As the 55th animated Disney film, Zootropolis has some big footsteps to follow and thankfully it does not disappoint. It delivers an action-packed neo-noir comedy onto our cinema screens, with a musical hit by Shakira to boot. Hooked yet? You will be.
The film follows small-town bunny Judy Hops moving to the diverse animal city Zootropolis to pursue her dream of becoming the first rabbit police officer. The film explores the big issues of segregation and prejudices that still plague our society, through a classic detective case of a missing otter and six other mammalian counterparts. Judy unravels these crimes by pushing aside societal expectations and joining forces with street-wise Nick Wilde, a fox hustler.
Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore skillfully transfer these human flaws into the animal kingdom. This is achieved with the intelligence and skill of script writer and co-director Jared Bush. We see hamsters transported through colourful tube systems, mice squeaking through shopping malls and bunnies confined to carrot farming.
The animation team surpass expectations with the fantastic personification of each animal’s characteristics and personality. This skill is mirrored by the cast, who inject their voices with the stereotypes we hold within the animal kingdom. Ginnifer Goodwin, who voices protagonist Judy Paws, electrifies her scenes with the palpable enthusiasm and speed which we associate with the rabbit family. Her partner in crime, Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, perfectly embodies a wily fox by delivering his lines with the dry cynicism that saw him succeed in Arrested Development, and Idris Elba encapsulates the bullish and brutish qualities of the Cape buffalo, Chief Bogo.
Disney’s animated films have moved past their days as a guilty pleasure for adults too embarrassed to admit to watching their childhood favourites, and Zootropolis firmly confirms this new status. It is full of jokes for the adults in the audience, like the rapidly multiplying population of bunny town and a DMV office staffed entirely by sloths.
From its early days, Disney has provided classics that immortalize our childhoods and the most recent addition to the franchise is set to continue this legacy.
Zootropolis is released nationwide on March 25th 2016.
Watch the trailer for Zootropolis here: