Walt Disney was always of the mindset of “always leave them wanting more,” and it looks like Disney is finally going to deliver with its new wave of animated sequels. While we can all be excited about a third Frozen film and a fifth entry in the beloved Toy Story franchise, it’s the return to Zootopia we’re truly curious about.
In spite of taking home the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and Best Feature at the Annies, Zootopia has slipped quietly into the shadows ever since. With so much success, so much acclaim, and such a vocal fanbase at the time of release, why hasn’t Disney done more with this masterpiece?
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The film received its own Disney+ series in 2022, but Disney seems to have put it aside in favor of more marketable features like Frozen. With the upcoming Zootopia-inspired lands in Shanghai Disney, and hopefully Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it could be interpreted as an omen that Disney is realizing their missed opportunity. A sequel featuring the continuing adventures of the ambitious and adorable Judy Hopps and her sly and smooth partner, Nick Wilde, would be an absolute delight. The question is, where will they go from here?
Fans can speculate for days, but it’s anyone’s guess until we have more than a confirmation of its approval. The sequel will more than likely take place after the events of the original film, as most sequels do. However, this could mean we see the duo of Hopps and Wilde doing a bit heavier police work than just performing traffic stops to catch a certain speed-junkie sloth. If the directors go the route of some of the original drafts of the film. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for both characters, or at least Judy alone, to make it to detective and be sent on some case in the dark underbelly of Zootopia.
On a lighter side, fans of the HoppsWilde ship definitely want to see their relationship evolve over the course of the film. It’s clear from the ending of the original film that they’re set to be an item, but Disney could have a lot more to play with than they realize. Since the original was an allegory for racial conflicts, bullying, and several more social issues, why not have the second one explore an intercultural relationship? Nick and Judy already have one of the most realistic relationships in Disney, it’s only natural to expand further. Disney could even throw in a bit of animation fan service and have the plot point mirror the courtship of The Rescuers’ Bianca and Bernard. Either way, the potential for a Disney rom-com is definitely there.
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We might not know the full story, and we probably won’t until further developments are made. However, there’s no way anyone can say a Zootopia sequel lacks creative potential. Whether lighthearted and fun or surprisingly dark and mature, Disney’s magical metropolis of talking animals is still the place where anyone can be anything.
what are your predictions for this wild sequel? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!