey co-exist comprised of five boroughs: Savanna Central (downtown), Tundratown, Rain Forest District, Sahara Square and Bunnyburrow. But what’s unique about Zootopia is that it’s a global city built by animals for animals.

As a result, there are multipurpose public buildings where all animals can interact with each other along with others specifically designed for certain mammals. However, human architecture is evident throughout while animal patterns are part of the design DNA. They experimented with different layouts for the various districts in a Disneyland-like pattern, which required both logistical and dramatic logic.
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