All original written content is (c) 2016 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is ©2015 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Disney Animation’s latest comedic-action CG offering about a land where predators and prey get along just fine, featuring a bunny cop (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a con-artist fox (Jason Bateman) track down a missing otter and finding a lot more than they bargained for.
- It’s actually funny! Like really, really funny in some parts. The entire “Mr. Big” scene, along with the sloths at the DMV, were my favorites. And there’s a chase scene thru a certain part of town that’s both exciting and fun.
- Great animation, like you’d expect from the folks behind BIG HERO 6, at least if you like the CG stuff. A lot of the natural backgrounds were photo-real, and the city stuff was a lot of fun, quirky and cool at the same time.
- Likable and lovable characters. The bunny was cute without being sickening, assertive without being annoying. Definitely one you don’t mind rooting for. Bateman’s fox was perfectly cast too; s ly and cool but with a soul. There are adorable hamsters, lemmings and baby bunnies as well as hilarious wildebeests, rats and cats. Powerful oxes, rhinos, donut-devouring leopard, scary wolves and more.
- Good voice casting: Idris “Luther” Elba as police chief Bogo, J.K. “J. Jonah Jameson from State Farm” Simmons as Mayor Lionhart, voice legend Maurice LaMarche as Mr. Big, Nate Torrence as Clawhauser, Tommy Chong as a stoned yak, and many more.
- If you like Shakira’s music, you’ll love her music video as Gazelle (not related to Tom Brady’s wife).
- The animal kids’ entertaining play in the beginning sets up the concept of the world without having to resort to explaining.
- Several good messages for kids as well as adults (being true to yourself, following your dreams, perseverance, ignoring haters, the dangers of prejudice) without being preachy.
- Interesting concepts for the different lands of characters, with desert, tundra, rainforest, arctic and so on. The designs for the various cars, buildings, appliances and other things that have to accommodate such a wide variety of sizes were clever and fun.
- No pee, poop or puke jokes! (I guess that may be a “con” for some of you lowbrows.)
- Good story, too. A lot of laughs interspersed, but a real plot that keeps you interested and has a couple major twists and turns. Well written.
- There seemed to be a lack of comedy in the last third of the movie as the plot twisted and became more of a mystery-thriller, so it’s not really a laugh-riot like MINIONS.
- Some intense bullying near the beginning for little ones. But hey, it’s a good way to show ‘em the world can be a mean place. They gotta learn somehow, right?
- I didn’t recall seeing any birds or sea animals. Would have been cool to at least peek into their worlds and see sharks and dolphins hanging out. (Maybe a sequel?)
- Some of the animals who go “savage” might be scary for real little kids. I don’t have any, so I wasn’t afraid. (I normally scream out loud at movies, okay?)
- Anyone who hasn’t seen or is familiar with THE GODFATHER won’t get the whole Mr. Big thing; but on the surface it’s still funny.
- If you prefer the “old school” or “classic” Disney (or even Warner Brothers) animation where the characters squish, stretch and bounce, you may be disappointed as this is pure CG and looks it. So some of the movement (especially the sloths) looks very “technical.”
- No comedy or button after the credits, or even during the main end titles. No short film at the beginning either like Pixar does.
As “Zoo” movies go, this one’s definitely better than ZOOLANDER. As animated flicks go, this is definitely better and more fun than INSIDE OUT. A family film that truly has stuff for everyone, and without being PC about it, since everyone is an animal of all different colors. Parents and animation fans will want to BUY IT when the DVD comes out, especially if there’s a gag reel and other extras. I didn’t see it in 3D but it probably looked okay. Forget about the dog-eat-dog jungle out there and see ZOOTOPIA for a good time!
P.S. Speaking of fun, you deserve some! No better way than with an original ART commission from Pascale. Anything ya like that’s legal. Just tell Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, zoos, predators, prey, bunnies and foxes, animated or otherwise. Bru was hoping to see Hailey Atwell or Sofia Vegara in the movie since they’re so foxy, but at least the bunny had a nice tail. He’d like to open up a beer store in Zootopia just to see what kind of drunks they are.