Posted Mar 29 2016

Zootropolis - This Movie Anthropomorphically Rocks

Dir: Byron Howard & Rich Moore

Strring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, JK Simmons, Bonnie Hunt, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate

Disney’s latest – which has already proved almost ridiculously successful – is a smart, funny, beautifully animated tale of a town where all animals co-exist in something approaching harmony. A Zootopia almost – if they hadn’t weirdly retitled it for certain territories. It’s a world where bunnies become cops, foxes are misunderstood, predators have learned not to prey on their prey and Idris Elba is a buffalo.

Into this comes Goodwin’s winsome rabbit Judy Hopps, the eternal Disney idealist, who realises her dream of becoming a police officer, only to find herself caught up – alongside traditionally untrustworthy fox (Bateman’s Nick Wilde) - in a tale of big city corruption that curiously echoes LA Confidential.

It is, for the most part, quite delightful, occasionally bordering on brilliant. Strong on character, with great vocal work (except for Elba, who really does sound like he’s reading everything for the first time and hasn’t quite got the right take on it yet.) The script is smart and designed for the whole family, with twists and turns that aren’t obviously signposted but make sense within the context of its own world, with gags that are both verbal and visual – check out how the town works for animals of different sizes.

Under John Lasseter’s ongoing supervision, and under the direction of the people who brought us Tangled and Wreck It Ralph, this is Disney for the modern age, edged with a touch of timelessness. And suffused with an unexpectedly winning contemporary treatise on the nature of tolerance.

It’s hugely entertaining and whilst not “classic” Disney, it’s certainly “really good” Disney. (With good sloth jokes.)


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