Our drive began before the sunrise. After an intense flurry of hasty arranging late Friday night. The destination: LA. The reason: to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Zootopia with Rich Moore and Nate Torrence.
Rich tweeted the invite on Friday evening to join them at The Big Donut (actually Randy’s Donuts, the donut shop that inspired the design for The Big Donut shop in Little Rodentia) for a brief bout of festivities Saturday morning. Brief it was, for when we got there (nary an hour after it was to begin) it was pretty much all over: the live Facebook Q&A was finished, the giveaways were done, and most people were leaving.
But the main reason I wanted to go was to meet Rich, and that turned out more than splendidly.
Joining Rich and Nate was Clark Spencer, the producer. It was a total delight. They are all absolutely wonderful people, and really approachable. I had fun and great conversations with them all. Most exciting and special for me was to gave Rich a framed copy of my postcard of gratitude that I’d made for the Zootopia team last year, and to express, in person, to both him and Clark my acknowledgement and appreciation for the film and all the work they put into it. I also got to give a nice hug to each of them.
The rest of the crew were extra nice too, and they very generously gifted me one of the “cast only” shirts and got Rich and Clark to sign it for me! I love Rich’s little bunny face…
Besides being all dressed up, Randy’s Donuts were also giving away free (before you even ordered!) “The Big Donut” donuts. They looked very tasty… (Curse you gluten, my kryptonite!)
It was brief, but it was awesome. A perfect way to celebrate a movie that has been so momentous for me (and for millions of others). I’m still giddy about it. To get a chance to interact with the creators and express how moving the film is and share even a smiggen of what I’ve professed was very exciting and fulfilling. A day I will long remember.
Rest of our day was spent at the Getty Villa (also drove along Highway 1 to get there, and saw the infamous Santa Monica Beach along with a catching a glimpse of interesting and modern beach houses in passing) and eating some delicious food. And, of course, the big drive back, returning long after the sun was, once again, over the horizon. (Actually it was the next day by the time we arrived home… been kinda tired today, understandably…)