Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Zootopia: Puns. Animal Puns Everywhere

The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it's a melting pot where animals from every environment live together-a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn't so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia," a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard ("Tangled," "Bolt") and Rich Moore ("Wreck-It Ralph," "The Simpsons") and co-directed by Jared Bush ("Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero"), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016. Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin), the very first bunny on Zootopia's police force, jumps at the opportunity to crack her first case-even if it means partnering with fast-talking, scam-artist fox Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman) to solve the mystery.
Disney is honestly one of the best in making films that are fun children's movies on the surface, but contain deeper subtle messages that make them potentially enjoyable for all ages. Zootopia follows in the vein of Inside Out, where the underlying themes are very relevant to today's political environment- particularly racism and sexism and stereotyping.

Judy Hopps is an aspiring police officer- but there's a problem. She's a bunny. A bunny in a police force full of traditionally "predator" animals. I'm sure you can see where the parallels are already. There is further conflict later in the film with "predators" and "prey" being suspicious of one another and the "prey" animals saying all the "predators" are dangerous and that something needs to be done so everyone can feel safe, and again, I'm sure you can see the parallels.

Of course, the subtle themes aren't the only drawing factor of the film. Zootopia is also genuinely funny- the number of times I laughed in the movie was fantastic. There's this one scene involving sloths and it's the most excruciatingly hilarious scene I've come across in some time. Sections of the scene are in the trailer at the end of the post, and from that you'll probably see why it's both excruciating and funny.

And the animation is so gorgeous! I mean, just look at Nick's fur. Such a pretty colour, and the way they animate effects like the wind blowing or shadows on the fur is just incredible. And look at that tail! Sah fluffy! To be honest, foxes are my favourite. And the sort of snarky, sneaky character like Nick is also my favourite. Just can't go wrong with a sneaky fox. (Sidenote: if they did a 3D version of The Fox and the Hound I would definitely not complain).

I'm not going to say too much about the plot, because I feel like it would be good to go in relatively blind (as I did). Makes the jokes much funnier. The plot itself is a classic Disney plot though, with you either being able to guess the villain outright, or you might be surprised, depending on how much you pick up while watching the film.

I'll leave the trailer below for you to enjoy- this one has no spoilers and is more of a concept trailer. Very safe to watch even if you don't like spoilers at all!

And this trailer is the one with the sloth scene. Maybe don't watch it if you don't like jokes being spoiled.

Zootopia will be released in Australia on the 17th of March.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Animation: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cast: 5/5

Thank you very much to Natasha Louise Enterprises for inviting me to an advanced screening of Zootopia!