Hey! Long time no see! Sorry about the gap; I hardly have any spare time now, what with full time employment in BBD (previously WG13), Dominos on the side, leading the KH13 Social Media team, piano lessons, trying to fit in time for exercise, food, sleep and of course to go to the cinema! I hope to have another review up shortly after this one! Any-hoo welcome back to film reviews; first cinema review of 2016, so lets get on with the show! And again if you have seen the film, don’t read ahead as there is definitely going to be some spoilers!
The 55th Walt Disney animation, Zootropolis or Zootopia! In the UK it’s called Zootropolis, but I personally prefer calling it Zootopia! Judy Hopps is the first rabbit police officer to be appointed at the ZPD and is vigorously trying to prove to everyone that she is capable of the job with the ambition to make the world a better place. Her first case is to find out why some animals are turning savage (like their primitive origins) with the ‘help’ of the sly fox, Nick Wilde. And we learn the same life lessons: having friends is good, love conquers, believe in yourself, keep moving forward; basically exactly the same as Big Hero 6 and every other Disney film out there!
For the first time in these reviews, the cinema we went to was the Odeon in Ayr. A long time ago I went there and realised their scam; it was more expensive for less quality. But this time the cinema was really clean and didn’t smell like something had died. Fraser, Rebecca and myself went to the very front row of seats so we could try and make the screen seem bigger. The sound was alright. Since this was a family film, we got all the kiddy trailers like TMNT, and the Secret Life of Pets which both look pretty rubbish in my opinion. Generally it was a good experience; not the best but it’ll do pig, it’ll do!
Now my one disappointment from the very beginning was that there was no short film attached with Zootropolis, which is a shame because the shorts in their last few films have been brilliant especially Paperman and Get a Horse! There will probably be something with the DVD/bluray release, but still would have been good to see on the big screen. Now with Zootropolis my initial thoughts were that it’d probably focus more on the humour, visuals and the idea than the storyline; and I wasn’t far off. Disney is increasingly showing the wow factor when it comes to computer animation in competition with Pixar, Dreamworks, etc. I thought the humour was ok; the scenes with Flash the Sloth were probably the funniest, but a lot of the time the animation and behaviour of the characters was what brought out a lot of humour; it’s becoming more realistic and doesn’t feel like the voice actor is just simply reading off a script; the part when Hopps is hysterically sobbing to Wilde is one example of this and makes the film genuinely more authentic!
The idea behind it all is great especially that the different districts; both with the story and visually. And taking trends from the modern age of technology like selfies, face swaps, latest app crazes, even just putting earphones in to listen to Shakira. I like the ‘Try Everything’ tune especially when you first see Zootropolis, but there’s a part of me wondering if I should as it sounds like a Hannah Montana motivational tune; it’s a bit cheesy, but I still like it! This film of course talks about the different types of animals (especially predators and prey) but in the limelight has many themes on political correctness, stereotypes and racism; which I think is brilliant especially with the current state of our society today and teaching kids to respect one another. But I couldn’t help feeling this should have been explored more rather than Judy’s keep-moving-forward attitude or Shakira’s Try-Everything tune. We’ve had the go-for-your-dreams lesson with practically every Disney film and the respectfulness of others moral should have been the primary moral. Even although The origin story of Nick Wilde was a wee bit cliché, but in retrospect it’s a dumbed down version of him being called awful names, being cast out and going with the lie that none of his race can be trusted, but I think it’s been dumbed down so much that this won’t get across to kids. Another wee thing I have against this film is it felt very similar to other films like Shark Tale for the modern environment with humanized fish, or even Disney’s own Robin Hood including the fox lead again. It is a great film but unlike it’s original trailer tagline, it IS like something we’ve seen be-fur.
Well if you’re thinking it’s going to be another year gap till the 56th classic Disney animation, think again! ‘Moana’ (a story about a young woman who uses her navigational skills to discover a mythological island) will be releasing in UK cinemas on November 23rd! The next film after that is ‘Gigantic’ set to release on March 9th, 2018, so a bit more than a year after Moana; in a nutshell it’s Disney’s adaption of Jack and the Beanstalk except when Jack discovers the world of giants, he agrees to help an 11 year old girl (who is 60 feet tall) to find her home. I’m personally thinking it’d probably have the same story style and humour as Tangled. Apart from that here’s a quick run through of the live action films adapted from original classic Disney animations in the next upcoming years: Jungle Book (April 15th), Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27th), Pete’s Dragon (August 12th), Beauty and the Beast (March 17th, 2017), and then there’s Dumbo, Mulan, Pinocchio, Malificent 2, Cruella, Winnie the Pooh, Tink, Night on Bald Mountain as well as other rumoured titles.
It’s been a while since I’ve wrote about video games in my reviews, but I’m going to do exactly the same with Big Hero 6 and talk about the possibility of Zootropolis featuring in Kingdom Hearts. This is a video game franchise that combines the characters from Square Enix games like Final Fantasy and The World Ends With You, and the characters/worlds of Disney films like Lion King, Nightmare Before Christmas, Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron. It has been confirmed during last year that Tangled and Big Hero 6 would feature in the next game in the series, Kingdom Hearts 3, but I would also like to talk about Zootropolis as a candidate. Now there are many Disney animations that circulate around animals (Robin Hood, Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, etc) and it will be quite tricky to include many of them in the same game, as there needs to be variety with the worlds/themes. Ie if Zootropolis were to feature in KH3 I wouldn’t expect Robin Hood to, as they would be very similar. My thoughts are Zootropolis would make a brilliant world to visit, but I don’t think it’ll feature in Kingdom Hearts 3 as Big Hero 6 is confirmed and it’s location is a unique modern city already and I feel it’s too late to add Zootropolis to the list. Two of the remastered games of Kingdom Hearts (1.5 HD ReMIX and 2.5 HD ReMIX) are available to buy for PlayStation 3. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Remix is predicted to release about December time this year and Kingdom Hearts 3 has been highly anticipated for many years and there still isn’t a release date, but I reckon it will release during the first half of 2017 (my opinion, not fact!).
Right so to conclude I thought Zootropolis was a great film but wouldn’t say it was the best. In the trailers it said the ‘best Disney animation in 20 years’ which dates back to the end of Disney’s golden era with Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I feel there are still some goodies within these last 20 years; Treasure Planet, Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6. It was a great idea mixing today’s technology with a world of anthropomorphic animals, beautiful visuals and brilliant animation especially with the characters. The short film with this film was rubbish though. The Ayr Odeon was ok, but not as good as other cinemas. Even other Odeon cinemas such as Kilmarnock are far better! That’s me again. Hope to see you again real soon!
ZOOTROPOLIS – 7/10
AYR ODEON CINEMA – 6/10
KINGDOM HEARTS FRANCHISE – 8/10