Zootopia has proven to be more than a smash hit for Disney, claiming the biggest opening weekend for any Disney Animation Studios movie, and the biggest March opening of any animated movie - ever. Not content with those accolades, Zootopia is also the second highest-grossing film to be based on an original story (behind Avatar), and the second biggest film of 2016 behind Captain America: Civil War. Indeed, the film has already passed the $1 billion mark at the global box office. And, as success on that level usually means, audiences have almost certainly not seen the last of the brand.
Zootopia has charmed moviegoers, enthralling them with the story of Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a rabbit police officer in a world full of talking animals. She wasn't alone, though: co-directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore created a whole cast of lovable, amusing, and charming characters, including Nick the Fox, Flash the Sloth, Clawhauser the Cheetah, and Bellwether the Lamb. So the only question becomes: who's story will be told next?
In creating such an intricate and complex city (or, indeed, 'zootopia'), Howard and Moore built Disney an environment that is not just ripe, but begging for further storytelling to occur in some shape or form. Disney hasn't had a more reliable sequel to consider in years, but with Frozen 2 continuing the story of that film's leads, it seems as though the actual setting of Zootopia may hold the most promise. Talking to Collider, the duo explained that a sequel is - we hope you're sitting down - something they'd be open to:
Howard: There are so many ways you could go. It’s interesting to see, especially with Disney, once you finish one of these films, if it does land in a big way, it becomes so much bigger than us. It takes on a life of its own. A nice thing about being at Disney is that these movies can develop into a presence in theme parks and become something real, or maybe get a sequel, or tell other stories. The film is only 90 minutes long, and we only could fit so much in the film. There were so many environments we talked about, and animals we talked about. The fact that there are no reptiles or birds in the film was something we talked about.
Moore: That bugs some fans. They really want to know about that. They’re like, “Where are the frogs, man?!” And, “What is Bogo’s first name?” Or, “Does it naturally rain in Zootopia? I need to know if it rains or snows, naturally!” I guess it rains. I don’t know. They really care, and that just means that they embraced it so much that they want to know everything they can about it. They just love the world. So, it would be nice to revisit it again.
When asked which minor character's story they'd like to expand on, whether in a short or full-length feature, both have differing answers - both in terms of the stars, and the seriousness:
Howard: I’m particularly fond of Clawhauser. He’s funny. Nate Torrence, the guy who performs him, has such a richness. We have so many hours of him being hilarious and fun. If it was affordable to do a TV show that was the same quality as the movie, I would watch The Clawhauser Show, every week. I’d want to see what that dude got into. I could imagine that. I wish the technology was there. We would totally do that.
Moore: Or you could do an Orange is the New Black for Bellwether. That would be so cool. What is she doing now? Is she running the place? Did she become the Queen Bee? Is she Crazy Eyes? That would be so great. It would be great, if there was another story where Judy has to go to Bellwether like Hannibal Lector. There’s just so much you could do.
As for the sloths, as nice an idea as it is for them to have their own spinoff, Howard likens the notion to Game of Thrones: "You’d be like, 'Come on! Let something happen, please!'" Each and every idea has merit, particularly the idea of exploring the addition of reptiles and birds in Zootopia. Whichever way Howard and Moore decide to go, it seems that, given the massive success of the film, it's only a matter of time...
Zootopia releases today on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as video-on-demand.