Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2016 by Angie Han
Unlike their Star Wars or Marvel movies, Disney’s animated features don’t fit into a single shared universe. They do, however, very often reference each other, via sneaky little Easter eggs. Even their latest, Zootopia, gets in on the fun, despite taking place in a universe where human beings don’t actually exist. We told you about one of Zootopia‘s many Easter eggs back before the film even hit theaters, and now that it’s actually out, several more have been discovered. Below, check out some of the Zootopia Easter eggs you might have missed.
In February, we got a look at some hi-res stills that contained a Frozen Easter egg — if you look in the bottom left corner of the photo above, you can see two little elephant children in Anna and Elsa costumes. Well, it turns out Frozen isn’t the only Disney movie with a Zootopia equivalent. At one point in the film, we see the shady Duke Weaselton selling bootleg DVDs on a street corner. Among the titles? Wreck-It Rhino, Wrangled, and Pig Hero 6. Also Meowana, Giraffic, and Floatzen 2. Yup, that’s right: we here in the real world are still waiting for Moana, Gigantic, and Frozen 2, but the corresponding films in Zootopia have already been out long enough that bootleg copies are in circulation.
(Incidentally, the fact that Zootopia apparently has Zootop-ified versions of most of our movies suggests the uncomfortable possibility that a Zootop-ified Zootopia exists, which in turn raises the question of whether Zootopia’s Zootopia is about humans. And if so, whether that means we humans are actually living in the Zootopia version of Zootopia. But that’s an existential quandary for another time.)
Adding another layer to this particular Easter egg is the fact that Duke Weaselton is voiced by Alan Tudyk, who also voiced the Duke of Weselton in Frozen. His Frozen co-star and famed sloth enthusiast Kristen Bell also has a cameo in Zootopia, but you already knew that.
Moving on, it appears Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) is a fan of at least one of these Zootop-ified Disney movies, as he has a calendar in his office of the San Fransokyo skyline from Big Hero 6 — or rather Pig Hero 6, as it’s called in his world.
Of course, the Zootopia team wasn’t about to let an entire movie go by without referencing Disney’s most iconic animal creation of all, Mickey Mouse. Here he is as a doll in the stroller of a random passerby. He’s hard to spot in the larger photo, but the zoom-in shows Mickey very clearly.
And here he is as a spot on Officer Clawhauser’s right cheek. We’ve included a couple of different angles below so you can get a better look.
A couple of the Zootopia references are more subtle, as co-directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore pointed out to Entertainment Weekly. For example, there’s a nod to the 1967 The Jungle Book in the way Zootopia‘s naturalist colony scene is staged. “There are a couple of shots in the colony that are very reminiscent of Baloo’s scratching scene during ‘Bear Necessities,'” said Moore.
And of course, the filmmakers couldn’t resist a reference to another beloved Disney-owned universe, Star Wars. “There’s a nod to Star Wars when Judy is trying to get the train car moving,” said Moore. “She turns on the power, and the car dies, and she gives it a whack à la the Millennium Falcon, and it comes back to life, à la The Empire Strikes Back.”
That’s not even counting Zootopia‘s more obvious homages to non-Disney properties, like Breaking Bad and The Godfather. Crime boss Mr. Big is obviously modeled after Marlon Brando in The Godfather, and Disney never even tried to keep that one a secret — he’s right there in the trailer. But you probably didn’t expect to see a Breaking Bad nod going into the movie. In the third act, Nick and Judy bust into a lab where they see two sheep named Woolter and Jesse in yellow jumpsuits, cooking up a bright blue batch of drugs.
Another non-Disney Zootopia Easter egg comes in the form of Office McHorn, played by Mark Smith. The character is a rhino, and the actor is known as Rhino in the 1990s British TV series Gladiators.
— Gladiators (@GladiatorsTV) March 26, 2016
Finally, this one isn’t an Easter egg, exactly, but just an interesting bit of trivia about Zootopia‘s release around the world. According to Design Taxi, the newscaster in the movie a different animal depending on what country you’re in. It’s not unlike the way Captain America’s to-do list in The Winter Soldier changed from country to country, or the way Riley’s hated food (broccoli in the U.S. version) and Riley’s dad’s favorite sport (hockey in the U.S.) were altered for different markets.
— TAXI (@designtaxi) March 18, 2016
— Ryshat's Corner (@RyshatsCorner) March 6, 2016
Knowing Disney, there are probably still more Easter eggs we haven’t picked up on yet. Have you caught any that we haven’t mentioned here?