Film Review: Zootropolis

ZOOTOPIA

Disney’s latest Zootropolis is an incredibly enjoyable animation. The film blends mystery with adventure for a most entertaining ride.

Bunny Judy Hopps has always aspired to be a police officer. When she graduates from the academy, Judy starts her dream job on the Zootropolis police force. Initially disheartened by her first assignment, Judy must work with a con artist fox to get to the bottom of a case…

Disney alums Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush direct Zootropolis. The film is a typical Disney picture in many ways, with its blend of comedy and adventure, its unlikely friendships, and its messaging. What makes the film so entertaining is how well the directors manage to execute these different facets.

The narrative of Zootropolis is engaging throughout. The film functions on a number of levels. Firstly, it is the story of a determined bunny who must overcome obstacles in order to achieve her goals. Secondly, it is the story of an unlikely friendship which requires characters to let go of their prejudices. Finally, and most interestingly, the film features a mystery – the case that Judy works on – that runs through most of the film. Although a few aspects are a little predictable, this mystery functions successfully to hold the audience’s attention.

Humour in Zootropolis works very well. There are several humorous sequences, as well as references to appeal to older viewers. The premise of the film is just as appealing; the imaginative city is filled with wonderful sights and events. The message of the film is abundantly clear. Like a fairy tale, allegory is used to send a clear message about acceptance and the harm of stereotyping.

Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman are well cast as the voices of Judy and Nick. Idris Elba does a decent job, and Shakira’s song has a good message, even if it is dripping with schmaltz.

Zootropolis should delight children, as well as enchanting older viewers. Highly recommended viewing.

Trailer Round-Up

Trailers this week come in the form of Wreck-It Ralph, Django Unchained and The Great Gatsby. Additionally, I have included a music video from Rock of Ages, just because.

Wreck-It Ralph

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph appears to be Toy Story but for video games. The tropes of that hugely successfully franchise are apparent in the first trailer for Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Rich Moore. The film looks like it will satisfy a family audience, whilst also referencing video games heavily. Wreck-It Ralph is due for release in February 2013.

Django Unchained

The trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained, was released this week. Tarantino has jumped from Nazis to slave owners, with Jamie Foxx playing a slave seeking vengeance and searching for his wife. Leonardo DiCaprio also stars in the film, alongside Tarantino-collaborator Christoph Waltz. Django Unchained will be released in the UK on 18 January 2013.

The Great Gatsby

 This trailer has been knocking about for a while, but I thought I would post it to make a Leonardo DiCaprio double bill. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was never going to be traditional. The novel has many avid fans, and if they can take it as a reinterpretation of Fitzgerald’s classic rather than a straightforward adaptation, then it looks like a lot of fun. The Great Gatsby is due for release in 3D on 26th December 2012.

Rock of Ages

The film version of musical Rock of Ages is out on 13th June 2012. I am seeing it today, and I cannot wait. To get everyone in the mood for the film (well me at least), I thought I would post a music video from Rock of Ages, a cover of the Journey classic ‘Any Way You Want It’. Enjoy!