From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery. Bring home this hilarious adventure full of action, heart and tons of bonus extras that take you deeper into the world of Zootopia. It’s big fun for all shapes and species!
1080p, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
2016, Rated PG, 1 hour, 48 minutes
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Directed by: Bryon Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
When I first saw previews for Zootopia last year, I thought, “Looks cute – will probably be ok, but great for the kids”. Turns out it was GREAT for adults too! Set in an anthropomorphic world, which, unlike other Disney movies, is purposefully self-aware of this fact, the film centers around Judy Hopps, a young female bunny looking to become not only the first bunny cop, but also the best cop period. Interestingly enough, as she tries to break these barriers, she succumbs to (and indeed, exacerbates) that very problem in Zootopia, but more on that later.
Judy graduates from police academy with flying colors, and moves to active parking duty. Not satisfied with that role, she takes it upon herself to find out what has happened to a number of missing animals. Enlisting the help of con-man (or fox as it were) Nick Wilde, she quickly uncovers an apparent plot by the mayor who has been aware of the animals being kept outside of town in de facto “medical” lock up after having gone “savage”. In the following press conference, an unprepared Judy declares that all of the affected animals are predators, and that something in their biology was causing or contributing to their reversion to “savage-ness”. Of course, this harkens to a multitude of examples in our own history where biology is used as a justification for discrimination and segregation, which brings us to the lesson of the film. After being abruptly removed from the podium she happily bounds over to Nick and asks how she did, only to find that he is mortified by the racist ideas she set forth. Only then does it occur to her how wrong those ideas are.
Now that the audience is aware of this theme, the story takes hold, as Judy first needs to win back Nick’s trust, and then needs his help to uncover the real truth behind the savage affliction affecting the animals. Without giving too much more away, I can say that as any good Disney movie does, it resolves itself both expectedly as well as satisfactorily – not only do we get a fantastic story, we get a good old fashioned lesson in humanity (from animals no less).
Following on the heels of the wildly successful Frozen and Big Hero 6, Zootopia definitely exceeded my expectations. As I mentioned at the top, I was expecting a good, but ultimately child-targeted film that would not interest me for more than a single viewing. I was dead wrong. I exited the film the first time already wanting to see it again, and when I had the opportunity to review it in my home, I jumped at it. The racism lesson is pretty overt, and in some ways, vastly simplified, but that is not a bad thing for this film. It gets across the message on a level to which both kids and adults can relate. Even if the racism message is lost on the younger generation, the theme of breaking boundaries and trying to exceed your limitations is there.
Along with the thematic goodness here, the standard movie components are also excellent. The voice acting is fantastic, the dialog offers great character interaction and some genuinely “laugh-out-loud” moments. My favorite of these included the scene at the DMV with our friend Flash the Sloth and the scenes with the Godfather-like “Mr. Big”. Visually the scenery and computer imagery is gorgeous as one would expect from Disney. I especially loved the Rainforest setting and its foreboding darkness. I always marvel at how far the detail has come for characters’ facial expressions and movements since the days of Toy Story, and it is even more amazing with animal characters that have fur, whiskers, and other small details. The soundtrack is excellent as well – solid use of all channels in the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Check out the scene when they plummet into the water – excellent surround from the rushing falls.
The review package included the Blu-Ray, Digital, and DVD copies. Normally I would gravitate towards the 3D version when available, but in this case I stuck with the 2D version. Having seen the 3D version in the theaters, I can say that no quality is lost by viewing it in 2D.
- Zoology: The Roundtables
- The Origin Of An Animal
- Research: A True-Life Adventure
- Z.P.D. Forensic Files
- Deleted Characters
- Deleted Scenes
- “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira