Hit-or-Miss Movie Predictions: Zootopia

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Welcome back to Hit-or-Miss Movie Predictions. This is a series of first impression articles covering the newest trailers on animated films, and breaking down the good or bad that the trailer offers.

Disney has been on a streak of critically acclaimed movies over the past seven years now. Sure, some were more well received than others, but overall, they were good movies. It’s interesting to see that their next film, Zootopia, does take a few more risks than past films. First off, it’s one of the very, and I mean very few Disney animated films that use humanoid animals, the other two being Robin Hood and Chicken Little. Anyway, if you want to see the trailer for yourself, I will make sure to hyperlink it here. Now then, let’s break down the impressions.

 

Animation/Art Direction

I mean, this is Disney after all, you shouldn’t expect anything but great animation, with visually pleasing worlds and expressive characters. Like I said above, it’s interesting to see Disney do another film with human-like animals like in Robin Hood. It all looks fantastic. I also love the little visual jokes, like the hippos playing volleyball with giraffes, or the rhino cop fist-bumping the little bunny cop, and how the fist literally pushes her. It’s a film that was allowed to be creative and open-minded with its designs and world.

 

Humor

Unlike the humor you see in that piece of garbage Norm of the North, Zootopia seems to love its satirical take on society, and has a lot of visual gags with the animals they chose use. I already listed the volleyball match above, but it seems like a film that has jokes in the foreground, and in the background. Some jokes were predictable like “MR. Big” is actually a tiny animal, but most of the jokes and gags seen in the trailer and clips made me smile.

 

Story

Ginnifer Goodwin plays Officer Judy Hopps, a newly hired cop in the city of Zootopia, a city where prey and predators live together in peace. However, not everything is as peaceful as everyone thinks. An incident is causing certain predators to go crazy. While trying to solve this case, she teams up with a foxy con man named Nick Wilde, voiced by Jason Bateman. Can they solve the crime and save Zootopia?

 

Casting

Personally, I like the casting. Disney and Pixar always seem to get casts that fit the characters, and not just pick the biggest celebrities right now because they have the most buzz or are super popular. Zootopia’s cast includes Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, John DiMaggio, Nate Torrence, Jenny Slate, Mark “Rhino” Smith, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Maurice LaMarche, and many more. I think the only one that stands out as “ we got her on name value alone”  is Shakira, who plays Gazelle, a pop star that is famous in the city of Zootopia. Kind of feels like they missed an opportunity in making her an animal based on her name, like a shark and calling her Sharkira. I guess I’ m slowly growing to say bad puns and dad jokes.

 

Any concerns?

For as much as I like the moral of the story that they are advertising, “don’t stop and keep on pushing no matter what”, I am concerned this film will be predictable. We have seen these kind of buddy cop comedy films before, and while I still want to see the movie, I don’t want to go through the film already knowing when something is about to happen. I wonder if Disney will put any creative spins on the overall film and tropes that are in this feature.

 

Prediction: Hit!

If this was Disney in the mid 2000s, I would have been more cautious, but since this is current Disney, and their past few movies have been great, I have no doubt that this will be a good, if not simply entertaining movie. It seems to take advantage of its set-up and how all the characters are animals. We will have to see next month if this film will be successful. I hope it is, since I want to see Disney do more than just princess films. Not that their other upcoming film, Moana doesn’t look amazing, but Zootopia seems like an interesting film, which I guess was probably greenlit due to how much money Disney made from Frozen. Still, I hope Zootopia is good!

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