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Bonnie Hunt And Don Lake's History Gave Them A Sixth Sense Working On Zootopia+ - Exclusive

Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake go way back to when they met at the famed Second City improvisational theater in the 1980s — and they have been best buds and creative partners ever since. The comedic pair have worked on several projects together, including three short-lived, self-titled series that starred Hunt ("Bonnie," "The Bonnie Hunt Show," and "Life With Bonnie"), but 2016's "Zootopia" was the first time they worked together on an animated film.

In it, they play bunnies, Bonnie and Stu Hopps, parents of the main protagonist Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin), who is the first rabbit on the titular city's police force. Relegated to passing out parking tickets, the rookie officer is determined to prove herself by cracking her first case, even if it means teaming up with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).

"Zootopia" was a blockbuster hit for Disney, raking in over one billion dollars at the worldwide box office. So, it was only a matter of time until there was a follow-up, which came in the form of 2022's "Zootopia+," a six-part series of shorts exclusively streaming on Disney+ that takes a deeper look at the lives of the creatures who live in the mammal metropolis.

Not surprisingly, Hunt and Lake reprise their roles in the "Hopp on Board" episode that follows the hare-brained parents as they embark on their own adventure chasing after one of their 276 children. During an exclusive interview with Looper, Hunt and Lake discussed how their long history of working together has helped them develop a 'sixth sense' when it comes to comedic timing.

Improv plays a big part in Hunt and Lake's comedic style

Coming from the Second City stage, improvisation is a big part of what Hunt and Lake do, and they've been doing it so long together, it's now second nature. It's a skill they put to good use in the vocal booth while recording Bonnie and Stu for "Zootopia+."

"... Don and I have telepathy," Hunt told Looper. "We started on stage together and have worked together in many films, in television, and in voiceover. It's a sixth sense with us."

Adds Lake, "Nothing's planned ... Bonnie and I have done that forever. We met at Second City, so we met onstage improvising, and you gain a trust. From the very first moment we improvised together, it was like, 'This lady is different. This is wow.' And now, we've known each other for so long and done so much stuff together."

As for reprising their "Zootopia" roles, Hunt is more than thrilled to be back with the franchise and her long-time partner. "It's a joy to be back together," she says. "It's like summer camp, where you get to see everybody again and make some memories. [In our short] we've become superhero parents, basically, as so many parents have to do almost on a daily basis — watching your kids, worrying about them, trying to protect them, trying to encourage them. And working with Don again is the best because he's my favorite person. It's been really fun."

"Zootopia+" is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.