Our Thoughts On Pixar’s Onward!

Walt Disney Pictures presents their latest animated feature Zootopia. Zootopia is directed by Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt), Rich Moore (Wreck-it-Ralph) and Jared Bush, who is also a co-writer. Along with Mr. Bush (Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero), Steve Johnson (Wreck-it-Ralph) wrote the screenplay. Zootopia takes place in a creative world in which animals have evolved into civilized beings that walk upright, wear clothes, work jobs, and are integrated in a multicultural society.

Our two main characters are Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin from Once Upon a Time) and con-artist Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman from Arrested Development). Hopps is a bunny from the country who has wanted to be a police officer ever since she was little. One day, after a school presentation, her parents try to tell her that no bunny has ever been a police officer. Young Judy responds, “Then I’ll just have to be the first.” That kind of unwavering optimism leads Hopps to go to the police academy and even graduate valedictorian. She then is assigned to Zootopia; the big city. There she encounters con artist fox Nick Wilde. Nick isn’t really a bad guy, but he is definitely someone that exploits his being able to work the system. Judy catches Nick in a con and uses that against him to get his help in a missing mammal case. From there the two follow threads of a conspiracy that could destroy the society of Zootopia.

Some additional voices cast in Zootopia include: Idris Elba (Luther, Thor) as Chief Bogo, Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) as Assistant Mayor Bellweather, Nate Torrence (Supernatural episode “Just My Imagination”) as Clawhauser, Academy Award Winner J.K. Simons (Whiplash) as Mayor Lionheart, Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) as Mrs. Otterton, Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Wreck-it-Ralph) as Duke Weaselton, and international singer Shakira as pop star Gazelle.

At face value, Zootopia is a fun and engaging feature that is appropriate for all ages. Underneath, Zootopia is a brilliant analogy for modern society. Several characters throughout the films state, “We are what we are.” This is referring to the stereotypical traits for each animal being the guide to how they should live their life. The argument of these traits being biological and thus inescapable is a prevalent theme throughout the film. Jason Bateman’s Nick is sarcastic and very funny and his cynical view is quite entertaining. Audiences will connect very easily with Nick’s ideals but should be striving to be more like Judy. Ginnifer Goodwin’s character of Judy Hopps is great because she works both at face value being charismatic and cute, as well as for the analogies in the film. She is the character that we want to show our children. A character that refuses to be bound by her stereotype. A character that instead of wishing to be bigger or stronger, uses the qualities she does have in ways that surpass other’s expectations. She is a character that doesn’t have all of the answers and does make mistakes, but also is unbreakable in her resolve and optimism.

Zootopia is many things. It is a buddy cop comedy in that two characters of opposite attitudes are thrown together to work a case. It is an inspiring tale that encourages to dream bigger than what you are. It is a conspiracy mystery. It is an analogous look at modern social issues. And it is a clever animated comedy with talking animals. This is what makes Disney Animated Features memorable and magical.

The film is rated PG for action scenes and themes of discrimination which are all in the subtext and thus is really appropriate for all ages.

ONWARD IS IN THEATRES MARCH 6TH, 2020! Get your tickets now!

Check out the trailer below too!

 

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