Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Zootropolis (2016)


Jungle Boogie

Director: Byron Howard & Rich Moore
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K Simmons, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Alan Tudyk

Film titles can be a curious thing. The initial belief is that the title would remain the same worldwide, yet numerous films have theirs changed, in an effort to help the picture sell well in other countries. It can be somewhat understandable for some pictures, such as Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, where the US only restaurant was changed to a popular term related to the use of marijuana. Then there's the less obvious films, where the title change seems to be utterly needless. One of the latest examples is the latest Disney release, which got retitled Zootropolis for some European countries.

Leading the film is Judy Hopps, a determined young bunny who has achieved her childhood dream of serving as a police officer, in the mammal metropolis named Zootopia Zootropolis. The first rabbit officer, in fact, achieved in spite of preconceived notions and limitations unfortunately set upon her. Her refusal to accept them is met head-on, as her hard-working attitude and spirit deliver a drive to prove herself amongst a department full of predators, through attempting to solve a missing persons case.

Yet she isn't an infallible figure, proving as susceptible to mistakes as anybody while trying to be helpful, but never loses sight of her priority: to help the citizens. All this adds up to an utterly lovable character in Judy, gorgeously brought to life by Ginnifer Goodwin.

To help with the case, Judy coerces the help of con artist Nick Wilde, a wily fox who carries a heart of gold, despite the tough demeanour he puts up to combat the prejudices of the world. The ever dependable Jason Bateman breaths life into his character, bringing more than just snarky remarks (though he delivers those extremely well), while sharing wonderful chemistry with Goodwin.

Are you a rabbit? If not, then don't call her cute.

Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore manage to deliver a well realized environment, realistically adhering to assortment of visually appealing creatures which populate this world. Genuine laughs are also delivered for all ages, with one scene set at a sloth run DMV serving as a riotous high point.

But the real surprise lies in Jared Bush and Phil Johnston's screenplay, which makes a successful attempt in tackling themes of sexism, prejudice, and how they can affect our views of people. In a world where Norm of the North attempts to get by through making a plot point out of twerking, it's refreshing to see an animated picture tackle a relevant and adult topic in a manner so effective,

As Disney's string of released hits continues, it remains hard to believe the studio were struggling to get a hit out a decade ago. But the Disney Revival era continues, with a heartfelt tale that delivers a thoughtful message bearing relevant commentary, spearheaded by utterly lovable characters. Plus, it's pretty darn funny. In short, Zootropolis is another Disney hit.

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