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How Disney created the realistic fur of Zootopia

March 22, 2016

As you might twig from the title, Disney Animation Studios' latest film Zootropolis (called Zootopia in the US) is set in a world run by animals: elephant ice-cream parlours, mouse mafia, buffalo police chiefs – you name it. As one might imagine, animating such a menagerie presented the studio – coming off a streak of hits, from Frozen to Big Hero 6 – with a rather hairy problem.

"Typically in an animal film that has fur, people use human hair as the proxy, and not animal fair – because we've developed technology that allows us to do human hair," explains producer Clark Spencer. "You go in, you use the human hair in a certain way and you put a colour on it. For us, we said, that's not going to work; we're making this entire animal world, we need it to feel believable. So we're going to go in and make each individual strand of hair on each animal."

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