Zootopia (Blu-ray)

June 8, 2016 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

I remember seeing the latest Star Wars film this past December and seeing the trailer for Zootopia. It featured a scene where the lead character, Officer Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), in a hurry, tries to relay information to a sloth at the DMV. He gets caught up on nearly every word and slowly repeats details back to her. The scene in this film takes place in the earlier portion, and is something of a throwaway scene, but it got a huge applause from the audience. While I usually wait to watch animated flicks at home, it did look like this one would be a sure thing. It’s also from Disney, who’ve been on something of a hot streak lately. Not only was this a huge hit with the critics, but audiences also seemed to love the film. It went on to gross over $300 million in the U.S. alone. So, was the film the sure thing I thought it would be? Read on.

All of us have a dream. Whether it’s the most ambitious dream, or something more modest. In the case of Judy Hopps, all she wants is to become a police officer. Due to her smaller size (she is, after all, a bunny rabbit), her parents urge her to stick with carrot farming, but Judy doesn’t let that stop her. Indeed, she passes training and gets her dream job. She heads to Zootopia and like most rookie cops, wants to see some action. Sadly for Judy, she’s put on meter maid duty. Even with a position she doesn’t want, she still fulfills her quota for the day by writing out a large number of tickets. As she’s out one day, she runs into a con artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). Since she disobeyed orders by the chief, Bogo (Idris Elba), he gives her 48 hours to solve a missing person’s case. With the help of Nick, the two of them search Zootopia for some answers. We then follow them as they do some solid police work. While the story here features some familiar elements, it flows nicely and is surprisingly well told for a film of this sort. There’s also a nice message about accepting others even if they’re different than us. While the film is certainly aimed at the young ones, it avoids being overly cutesy and cheesy. Adults can love it just as much as kids. I also appreciate the resistance to go for cheap, gross gags. That was a refreshing bit to see it not stoop so low like a lot of these films do. It’s also a visual treat as well. It might not be the best animated film I’ve ever seen, but Zootopia remains a winner.

Video: How’s it look?

Should it really come as a surprise that in 2016 a Disney feature of this sort looks nothing short of fantastic? No, it shouldn’t, and it doesn’t. Clean and crisp throughout. There are many different colors and it’s always a treat just staring at the screen. There’s a real richness here and the details are immaculate. We get a 1080p transfer with a 2.39:1 ratio. Fans will be more than pleased with the results here.

Audio: How’s it sound?

We get a DTS 7.1 HD track that also impresses. There’s certainly no shortage of action here, so expect plenty of usage from all the channels. The quieter scenes also add a nice touch as there’s a distinct clarity throughout. There’s a lot of range here. Like the transfer, this track satisfies.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Research: A True-Life Adventure – In order to make the movie as “realistic” as possible, the makers of the film go to some pretty extreme lengths to ensure the utmost genuine experience!
  • The Origin of an Animal Tale – The title pretty much says it all. We get some early ideas by the filmmakers as it progresses to more of a “final product” with story arcs, character ideas, and so forth.
  • Zoology: The Roundtables – Actress Ginnifer Goodwin introduces a trio of segments.
    • Animation – If you’ve ever seen some of these discussions on animation, you’ll come to appreciate how much time, effort and energy is involved in bringing these films to life.
    • Characters – A basic introduction to some of the main players of the movie and some of the supporting cast as well.
    • Environments – Beauty is in the details, is it not? This gives a broader perspective on some of the background environments and how it played into the film.
  • Scoretopia – A play on words, but essentially a look at the film’s music and score.
  • Z.P.D. Forensic Files – This is becoming more and more prevalent with films. We get a look at some of the Easter Eggs scattered throughout the movie. Why make them if you’re going to tell people about them?
  • Music Video – Shakira’s “Try Everything”.
  • Deleted Characters – A look at a few of the characters that didn’t make the final cut.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Alternate Opening
    • Wild Times Pitch
    • Homesick Hopps
    • Detective Work
    • Alternate Jumbo Pops
    • Hopps’ Apartment
    • The Taming Party

The Bottom Line

With two likeable lead characters and a fairly intriguing story, Zootopia is a winner on all fronts. It’s almost always visually pleasing as well, and the resistance to stoop to lowbrow humor is more than welcome here. It’s also well-paced and should hold up on multiple viewings. Recommended.

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