“In Zootopia, anyone can be anything.”
In its 92-year history, Walt Disney Animation Studios has created a long and storied legacy of talking-animal films—from Mickey Mouse’s debut short “Steamboat Willie” to “Bambi,” “Dumbo,” “The Jungle Book,” “Robin Hood” and “The Lion King.” WDAS returns to the wild with the feature film “Zootopia.” “We all grew up watching the great Disney animal films—we were immersed in those worlds,” says director Byron Howard. “My favorite childhood film was ‘Robin Hood,’ and we wanted to honor that legacy, but in a new and different way that dives even deeper. We started by asking, ‘What would a mammal metropolis look like if it were designed by animals?’ The idea was incredibly exciting to us.”
Comprised of neighborhoods that celebrate different cultures, Zootopia is a city like no other. There’s ritzy Sahara Square for desert animals, Tundratown for the polar bears and moose, the hot and humid Rain Forest District, Little Rodentia for the tiniest mammals, and Bunnyburrow for the millions and millions of bunnies. The downtown area, Savanna Central, is a melting pot where a wide array of mammals from every environment come together.
Zootopia is a place where no matter what you are—from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew—you can be anything. But when rookie officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with Nick Wilde—a fast-talking, scam-artist fox—to solve a mystery.
“At its core, ‘Zootopia’ is a buddy movie,” says director Rich Moore. “Judy and Nick—a rabbit and a fox—are natural enemies by definition. So these characters don’t exactly get along at first. They come to the relationship with ideas about each other—beliefs that aren’t informed or accurate.”
Filmmakers conceived and built the vast and detailed world of Zootopia, populating it with 64 different species of animals that retain what makes each animal so amazing in the real world—but these animals talk and wear pants. “The team spent 18 months just researching animals,” says producer Clark Spencer. “We met with animal experts from all over the world, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. We traveled 9,000 miles to Kenya, Africa, for a two-week deep dive into animal personality and behavior. We wanted each species of animal to be real, to feel authentic and to be based on their real-world behavior.”
“I think all of us were profoundly changed by our trip to Africa,” adds Jared Bush, who is co-director and one of the screenwriters. “It’s such an amazing experience, being around hundreds, thousands of animals. In this movie, we want to feel that density, which is a lot of work. We came back after that trip with a sincere need to make it right.”
This past weekend my 9 daughter and I had a chance to preview Disney’s Zootopia. We both found the movie very funny and I was surprised how many funny lines there were for adults. Like the reference to the scene in The Godfather where Marlon Brando’s character is upset about them crashing his daughter’s wedding. If you are a Godfather fan like our family is you will get a big laugh out of this scene. Also, the reference to Walter and Jesse from Breaking Bad was hysterical! I was pleasantly surprised and rather enjoyed these references to movies and shows that we have enjoyed over the years!
Moviegoers: Mom and Kate (age 9)
Our family faves: The Incredibles, Inside Out, Wall-E
Our fave movies for grown-ups: Sense and Sensibility, The Godfather, Out of Africa
Zootopia currently is at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and I can attest it is definitely worth your trip to the theater. I look forward to seeing it again very soon! The first thing my daughter said while the credits were rolling was “I LOVED it!” I do believe that is the first time she has said that about a movie even before we got up out of our seats. Ginnifer Goodwin (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” “Something Borrowed,” “Walk the Line”) plays a rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps. But there has never been a bunny police officer – ever – in Zootopia. You can see what most of the officers looked like below!
Zootopia Teaches Important Life Lessons:
What’s the story: Rabbit Judy was determined to be a cop and ended up graduating at the top of her class! The police chief, played by Idris Elba (BBC’s “Luther,” Golden Globe®-nominated for Netflix’s “Beasts of No Nation”) doesn’t really care about her credentials and thinks rabbits shouldn’t be cops so he places her as a parking meter cop. This was not what she had in mind but tries to keep a stiff upper lip! I loved Jason Bateman’s character as well and these two play off really well together.
What parents may like about this movie: It is a sweet movie about going after your dreams (even when the odds are stacked against you), and doing your best! We really enjoyed this movie and think your family will too! You can read Fandango’s movie overview here.
What kids will like: Kids will love all the animals in Zootopia. And what’s not to love about Judy?! She is just too sweet and goes after the bad guys!
Positive themes: The movies sends a positive message about going after your dreams even when no one believes you can do it. 5/5
Violence/scare factor: For little guys, the animals fighting might scare them a bit but overall the movie is not scary. 1/5
Bad language: No bad language used 1/5
Below are some fun activities, crafts, drawings lessons and more! Enjoy friends! You can read more reviews, along with more activities, craft ideas, video clips at the Fandango Family site.
Good news! We are offering a $50 Fandango Gift Card for a lucky dandelion mom! Good Luck!
HOW TO DRAW JUDY HOPPS:
HOW TO DRAW FLASH:
Make a Hexaflexagon:
#Zootopia Animal Tracks Fun Sheet:
Like ZOOTOPIA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyZootopia
Follow ZOOTOPIA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyZootopia
Today’s post is brought to you by Fandango Family but all opinions are my own. Be sure to check out Fandango Zootopia Mom’s Movie Minute episode here.