AN­I­MAL CRACK­ERS

New Dis­ney an­thro­po­mor­phic an­i­mal an­i­ma­tion Zootropo­lis is ready to roll

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Turns out Mulder isn’t the only fox to ap­pear in SFX.

Di­rec­tors By­ron Howard and Rich Moore are re­spon­si­ble for such an­i­mated favourites as Lilo & Stitch, Bolt and Tan­gled. But even their com­bined tal­ents were put to the test by Dis­ney’s lat­est an­i­mated epic, about an en­tire city of an­i­mals – the tit­u­lar world of Zootropo­lis.

“As a di­rec­tor,” Howard tells Red Alert when we visit Dis­ney’s stu­dios, “you al­ways want to bring what you love to the movies. So you’ll see what Rich and I love in this movie. You’ll see noir stuff, you’ll see quirky, funny hu­mour and ir­rev­er­ent stuff. We want to en­joy th­ese movies as much as we want the au­di­ence to.”

Zootropo­lis’ fu­sion of com­edy and crime thriller be­gins with the ar­rival of bunny rab­bit Judy Hopps in the big city. A rookie cop look­ing to rise above her sta­tus as me­ter maid, Hopps ( voiced by Once Upon A Time’s Gin­nifer Good­win) part­ners with con- artist fox Nick Wilde ( Ja­son Bate­man) to find a miss­ing ot­ter, but stum­bles upon a much larger mys­tery that en­dan­gers her new home.

“Not since Basil The Great Mouse De­tec­tive have we done a movie that’s a mys­tery or a pro­ce­dural kind of de­tec­tive story,” says Moore. “It’s not a sim­ple type of genre to pull off in an­i­ma­tion. Be­cause there’s a lot of dis­cussing of clues and putting to­gether the plot. Our chal­lenge was al­ways, ‘ Okay, how can we tell this as visu­ally as we can each step of the way with­out it be­com­ing mud­died to the au­di­ence?’”

The film­maker an­swered the ques­tion by study­ing as many thrillers as pos­si­ble, in­clud­ing clas­sics like Chi­na­town, Three Days Of The Con­dor, 48 Hours, Dou­ble In­dem­nity and The Third Man.

“We watch ev­ery­thing,” laughs Moore. “We’re like sponges, and we try to be as full a sponge as we pos­si­bly can.”

Zootropo­lis opens on 25 March.

Is this bunny go­ing to be in favour of bring­ing back fox hunt­ing…?

Not ex­actly Dixon of Dock Green here…

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