Disney is in a really good spot in terms of animation. Not only do they have the absolute best animation studio on the planet (PIXAR), but they also have their own in house studio that has been cranking out some absolutely stellar films over the last few years. Think Frozen, Wreck It Ralph, and Tangled. With a catalog like that, there’s a lot of expectation going forward, and Zootopia meets those expectations. Let’s take a closer look.
The Movie (4.5/5)
Zootopia follows the story of Judy Hopps, an aspiring police officer, who happens to be a rabbit. You see, in the great city of Zootopia, animals of all types live together in relative harmony. Both prey and predator alike can be found in the major districts, all going about their daily lives. In this world, anyone can be anything, but no rabbit has ever been a police officer.
Thankfully, Judy has the willpower and drive to become the very first to reach the ranks. The only problem is that the grumpy police chief has decided to place her on parking enforcement duty. However, fate has other plans for her, in the form of several missing mammals that the department have failed to find. But to find them, she will have to rely on the help of the most unlikely of matches – a sly fox!
This unlikely duo is the core of Zootopia. Watching our bunny and fox leads interact with each other and overcome their own prejudices (because bunnies dislike foxes, don’t you know) works really well here, which is a testament to both the writing and storytelling. Be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged at.
Zootopia features an all star cast of voices including Idris Elba and Jason Bateman; this movie is an absolute joy for all ages. It has a great moral and story for the young ones while still packing the laughs and easter eggs to keep adults engaged. As always, Disney has found just the right formula here to bring these animals to life and make them feel so – human – for lack of a better word.
The Picture 5/5
It’s almost not fair to give a score on CG animated films on blu-ray, as they always look stunning. Zootopia is, of course, not an exception here. The vibrant colors and dark darks are on par with the best that the format has to offer. What can be noted here is that the technology behind the CG is getting more and more lifelike. Each animal has fur made up of hundreds of thousands (to millions) of individual strands of hair. The level of stylized realism is just impressive, to say the least. Also, I will say that this film has some of the most gorgeous rain sequences in any animation that I’ve seen. You really have to see it to believe it.
For those with 3D televisions, this release is perfectly adequate. There isn’t much use of the 3D stage in this presentation, but there is a greater sense of scale present when you are viewing in 3D. Children will have a blast seeing their favorite characters pop off of the screen, but overall there was no feeling of purpose to this being given the treatment, apart from maybe checking something off on a list.
The Sound 5/5
Featuring a DTS Master Audio 7.1 channel audio track, this film sounds fantastic all the way through. Sound design was well thought out, and there is a good use of the sound stage. A sense of scale, which is important to the film, is realized through great sound decisions, and the ambient city sounds will further bring you into this world of mixed scale.
The Features & Packaging 4/5
This 3D blu-ray comes in a nice looking silver slipcover with a lenticular on the front. Inside, there is a single sided sleeve with plain white on the inside. There are three discs, all featuring plain coloring with white text that displays the movie title and some various standard information. The two blu-ray discs are blue, and the DVD is white.
Also included are two slips of paper, one including digital code and Disney Rewards code, while the other is an invitation to join the Disney Movie Club. While this is not by any means exciting packaging, it is attractive, and the lenticular stands out as a nice addition.
There are a handful of extra features on the disc, including several short featurettes on different aspects of making the film. These range up to about ten minutes in length and are informative and fun. These almost feel like they are targeted for younger viewers to show them the process of making a movie.
Also included are some deleted scenes (in fact, there are a great deal, due to the fact that the entire story changed during creation). However, the most interesting feature is an Easter Egg hunt where they break down all of the small little references throughout the film and give more details about them. This was an especially welcome addition and was really interesting to watch.
The Verdict 5/5
Zootopia is an absolute blast from start to finish. It had me in tears laughing at points, and almost hit me with tears of sadness as well (not quite though). Disney has firmly proven that it’s not just Pixar that makes them great, they are fully capable of big things on their own as well. This one is highly recommended.