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 Post subject: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:20 am 
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I thought I might try a really different angle with this topic, and see how many of you will be courageous enough to open up and participate! I will start off by telling you a story, and then will encourage you to do the same IF you have something personal that works for this topic. First, the rules of this:


What I am looking for in this topic is for each of you to relate a personal experience, from your own life, which mirrors a scene in Zootopia (Zootropolis). It will be especially impressive if you can relate one which, on the surface, might seem too emotional to tell...one which left some scars on your psyche and (hopefully) which ended up having a positive resolution or long-term learning experience. Or, if the personal experience simply never worked out, and left a deep hole in your life, I suppose relating that one is okay too if you want to.


I want to see if, like me, you found one or more instances in the movie where you noticed art imitating life. Where one or more scenes (or elements of those scenes) brought to mind an event in your own life, and reflected (or resembled) that event. And then, either how it played out just as it did in your life, or how you WISH it would have.


But PLEASE...let's TRY HARD to not take this into the realm of any current politically-charged issues. We're looking for personal experiences, not soap-boxing or grandstanding for socio-political causes. And I will ask the mods to please enforce that for me, as a standing rule of this topic. And that, if I have to report a post for breaking that rule, that you'll remove the posting in question and advise the person who posted it to NOT do so again. Thanks.







Now for my own story...


I found one scene in particular which struck me...HARD. It brought back a painful memory from my youth which led, in subsequent years, to a much more positive (and completely unexpected) experience. And while it will SEEM like I am creating an incident just to tie it into a scene in the movie, just for the sake of this topic and a discussion, I assure you that the incident I am about to relate is utterly true...and I have never forgotten it, as it made a profound impact on my life. This will be a bit text-heavy but, if we're going to have a topic like this, in order to tell our stories, it HAS to be. So be patient, read through, and don't throw out some rude "tl;dr" thing.


You probably recall this scene, from about midway through the movie, where Judy Hopps has returned to Bunnyburrow after unintentionally playing a part in making things worse in Zootopia...and setting predators and prey practically at each others' throats. As she's standing dejectedly at her family's produce stand on the farm, her parents note how sad she is, and approach her to try and cheer her up. Gideon Grey pulls up in his bakery van and the following happens:





When I saw this scene in the theaters, as well as the related earlier scene, in the beginning of the movie where, as a child, Gideon Grey (along with his weasel friend Travis) bullies Judy and three other prey children, a flood of memories from my own youth came right back into my mind.


While I was not ever a nerd or a geek (or into any alternative lifestyle) as a kid, I was really shy (at least in grammar school and junior high school. It took until sophomore year of high school for me to really open up and become braver and more outgoing). As a result of that, I was quite the easy mark for any bully who was seeking a convenient target for their aggression. And I ran into a few over those years.


In the 7th and 8th grade (in junior high school), when I was in the 12-14 year old range, I was dealing with a persistent bully, who occasionally targeted me. He displayed all the stereotypes of what one might (rather incorrectly, when analyzed fairly) expect from a bully...he was quick (and hot) tempered, he was a dirtbag...with greasy hair and tinted eyeglasses, tended to wear cheap clothes and, by all appearances, came from a low-income and probably very dysfunctional family. He had his own band of friends, and sometimes they would participate in the bullying. Particularly one bigger and taller kid who was frequently the "muscle"...and, honestly (no lie!), was a bit more dimwitted than even the main bully himself. And they made my life a living hell back then. I often came home from school very stressed, sad and angry...though not usually beat up (I never got much more than a hard punch in the stomach, or being pushed off my feet and threatened...that sort of thing. Or dire warnings about what I would face "after school"). I feared and hated this kid. And was deeply hurt, embittered and stressed out. My grades suffered and, even though I had my own small circle of friends, it was still hard to exist. I sought solace in that circle of friends, and bonded especially strongly with them as a result.


In eighth grade, this bully and his big ape of a friend developed a friendship with a very outspoken, over-confident little guy who was rather popular in the class. I don't know how it happened, but this newer kid started this weird thing he called "Manning's Army" (I am purposefully misspelling his name a bit to protect his anonymity). He would gather as many boys from the class, during recess on the school grounds, as possible, and run them through drill and paces as if he were an Army drill sergeant. I guess his father was in the military...or he saw enough movies to give him an idea of how to do his own thing. He would have the bully and his friend be his "squad leaders"...laying hard into us with commands and so on, as if we were in boot camp. Most of the boys thought it was fun. One day, when it was still in its early stages, one of my friends told me about it and encouraged me to come out and enjoy the fun. I was really not up for it, but he convinced me after some pestering. We went out there during recess and, when I saw the bully out there too, I sunk into a massive amount of apprehension. But my friend dragged me along and, during the entire recess, the bully had a grand time with me, while I endured it.


After recess was over, my friend was carrying on about how much fun it was, and how he couldn't wait until the next time. When I told him how I wasn't going to participate anymore, he just laughed it off and told me not to be so stupid about it, just to go along with it and maybe that bully would eventually ease off of me and even maybe learn to accept me as brave enough to face it all. But I was too afraid...already too damaged by what the bully had done up to that point. From then on, I found ways to avoid participating...even running the risk of not going outside (which we were supposed to do during recess) in order to avoid being seen and dragged out there (because I feared that's what they'd do...as, during one last session I grudgingly went to, they had done it to one other kid who hadn't shown up for one of the "drill sessions"...they sent the bigger bully out to find him). In the end, I took some bullying over that too...over trying to avoid "Manning's Army". Maybe, had I just went along, I might actually have achieved what my friend thought would happen. But as a kid, you generally don't think in those terms...especially when you're being bullied. After eighth grade, however, I didn't see the bully or his bigger friend (or "Manning") again. And didn't expect to ever again. Until...


Fast-forward to my sophomore year of high school, a few years later, and I took a job as a cart boy at a local supermarket...collecting shopping carts and stacking them. But after the first day, I was in the store talking with one of the floor managers, and there, working one of the registers, was that bully! He didn't know I had taken the job as a cart boy, nor did I realize or know he was already working there as a register clerk. And then, the memories of what happened in the 7th and 8th grade came back to me, and my heart sunk. I was thinking "oh NO! Don't tell me I'm going to have to WORK with this jerk now!"


For about a week, nothing happened. Though I could see, at some point, he saw me going in and out of the store...and I sure saw him working the register. I was really worried that it would eventually create a situation. One particularly hot day, after collecting a lot of carts, I was sitting down on a bench outside of the store, and who comes walking towards me but the bully. I became very, very nervous. He stopped, standing over me, lit a cigarette, and asked if he could sit down. I nodded hesitantly. Then he asked "you're [Baltoseppala...not giving my real name, folks. XD], right?"


"Yeah", I replied dryly.


Taking a drag on his cigarette, he said "yeah, I thought so. I remember you."


I waited for the hammer to fall...but he just kept calm and conversational. He turned to look right at me and said "look, I know I was a real a**hole to you back in junior high. I am really sorry about all that...I feel really bad about it, and you certainly didn't deserve all that s**t I put you through. When I found out you were coming to work here I was like 's**t, this isn't gonna go well. He probably hates my guts'. But I knew I had to eventually have it out with you on this, so here I am."


I looked up at him, and shrugged. "It's alright, dude. It's in the past. I don't hate you..." (I still did, but I didn't want to tell him that...and already he caught me off guard with what he had said just a moment ago.)


He was persistent as always. "No, I mean it, dude. I really am sorry. You didn't deserve any of it, and I'm really surprised that you never just came back at me and decked me."


I didn't know what to say. I laughed hesitantly and shrugged again. "I wanted to. But I never really had the guts to do it."


He laughed, and went on to explain how tough his home life was, and that's what led to him being how he was back then. He also noted that he had a lot of time to think about it after he saw me working out in the parking lot, pushing carts and working my butt off...how he was impressed with how hard I worked, even knowing that he was working there in a better position than I had. He stood up, extended his hand, and asked "hey, no hard feelings?"


I looked at his hand for a moment, then up at him. Taking his hand and shaking it, I said "sure. It's alright man."


He thanked me and walked back into the store. I was floored. I sat there for a while trying to mentally process what had happened. I had fully expected this guy to come out and just rip into me some more. I mean, we were still just teenagers. Not grown adults. I NEVER expected him to do what he did. And after thinking about it for a few minutes, I felt really good. And immediately forgave him. And went to tell him that later. It was like a massive weight off of my shoulders, and a salve to years of pain and loss. We never became good friends of course, but after that we were on good civil terms, and he was very nice to me. And I was to him too.


If only more bullying situations could work out like that than how they usually do today (let alone back then)...

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:46 am 
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I've had my fair share of bullying over the years, but none of it really relates to Zootopia. I mostly dealt with name calling, was isolated by my peers (they honestly did not want me around them), had things thrown at me, etc. None of them ever apologized to me either (though there was one boy who used to bother me on the bus, but after I chewed a boy in junior high out, he left me alone).

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:00 am 
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Well it doesn't have to have been a bullying incident. There are lots of different scenarios in the movie which could reflect experiences in your life (in anyone's I mean).

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:58 am 
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When I was in the 8th grade I became friends with a girl in my science class. We did all of our assignments and projects together (us working together helped improve my grades in that class), but that soon came to and end. I found out one day when I was outside during lunch that she really wasn't my friend. Another girl, who I had been friends with on and off, setup the whole thing. I never really interacted with that girl anymore, but she used that girl to keep me away from her I guess. I was quite upset when I hard that news. I managed to sneak off to a side of the school where were not allowed to go. I just sat there alone with my feelings for the remainder of lunch.

I tried to, the following school year, to interact with her, but she just ignored me and paid all of her attention to that other girl. I gave up on here and just went about my business.

^ I'm relating this to Judy and Bellwether.

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:43 am 
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Come on, gang! Nobody else has any stories they can relate, which compare with any events (positive or negative) in the movie?

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:10 am 
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That was a really building story, about a bully apologizing after years.
Sadly the bullies back in my time (and I stink still now) are pretty much rich kids who gang up on shy, and friendless people. I was called names, laughed at and shamelessly used with no apologize neither.

If I really wanted to search similar situations to Zootopia, there's one with young Judy and Gideon. I once stood up to a girl who was agresively bullying me. She was bigger than me ("bigger" I mean she was a fat cow) so I obviously didn't with the physical showdown, but at least I showed that I'm not afraid of her and she never bothered me anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Mightybalto1925 wrote:
When I was in the 8th grade I became friends with a girl in my science class. We did all of our assignments and projects together (us working together helped improve my grades in that class), but that soon came to and end. I found out one day when I was outside during lunch that she really wasn't my friend. Another girl, who I had been friends with on and off, setup the whole thing. I never really interacted with that girl anymore, but she used that girl to keep me away from her I guess. I was quite upset when I hard that news. I managed to sneak off to a side of the school where were not allowed to go. I just sat there alone with my feelings for the remainder of lunch.

I tried to, the following school year, to interact with her, but she just ignored me and paid all of her attention to that other girl. I gave up on here and just went about my business.

^ I'm relating this to Judy and Bellwether.

I guess I can see a loose connection to the experiences Judy had with Bellwether, who was stringing her along. But that story is very good...it really cuts deep when someone plays you like that, doesn't it? You place your trust in a person only to have them stab you in the back and play you for a fool. That is very hurtful.

Troll Berserker wrote:
That was a really building story, about a bully apologizing after years.
Sadly the bullies back in my time (and I stink still now) are pretty much rich kids who gang up on shy, and friendless people. I was called names, laughed at and shamelessly used with no apologize neither.

Well, it's like I admitted in my story...to stereotype a bully as one particular thing is a mistake. But, from the perspective of a kid, it can change, based upon one's personal experiences. But in this particular bully's case, it was only a few years later...and that was what made the experience that much more profound...plus the fact that, unlike with Judy and Gideon, we weren't yet adults. So his apology really made a substantial impact upon me. I still recall it with great fondness for its vulnerability and decency. And that he totally caught me off-guard with an unexpected conversation. When he approached me, I was fully expecting quite the opposite.

Troll Berserker wrote:
If I really wanted to search similar situations to Zootopia, there's one with young Judy and Gideon. I once stood up to a girl who was agresively bullying me. She was bigger than me ("bigger" I mean she was a fat cow) so I obviously didn't with the physical showdown, but at least I showed that I'm not afraid of her and she never bothered me anymore.

Now there we go! That's a good comparison! Thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:12 pm 
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Well I can relate to it in manyyyy different ways lol.

Without getting too terribly personal here, I can say I have a lot of parallels with Judy Hopps as Ive observed and been told by others who watched the movie. These are in terms of race, gender, size and personality.
Plus I plan to be entering into a field (when I'm done with school that is ;P) that is mostly of one race and one gender. There were parts of the movie like "Bunnies can call each other cute, but...It's kinda weird when others do it." I totally laughed out loud at that part. I've been there, done that so many times I can't even count.

I know what it's like to be teased because of my "species" (as the movie calls it) and my size (I'm small lol) and my gender. Just like Judy, when faced with a problem I'd often be stubborn but try to be tactful and smart about it. I also know what it's like to be downright awful at something- but determined to pull through. I have found that determination really can make all the difference in a situation that initially seems impossible. I guess we're both pretty optimistic creatures too. Judy really made the movie for me. But it was a great movie regardless.

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:54 pm 
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Eska wrote:
Plus I plan to be entering into a field (when I'm done with school that is ;P) that is mostly of one race and one gender.

Er...I don't know of any job on the planet that is race and gender-specific in the extreme. Certainly not race-specific. That sounds rather a cause for some concern...

Eska wrote:
I know what it's like to be teased because of my "species" (as the movie calls it)..

There really is more "predator versus prey" bias in that world than species-specific prejudice (excepting maybe the overriding bias of the animal inhabitants that rabbits don't have the moxie to be police officers, and foxes are untrustworthy and cunning. Those were the only two aspects played upon in the movie. And I was kind of hoping that everyone would be a bit more specific in telling their stories, rather than on the more vague side...

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:48 pm 
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BaltoSeppala wrote:
Eska wrote:
Plus I plan to be entering into a field (when I'm done with school that is ;P) that is mostly of one race and one gender.

Er...I don't know of any job on the planet that is race and gender-specific in the extreme. Certainly not race-specific. That sounds rather a cause for some concern...

Eska wrote:
I know what it's like to be teased because of my "species" (as the movie calls it)..

There really is more "predator versus prey" bias in that world than species-specific prejudice (excepting maybe the overriding bias of the animal inhabitants that rabbits don't have the moxie to be police officers, and foxes are untrustworthy and cunning. Those were the only two aspects played upon in the movie. And I was kind of hoping that everyone would be a bit more specific in telling their stories, rather than on the more vague side...


Well, the field is dominated by one race and one gender. Yeah. That's totally a thing lol. 8 out of every 10 at least belong to the same race and gender. There are plenty of fields like that. :/
I mean, I responded to the forum how I'm gonna respond. I don't want to get too personal here.

Keep in mind, these are my personal experiences. This is what I take away from the movie, how it fits into my life and how I see things. I totally see these things. Maybe you don't, but I do. :]

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:43 am 
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Eska wrote:
Well, the field is dominated by one race and one gender. Yeah. That's totally a thing lol. 8 out of every 10 at least belong to the same race and gender. There are plenty of fields like that. :/

Not actually. It is far more balanced across the board than you are claiming in almost all cases: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm. If this is, however, about equal opportunity in the job market in the U.S., you're going to end up leading this down a road that none of us (myself included) would want to follow. However, at the last U.S. government census, respondents gave the following race statistics, which explains much in ACTUAL job numbers versus any angst over perceived inequality and discrimination in the U.S. labor industry (white and blue collar), which is currently quite illegal, and has been for decades: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762156.html. Perhaps, however, it is best that this particular tangent be dropped at this point.

Eska wrote:
I mean, I responded to the forum how I'm gonna respond. I don't want to get too personal here.

Keep in mind, these are my personal experiences. This is what I take away from the movie, how it fits into my life and how I see things. I totally see these things. Maybe you don't, but I do. :]

I'm simply pointing out, as you should have noticed from the posts above, that others were a little more specific for the sake of the terms of the topic. Which is what expected of everyone who wanted to participate. Anyone can throw a vague inference in. It is in the area of some specifics (without getting TOO personal) where a true story starts to have impact, and relate to a situation in the movie.

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm 
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BaltoSeppala wrote:
Eska wrote:
Well, the field is dominated by one race and one gender. Yeah. That's totally a thing lol. 8 out of every 10 at least belong to the same race and gender. There are plenty of fields like that. :/

Not actually. It is far more balanced across the board than you are claiming in almost all cases: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm. If this is, however, about equal opportunity in the job market in the U.S., you're going to end up leading this down a road that none of us (myself included) would want to follow. However, at the last U.S. government census, respondents gave the following race statistics, which explains much in ACTUAL job numbers versus any angst over perceived inequality and discrimination in the U.S. labor industry (white and blue collar), which is currently quite illegal, and has been for decades: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762156.html. Perhaps, however, it is best that this particular tangent be dropped at this point.

Eska wrote:
I mean, I responded to the forum how I'm gonna respond. I don't want to get too personal here.

Keep in mind, these are my personal experiences. This is what I take away from the movie, how it fits into my life and how I see things. I totally see these things. Maybe you don't, but I do. :]

I'm simply pointing out, as you should have noticed from the posts above, that others were a little more specific for the sake of the terms of the topic. Which is what expected of everyone who wanted to participate. Anyone can throw a vague inference in. It is in the area of some specifics (without getting TOO personal) where a true story starts to have impact, and relate to a situation in the movie.


It's kind of hard to talk about my personal experiences only to have someone attempt to invalidate my claims lol.

Which is why I keep them mostly to myself. It's a forum topic… I didn't think this was a place to share stories and have someone attempt to decide if they are relevant/real or not.

The issues Zootopia touched on are very real for me. But just as the movie shows us, not everyone sees them or feels the effect. :)
But I find it is usually best to empathize with others and listen to things from how they see it- as the movie also shows.

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:41 pm 
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Well, I can say that I have a couple of situations pretty similar to the ones portrayed in the film, but I gotta I say that most of my situations are pretty related to Nick's hardships. It's quite personal the story, but I can tell you that I understand pretty well Nick's attitude towards people; since I also cut ties towards the people surrounding me.

Your story was incredible by the way, Balto.


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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Cyclone Blaze wrote:
Your story was incredible by the way, Balto.

Thank you very much, Cyclone 8)

It's strange, but I can recall that day, and even the details of that conversation, better than many things that happened to me far more recently. And I think that's because it was such a seminal event in my personal history...to have someone who held such sway over me, and my fears, for so long suddenly and very unexpectedly approach me and do what he did was mind-blowing. And I swear, as God is my witness, it's entirely true! All of it! I honestly felt such a profound reaction to what he did, after being flabbergasted by it for a few minutes, that I literally felt a pressing desire to forgive him. It was almost a subconscious reaction. But I always held him in pretty high regard for taking such a self-effacing tact with me, and doing what he did. And for how profoundly the incident affected me, because of how deeply the pain of those years of bullying hurt me...and affected the course of my life.

As to your thing, with my previous statement about the topic, if you would be willing to at least provide some further details on your situation, without it getting too much into personal matters, it might make the experience more relevant to other readers. Up to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Where art imitates life...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:43 am 
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Zootopia co-director Jared Bush's response to seeing my original post on this topic...thought I'd share it (for the response as much as to show that I am working hard to share Zootopia Source generally with the production team and even the actors, in hopes that they'll occasionally come by and have a look around...even if only as unregistered guests)...


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