On The Business Podcast, Kim Masters hosts the directors of Zootopia, Byron Howard and Rich Moore. Their film has been nominated for multiple academy awards, including best animated feature film; however, it wasn’t always smooth sailing as they discuss major overhauls that happened into production.
After three years into production, Moore and Howard were forced to stand in front of one thousand animators and production crew members to inform them that much of the work done on Zooptopia was going to be overhauled. Moore and Howard tell Kim Masters that this was not due to studio intervention, but instead their own desire to not put out a mediocre film, because they knew that when done right “Disney films can have a profound effect on generations.” This idea that their film could effect generations to come made them shift towards the theme of subtle bias during their overhaul of the film as they wished to comment on the injustices happening in the world, such as in Ferguson.
I thought it was inspiring listening to these directors who had the courage to ask for a major overhaul from Disney three years into their project. The idea of overhauling a film that you aren’t happy with that late in the game would have been daunting to anyone involved; however, not settling for something you aren’t happy with is important for any artist and their example can be the inspiration for others as they created a very powerful and successful movie due to their efforts.