Having had a pretty big year in 2015 with Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, 2016 will be a return to the animal kingdom for Disney in their new animated film, Zootopia. While there’s a little confusion around the title, for some reason it’ll be called Zootropolis in the UK, what’s for sure is that there’s been a long history of great animal characters for the film gurus at The Magic Kingdom, and Nick Wilde could be the next, despite his more disreputable nature.
You’ve only got to look at classic movies like Bambi, Jungle Book and The Lion King, to see how important animals have been to its success, so it’s easy to see why it’s making them its main focus in 2016. In addition to Zootopia, we’ll also be getting the live action adaptation of The Jungle Book (2016) and a trip back under the sea in Finding Dory, but there’s an important difference in the very next outing, in that there are no people whatsoever, so it’ll be all foxes, rabbits, gazelles, lions and honey badgers in the mean streets wilderness of the concrete jungle.
Cinema: Zootopia (AKA Zootropolis) has been confirmed for a UK release date of Friday the 25th March 2016, following the US box office opening on the 4th March 2016. As with most CGI animated movies, it will be available in both 2D and 3D. Given the early spring release, it should be well placed to take the family movie Easter #1 spot, although it will depend how much of a long term impact King Fu Panda 3 has following its own, slightly earlier release date.
DVD, Blu-ray and digital download: The film has been confirmed for just Blu-ray & DVD bundle, 3D Blu-ray and digital download in the US with a release date planned for the 7th June 2016. However, it will be getting a standalone DVD release in the UK to accompany the Blu-ray and digital download, with and an official UK release date of the 25th July 2016. You can see details for the extras and special features on the DVD and Blu-ray below.
The story is set in the modern city of Zootopia (presumably Zootropolis in the UK) in which anthropomorphised animals live their day-to-day lives, where there are opportunities for every animal to get along and be whatever they want to be. However, for Judy Hopp, who has just become the first bunny rabbit to join the city police force, it’s a pretty daunting challenge.
With much bigger, badder animals making up the rest of the force, she feels like she needs to prove herself, so when a big case comes along she jumps at the opportunity to solve it. This leads her to taking on a civil partner in foxy, small-time scam artist, Nick Wilde, in an attempt to crack the city’s new high profile case.
Jason Bateman (Paul) voices in Nick Wilde and Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time) plays Judy Hopps. The rest of the cast has a few more names you might recognise with Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World) as Chief Bogo, Judy’s new boss, who is a 200lb cape buffalo; J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Mayor Leodore Lionheart, the lion chief of state for the city; Octavia Spencer (The Help) as the mayor’s otter assistant, Mrs Otterton; and Alan Tyduk, who you might know as Duke Weselton from Frozen, who will be playing small-time weasel felon, Duke Weaselton, which is a pretty witty reference from Disney.
There are also a few newer faces in the mix with Tommy Lister as fennec fox Finnick, Raymond Persi (Wreck-It Ralph) as a sloth called Flash, Don Lake and Bonnie Hunt as Mr and Mrs Hopps, Tommy Chong as Yax the Yak, Jenny Slate as the sheepish Assistant Mayor Bellwether and Nate Torrence as cheetah Officer Benjamin Clawhauser.
DVD, Blu-ray and digital download special features
Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & digital HD extras:
- Zoology: The Roundtables – Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more.
- The Origin of an Animal Tale – Feature-length documentary on the development of the Zootopia story.
- Research: A True-Life Adventure – Special feature on the animal research that the filmmakers went through to bring the new characters to life.
- Z.P.D. Forensic Files – Notes on the Easter Eggs that have been added to the film.
- Scoretopia – Insight into the score behind the film, composed by Michael Giacchino
- Deleted Characters – A special feature with directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore to give us a run through of some of the citizens of Zootopia who didn’t make it into the film.
- Deleted Scenes – 7 deleted scenes from the cutting room floor.
- Try Everything music video by Shakira
- Scoretopia – see detail above in the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & digital HD extras
- Try Everything music video by Shakira
The film has been co-directed by Byron Howard (Tangled), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and Jared Bush. The music will be scored by composer Michael Giacchino, who has worked on a number of previous Disney animated movies over the years, including Up, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and Inside Out.
Disney and animals can only really mean good things, and while it’s a mirror world with animals living up the big city life, instead of the forest glades and savanna of our own animal kingdom, it’s shaping up to be another fun family movie. The Easter break release date makes it a clear contender for must-see kids movie, although with Kung Fu Panda 3 out the week before it’s not going to be without its competition. The teaser trailer below looks pretty funny, but it doesn’t give too much away, which could be a good sign that they’re saving the best or the film. However, you can check out all of the clips and videos from Disney to see more of the film for yourself.
It’s a little odd that the film is going to be called Zootropolis in the UK and will undoubtedly lead to a fair amount of confusion, so to save matters you might want to get used to the double naming convention now, so you’re prepared for its arrival on the big screen. If you’re wondering why Disney decided to change the name from Zootopia to Zootropolis in the UK, there’s some speculation that it might be due to the fact that the British International Property Office has the name registered to a zoo in Denmark.