New Disney anthropomorphic animal animation Zootropolis is ready to roll
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…