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Zootopia+ Director Felt A Daunting Pressure To Have The Series Withstand The Test Of Time – Exclusive

"Zootopia+" is a series of shorts based on the blockbuster 2016 animated film "Zootopia," which raked in over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The series, which is now streaming exclusively on Disney+, is the brainchild of director Trent Correy, who pitched the idea to Disney through an in-house program the company offers.

"[It's all] thanks to that program," says Correy. "They said, 'Take a look back in our 100 years of history and pitch anything you want.' I had worked on 'Zootopia' and thought, 'What a great world.' I remember being at the wrap party and thinking, 'I want to spend more time here' ... You realize how fun the characters are, and [you're] layering on the different puns, the titles, the genres on top of that. It's a fun world."

But one thing that was "daunting" for Correy was making sure the series stood the test of time in the realm of all the Disney classics. It's a concern the animator-turned-director opened up about during an exclusive interview with Looper.

Zootopia+ has to fit in with everything from Steamboat Willie to Encanto

Correy was an animator on the original "Zootopia," moving up to co-director alongside Josie Trinidad on "Zootopia+," which includes six shorts that feature such beloved characters as parental bunnies Bonnie and Stu Hopps and the larger-than-life Arctic shrew Mr. Big. But while it was fun bringing such anthropomorphic animated animals back to life for the small screen, Correy couldn't get the Disney legacy out of his head.

"The daunting thing is knowing that the thing you create is going to be on the shelf with 100 years of everything, from 'Steamboat Willie' and 'Snow White' to 'Encanto' and 'Strange World' and the upcoming 'Wish,'" says Correy. "There's a bit of pressure that this needs to stand the test of time. But once you start making these things, everyone genuinely puts all their effort into it and is focused on making that vision come to life the best way they know how. There's no other place like Disney Animation."

Correy adds, "I've been learning directing over the last couple of years, and every project is challenging for its own reason. You think you've got it, and then you get thrown for a loop on the next one ... It's scary, but luckily I had great partners with both [co-director Trinidad] and [producer] Nathan [Curtis], and we worked with a wonderful team ... You learn from each other. I tried to soak up every minute of it."

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