Now that Zootopia is finally open at Shanghai Disney Resort, guests can fully immerse themselves in the exciting mammalian metropolis from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Zootopia.” To help bring this new land to life, Disney Live Entertainment partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering and the team at Shanghai Disney Resort to develop a unique live show experience starring many of the film’s most iconic characters.
“Disney Zootopia Comes Alive” is a groundbreaking new show presented at the Zootopia Park Apartments along the land’s Mane Street. Here, characters including the Hopps family, Fru Fru and her father Mr. Big, Koslov the polar bear, Flash the sloth, Yax the yak, Duke Weaselton, and more pop up on balconies or lean out the windows of their homes or workplaces, chatting with each other and the guests passing by.
“We’ve never done anything quite like this before. This is a brand-new, first-of-its-kind experience,” said Jeff Conover, Creative Director with Disney Live Entertainment, who has been on the project for more than four years. “The idea is that as we walk into the land, we come across the characters living their daily lives. Our guests will be able to see the characters, and each time they show up, it may be a bit of a different story.”
Compared to more traditional productions with defined showtimes that may only be presented during certain periods, this ambitious project weaves together multiple storylines to create an immersive atmosphere in which things appear to happen spontaneously throughout the day.
Disney Live Entertainment Production Manager Michelle Tritt worked closely with her Imagineering colleagues to develop the space in the land where the show takes place. “What’s unique about this show is that it isn’t necessarily a show, it’s a living embodiment of the land,” said Michelle. “We’ve brought together various disciplines, from audio designers and lighting designers to creative specialists and production people, to work on the project, integrating the show into the land and creating a highly natural feel for the characters there.”
The team has taken great care to ensure “Disney Zootopia Comes Alive” will resonate with guests and fans in China while embracing the spirit of Disney Animation’s original film. “We want to give guests that firsthand emotional experience of being in Zootopia in the middle of this vibrant community,” shared Jeff. “There are so many little surprises. You could probably spend four hours in that land just walking around and looking at all the little details.”
Michelle added, “We don’t have anything like this anywhere around the world in any of our parks. I think the guests are going to love this show. They’re going to laugh, they’re going to cry, because we’ve made these characters really come to life in the land.“