Furries have been speculating that Disney's latest animated movie, Zootopia, is tailor-made for them. And apparently they're not wrong. BuzzFeed News has obtained an email that a marketing agency working with Disney sent to the furry Meetup group Furlife, encouraging furries to post photos of themselves in fursuits to Twitter and Instagram with the movie hashtag, even offering posters or movie swag to those who do.
It's easy to see why Zootopia — which is set in what's basically the human world but with animals wearing clothes and doing human jobs — would be appealing to furries. The plot centers around a female rabbit rookie cop who teams up with a wily male fox con artist (confox?) to solve a big crime together. The fox character is a near doppelganger of the fox from Disney's animated Robin Hood, which has been hugely popular in the furry community, both as something they relate to and also want to yiff with (have sex with).
And so here we find ourselves at the nexus of the two truest internet axioms: "furries ruin everything" and "if it exists, there's porn of it" (aka Rule 34). Furries themselves are the first to claim they ruin everything, sort of an in-group joke. And indeed, there are already furry artists at work drawing the female rabbit character in the nude (link NSFW for a nude rabbit with human breasts and vagina).
But as much as they might joke among themselves for being deviants, furries are...kind of normal. They just want to have a good time, and just like any other underrepresented group, when a movie that seems to appeal to them comes around, they're excited. Some of their Meetup groups are planning group outings to the movie on opening night, and the reality is whatever kids happen to be there will get a kick out of it, and it's not like they're going to be ruthlessly cranking off in the theatre.
In the case of Zootopia, furries' bad rap is undeserved. It might seem like furries are just so twisted that they've adopted an innocent children's movie for their own sick gratification. But in reality, Disney purposely is being a knot-tease.
Here is the email sent by Allied Integrated Media, a digital marketing company contracted by Disney, to a furry Meetup group:
The screenshot is a little hard to read, but it says:
My name is [name redacted] and I am representing Walt Disney Studios. Our next film being released is ZOOTOPIA and it is about a world inhabited by animals all living in peace together. The pictures of the members of your group all looking like animals are incredible and align perfectly with the film. All of you could live peacefully in Zootopia. It would be great for you all to share these photos on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. You can take new photos of each other and share these new photos online using the hashtags #Zootopia and #ZooU. You can be representing ZOOTOPIA and the participants can receive film based items such as the poster and rabbit or fox crowns. This can be a lot of fun and your group seems perfect to participate. If you are interested start posting the photos today and email me at email@example.com. Thanks!
A representative for Allied had no comment. Disney did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
There's a lot of speculation that people involved with the movie know about furries and made certain scenes just for them.
There is some merit to that! This is a Disney animator, asking for selfies in costume:
Another Disney animator favorited a furry's tweets speculating that they knew it would appeal to furries.
There are of course the theories that Disney is trying to cash in on adult fans.
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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