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Learn more about the song "How It Is" from Zootopia the (Unofficial) Musical

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Transcript

The song you're hearing is the song you're reading! I wanted this song to have an upbeat ragtime feel to it, so I used the piano setting of Garage Band to record the instrumental portions (and the drum setting for additional musical elements).

And, yes, at one point you can hear my cat in this version of the recording. She just wanted to help.

Some of the stereotypes in this song are later shown to be somewhat true or entirely false. For example, the elephant Nangi has a hard time remembering, but the sloths are slow (when they aren't exceeding the speed limit on the streets).

Nick Wilde is playing devil's advocate for the philosophy he has come to accept as reality, even though it negatively affects his life. This is the starting point of his character arc, during which he will gain the confidence to advocate for himself.

Oh, the irony, Judy. She is right, of course--believing in stereotypes is small-minded, but she is naive to believe you can simply ignore them and it will solve all of society's problems when they have become systemic issues.

Judy does not want to admit that Nick is right about her parents adhering to the prolific rabbit stereotype.

"If you wanna live in the big city, you gotta learn quick" suggests that adhering to stereotypes is a matter of survival, an idea that later resurfaces in the Act Two song "Survive."

"You don't make the rules, that's just how it is" communicates Nick's defeatist attitude about how stereotypes affect him.

"Sheep have herd mentality" is a minor reference to the play's villain and how she carries out her plan to attain power.

I struggled to find stereotypes, phrases, or adjectives associated with specific animals, and furthermore to find rhymes for some of them, which may be evident here.

I struggled to find instances where animals directly defy their stereotypes, and only came with pigs and rats being relatively clean animals.

This line is an homage to the iconic line from the film "It's called a hustle, sweetheart," which appears nowhere in the play.

"Anteaters, well, love ants" is the finest example of my struggle to find mammal stereotypes. However, I wanted the audience to side with Judy on the matter of stereotyping, so it was not disastrous for Nick to also struggle.

In the film, Nick calls Judy a "dumb bunny," but I preferred the insult "harebrained," which has the same meaning.

Sowing the seed of the enemies-to-friends storyline.

The reason why "It's called a hustle, sweetheart" is absent from the play is because this riff has the same meaning, and there was no use saying the same thing twice.