Cuddly bunnies, an all-star voice cast and an interesting story; you might think that Zootopia or Zootropolis (whatever this flick is called in your country) is one of those animated movies that is just going to be an instant success. Which it still might be, you never know what kids totally get into these days (Minions for example). However, I did not really leave the cinema with a good feeling after seeing Zootropolis. Sorry Shakira (or should I say Miss Gazelle?), even your crazy upbeat song did not work.
Actually, it might have been exactly that which made me realise this movie feels like a good Dreamworks movie: the song by Shakira. For some reason the track sounds so superficial, that even kiddies should totally see right through it. Shakira does not just do a song at the end of the movie, but also in this essential scene in which our cute little bunny travels to Zootropolis for the first time.
As soon as the music started to play, Shakira probably did not even sing then, it just downgraded the movie. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but something about a too commercial, easy song just screams BAD MOVIE to me. Little did I know, this was just the beginning..
No, I am just kidding, it was not that bad or anything, it is just that totally did not have a Disney feel to it. Sure, there were some references to Walt Disneys amazing work, that go further than just the pink castle with the waving flags and the fireworks in the beginning. For example there is a bit of The Fox and the Hound in it, or a lot actually. And at the start when the little bunny shows she wants something so bad and she is willing to do anything for it; seems like the life of Mr Walt Disney himself.
However, I do not think this animation style is distinguished enough. It just does not have that Disney-vibe. The key character, Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), reminds me too much of the bunny from the terrible movie Hop. I mean, the animation was done very nicely, but it simply was not special. A fluffy bunny with big eyes and a cute nose; this seems more the easy job other studios would do rather than an animation powerhouse such as Disney.
There were all these little things that made this movie very un-Disney. Zootopia City was not explored as much; only when Judy arrived you really saw it. There was so much to explore: tundra town, ice berg whatever, all these places that should have such a great variety of animals. And it was not just that we saw little of the city itself, the animals were pretty standard too: a crazy amount of African safari animals, and no birds, cats, dogs or fish. My boyfriend said that this fact makes the movie scream sequel, but I truly hope they won’t (plus, Walt Disney really disliked the idea of sequels anyway).
The story is pretty entertaining, but also a bit scary, which animals going totally red-eye, tearing up the place-crazy. There were a few parts that I think will scare the hell out of little kids, and even though my personal opinion is that it is totally awesome that Disney is not always being that super innocent family friendly organization anymore, I can imagine that moms and dads might struggle with kids being scared.
Zootropolis/Zootopia is an entertaining movie for both kids and adults (unless the kids are easily scared), but when it ended it seemed so forgettable, and just soo not Disney. But as there was not a lot of marketing budget for this flick, I think Disney is counting on Jungle Book to be a big success. To be continued!