Tony's Take

Zootopia

Zootopia posterWelcome to Zootopia!

In Disney’s latest animated film, “Zootopia”, we are transported to a World that is inhabited entirely by animals.  Zootopia is split-up into many different zones (Bunnyburrow, Savanna Central, Sahara Square, Tundratown, Little Rodentia, and the Rainforest District) which act as separate climates to in-habit various species of animals.  Zootopia is also made-up of both predator and prey, living in harmony.  The film follows a smart and determined bunny named Judy Hopps as she is focused-on becoming the first ever bunny ZPD officer.  After graduating from the ZPD academy, she is assigned her first role: meter maid.  Although she is unhappy, she is determined to do her job in the best possible manner.  Along the way she discovers a sly and deceitful fox named Nick, who she accidentally befriends.  After discovering he could be a big help in helping her solve a missing person’s (Otter) case and why some of the animals are starting to go crazy, she blackmails him into becoming a deputy so she can save the day!  The rest of the film follow’s Judy and Nick’s pursuit as they blossom-into an unlikely friendship.

Judy Hopps is the bunny voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin.  Jason Bateman voices Judy’s fox friend and deputy, Nick Wilde.  Idris Elba voices Judy’s no-nonsense Cape buffalo Police Chief, Chief Bogo.  Jenny Slate voices Deputy Mayor Dawn Bellwether, who’s a sheep.  J.K. Simmons is the voice of Zootopia’s lion mayor, Mayor Leodore Lionheart.  Nate Torrence voices ZPD’s larger dispatcher, a cheetah named Officer Benjamin Clawhauser.  Shakira voices the most famous pop star in Zootopia, Gazelle.  Tommy Chong voices an interesting naturist club owning yak named Yax.  Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake voice Judy’s carrot farming parents, Bonnie and Stu.  Maurice LaMarche voices Mr. Big, the boss of crime.  Tom Lister, Jr. voices Nick’s partner-in-crime, Finnick.  Octavia Spencer voices the wife of the missing otter, Mrs. Otterton.  Alan Tudyk has a small role as a little weasel crook named Duke Weaselton.  Mark Smith, Raymond S. Persi, Katie Lowes, Jesse Corti, John DiMaggio, Peter Mansbridge, Leah Latham, and Kristen Bell all have small voice roles as well.

“Zootopia” brilliantly manages to combine beautiful imagery and a colorful cast of characters with current issues that plague our society to deliver one of Disney’s most important and meaningful films yet!  First of all, the cast of “Zootopia” is key and they do not disappoint.  Ranging from the main cast (Goodwin, Bateman, Slate, Simmons, and Elba) to the smaller cast, each animal was well-casted and they each bring their own intriguing element to the film.  While Disney’s previous animated films are beautiful, the animation in “Zootopia” is absolutely breathtaking, whether it’s the main scenery or the background details, it truly is stunning.  The characters are absolutely adorable, which helps bring connection and empathy for the characters.  Disney has also managed to build itself a beautiful story; one that audiences of all ages will connect-with and enjoy.  In typical Disney fashion, “Zootopia” brings-up issues of race and equality throughout, teaching kids to be tolerant and to love all, but the film does so by comparing animals that are predators and prey, and how they can change.  It is a brilliant message that all children should be taught, and the film does so without seeming preachy or over-the-top.  Not to mention the countless number of hidden easter eggs and pop culture references throughout (there’s a great “Breaking Bad” one!).  It’s a shame these issues still plague our society, but Disney hopes that teaching children the right values but instilling it in their entertainment is a beautiful place to start.  “Zootopia” has a run time of 108 minutes and it never drags on, however it leaves you wanting more.  Disney has certainly created a winning environment with “Zootopia” and I personally cannot wait until we see these characters again!  The film also uses a very cool and original idea for its end credits, one you don’t want to miss!

“Zootopia” is the latest entry in the Disney animation canon, and quite possibly one of its most important.  The film features some cute and funny characters, gorgeous animation, and a story for all to enjoy.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, go see “Zootopia”!!

clapbrd-004a-2576047clapbrd-004a-2576047clapbrd-004a-2576047clapbrd-004a-2576047clapbrd-004a-2576047 5/5

ZOOTOPIA is rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action, in theaters now!

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