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Creating a Modern World of Animals: Byron Howard on the Story and Directing Challenges of ‘Zootopia’

As part of AWN's Professional Spotlight Series recorded during VIEW 2016, the Oscar-nominated director of Disney’s hit, ‘Zootopia,’ talks about the decision to make significant story changes well into production on the animated feature film.

As part of AWN’s Professional Spotlight series -- a series of exclusive video interviews shot during the VIEW Conference in 2016 -- here is an in-depth discussion with Byron Howard, director of Disney’s hit animated feature film Zootopia. In the interview, Howard talks about the difficult but ultimately necessary decision to shift the film’s entire point of view from the story of Nick Wilde, a fox, to the story of Judy Hopps, a bunny. He talks about the challenge of not making the film preachy or condescending while at the same time using animals as metaphors for humans and their behavior in society. He also talks at length about the tremendous legacy of mentoring within Disney’s Feature Animation group and how much his own career has been enriched by working alongside legendary Disney talent.

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.