Zootropolis (Zootopia), an idyllic city where we get to watch a detective story play out. A story of corruption and betrayal in a city of anthropomorphic animals, and where life mirrors the daily struggle we are all accustom to.
Zootropolis is another of those Disney greats for the entire family. There’s an adult detective tale for the grown-ups, and there is a cute children’s tale for the little ones. Sans anything too scary or dramatic, everyone is sure to enjoy the film and get a laugh or two.
While the plot is an engaging one, it is not too complex that it will lose the attention of younger viewers. This being said, it is also not one that will spoon-feed, so adults should have their viewing needs satisfied by the few twists and turns in the story. Being a Disney film, we also get to share in an inspirational message, how anyone, no matter their size or background, can achieve their dream if they work hard enough for it. Adding to the feel good vibe of the film, this is not too much to the fore that it overwhelms the entertainment value or main story.
On the visual side of things, with Zootropolis being a 3D animated feature, there are few who will be left wanting. From the various environments and habitats to the vast cityscape of Zootropolis itself, and the streets of the city, the attention to detail is sure to astound even the most ardent viewer. The vibrant colours and hive of activity bring the animals and city to life, and support an already engrossing story.
The end credit sequence is a treat, with the song Try Everything by Shakira, played with appearances by various of the film characters. Stay for these.
Zootropolis is another of those fun family stories, that young and old, can watch again and again. An experience for the entire family, and showing once again, that Disney has it’s finger on the pulse of wholesome veiwing.
Zootropolis is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
As is to be expected from a Disney Blu-Ray, the disc is encoded at a high bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen, and users with the appropriate hardware or software can scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen.
Video colours are rich and vibrant, with no bleed. Blacks are deep. There are no issues in fast paced scenes.
Audio is presented in a DTS-HD 7.1 soundtrack, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack for descriptive audio. This too is encoded in a high bitrate. There is an option for subtitles for hearing impaired too.
Sound is clear and crisp, with no panning issues.
Notable in it’s absence is an Atmos option.
Navigation is simple to follow, with small (non-spoiler) clips from the film as a moving background, well integrated into the menu system. Menu transitions are similar, even including a loading icon in line with the theme of the disc.
An option for scene selection is available, for those who wish to jump to a particular part of the main feature.
Research: A True-Life Adventure – Where it all began, starting at the initial idea for a film that featured animals with clothing, in a city, with lives akin to those of humans. About how the story of Zootropolis came about, the research involved in bringing this dream to the big screen.
This featurette gives some insight into the process of creating Zootropolis, and provides an brief introduction to those involved.
Thor Origin Of An Animal Tale – Starting with some pre-visualisations, and storyboard images, then the birth of the ideas. With insights and some input from producer John Lasseter.
We also get to learn how Disney has moved from the 2D hand drawings to the cutting edge of 3D animation. A short mention of some deleted scenes, and discarded concepts might interest some.
Zoology: The Roundtables – Given with a brief introduction by Ginnifer Goodwin (who plays lead character Judy Hopps), this includes three featurettes on talks conducted about characters, environments and animation. This is a great insight for those interested in animated story creation.
Scoretropolis – Filmed on the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers, we are presented with a brief insight in to how the music for Zootropolis was scored, and how it relates to the film, and fits in to each scenes. An interesting aspect is shared, showing the improvised instruments used to create unique sounds.
Z.P.D. Forensic Files – Presented with a noir like narration, we get to look at the Z.P.D files, which give us a look at a few of the easter eggs in the film. While there are only a few highlighted here, there are many others said to be in the main feature, meaning viewers are sure to find a few new ones on each respective viewing.
“Try Everything” Music Video By Shakira – The music video by Shakira, featured on the soundtrack and in the main feature. While live footage of the singer is mixed with footage of the film, there are no spoilers. This is presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital mix, but could have been even better as a 5.1 or 7.1 mix, for those with large home theatre setups, and fans of Shakira.
Deleted Characters – A short look at those characters planned for the film, but who eventually did not make the cut. We are also given some insight in to how character ideas morphed as production of the film progressed. Another insight for those interested in the production process, and animation projects.
Info – For those who wish to read all the copyright warnings again.
Sneak Peeks – Replay the trailers and promos for Disneyland Paris, the Inside Out game for Disney Infinity, and the Pixar collaboration for Finding Dory (in South African cinemas at this time).
While there is no ability to jump straight to one of those, viewers can skip forward.