Script Analysis: “Zootopia” — Part 1: Scene By Scene Breakdown
Scott Myers

As noted elsewhere, I have not seen the movie, so I was quite intrigued to read the script. I’d heard great things about the movie and grossing $1B worldwide is an impressive feat. Not surprisingly, I really enjoyed the script.

One thing I noticed: It took a long time to (A) get into the caper and (B) lock Judy and Nick together. P.42 is when they ‘officially’ team up. Not sure what that translates into in the movie. The script is 109 pages and the movie is 108 minutes long. Even if you subtract 6 minutes for closing credits, it’s still pretty much about 1 page per minute. That timing runs entirely counter to the conventional wisdom nowadays in which what used to be the end of Act One is now generally the midpoint of the first act. The thinking is audiences want to get into the action as quickly as possible, but I didn’t feel the story dragging in the script, I was entertained as the narrative kept rolling out different and fun aspects of the Zootopia story universe.

While that helped a lot, the real benefit is we got a good long time to establish key characters — their core essence, persona, wants, needs, etc — so we were emotionally invested in them.

That’s a good takeaway: Don’t worry so much about page count, when things happen, as making sure you establish who your main characters are to ensure a reader connects with them emotionally.

We’ll talk more about structure tomorrow. Did anyone else notice how long it took to get the caper fully up and running, Judy and Nick joined together? Again not a criticism, just unusual given today’s sensibilities.

Excellent script!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.