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Zootropolis | With nods to Chinatown & The Godfather, Disney's furry film noir is a winner

Zootropolis Shakira
SUPERSTAR ? Revered worldwide by herds of fans, Zootopia's biggest pop star Gazelle is a socially conscious celebrity with equal parts talent and heart. Shakira lends her Grammy?-winning voice to the phenom. Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ?2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

A bunny cop and a con-artist fox team up to solve a mystery in Disney's animated comedy Zootropolis, a furry film noir to delight young and old.

 

SUPERSTAR ? Revered worldwide by herds of fans, Zootopia's biggest pop star Gazelle is a socially conscious celebrity with equal parts talent and heart. Shakira lends her Grammy?-winning voice to the phenom. Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia" opens in U.S. theaters on March 4, 2016. ?2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved. (Image credit: null)

Cute and clever in equal measure, Disney's Zootropolis is an animated movie to gladden kids and adults alike. The setting supplies the cuteness, an exuberantly anthropomorphic world populated by animals of every stripe, who walk on their hind legs, wear clothes and display all too recognisably human traits. The cleverness comes from a script that combines sight gags, satire and a cunning mystery plot with some wholesome moral lessons about prejudice and diversity.

Bright-eyed and cotton-tailed, rabbit heroine Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is the city of Zootropolis’s first bunny cop. Set on solving a series of puzzling disappearances among the city’s residents, she cajoles con-artist fox Nick Wilde (a slyly funny Jason Bateman proving an ideal foil for Goodwin’s perky zeal) into helping her.

Film noir aficionados will love the way the film sets up and solves this mystery. Yet unlike the knowingly grown-up jokes that are sometimes inserted into other animated movies, the crafty nods to Chinatown and The Godfather feel totally fitting here. And the vivid characters and lively action means that even when younger viewers miss the references they’re not excluded from the fun.

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Certificate PG. Runtime 108 mins. Directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Zootropolis is available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22oo4gOZrIo

Blu-ray & Digitial Download extras:

  • Zoology: The Roundtables – Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more.
  • The Origin of an Animal Tale – Follow the story’s development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down.
  • Research: A True-Life Adventure – The filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootropolis.
  • Z.P.D. Forensic Files – Find the movie’s hidden Easter Eggs.
  • Scoretopia –  Composer Michael Giacchino spotlights five of cinema’s greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his score.
  • Deleted Characters – Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootropolis who did not make the final cut.
  • Deleted Scenes:
  • Alternate Opening
  • Wild Times! Pitch
  • Alternate Homesick Hopps
  • Detective Work
  • Alternate Jumbo Pop
  • Hopps’ Apartment
  • The Taming Party
  • “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.