By the time the first teaser was released for Zootopia, Jason Bateman has already been cast as the sly con artist fox Nick Wilde, and Ginnifer Goodwin as the by-the-book rookie police officer Judy Hopps. During the animation portion of this year’s D23 Expo, it was announced that Shakira would be voicing Gazelle, the biggest pop star in Zootopia.
Now with about five months left until the release of Disney’s latest anthropomorphic film, the studio has announced the newest voice talent to sign on. From Academy Award winners like J.K. Simmons and Octavia Spencer to the the hilarious Alan Tudyk and Tommy Chong. Find out who they will be playing, and who else will be joining the cast here below.
Here are the official actors that have been added to the voice cast, and their character descriptions. We also have an image gallery of these new characters here below.
Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) voices Mayor Leodore Lionheart, the noble leader of Zootopia, who coined the city’s phrase. “In Zootopia, anyone can be anything.”
Bryon Howard (Tangled, Bolt) said “J.K. is so commanding. We needed Lionheart to be a very typical politician. He’s very good with the crowd, he has a lot of charisma. And he’s so full of himself and blustery.”
Idris Elba provides the voice of Chief Bogo, head of the Zootopia Police Department.
Jenny Slate voices Assistant Mayor Bellwether, a sweet sheep with a little voice and a lot of wool.
Co-director Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) praised Slate’s “crazy, kinetic energy” and said she was perfect for the role.
Octavia Spencer voices Mrs. Otterton, who asks the Zootopia PD to find her missing otter husband.
Alan Tudyk (Frozen, Big Hero 6) voices Duke Weaselton, a small-time weasel crook with a big-time mouth.
If you think you have heard of that name before, it is because you have. Howard said the meta-joke was Tudyk’s idea. He voiced the Duke of Weselton in Frozen.
The towering 6’5″ Tommy Lister ironically voices the tiny fox Finnick, Nick Wilde’s partner in crime.
According to Howard, part of the reason for his casting was because of his size, and that his “huge, booming voice” surprises people.
Bonnie Hunt voices Bonnie Hopps, Judy’s mother, while Don Lake voices Judy’s father, Stu Hopps, a carrot farmer from Bunnyburrow.
It’s rare to see the voice cast record together, mostly because of the talent’s schedules. However, Moore got Hunt and Lake to record together. According to him, “It sells this idea of a couple married for so long who have 275 rabbit children.”
Up In Smoke‘s Tommy Chong voices Yax the Yak, the most enlightened, laid-back bovine in Zootopia.
Howard commented on how “Yax is into a naturalist lifestyle, holistic living and getting back to nature.” Moore said he would want to have Chong as his life coach.
Raymond Persi voices Flash, the fastest sloth working at Zootopia’s DMV — the Department of Mammal Vehicles.
Persi actually is a story artist over at Disney, who performed early voice tests for the role.
You can find out more about the supporting cast, and what the directors had to say over at USA Today.
Zootopia opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.