ZOOTROPO­LIS

Beasts Of One Na­tion

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 25 march PG | 108 min­utes

Di­rec­tors By­ron Howard, Rich Moore

Cast Gin­nifer Good­win, Ja­son

Bate­man, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate

Dis­ney’s tra­di­tion of car­toon an­thro­po­mor­phism stretches back to Oswald the Lucky Rab­bit. So there’s some­thing com­fort­ingly cir­cu­lar about hav­ing an­other bunny – Judy Hopps ( Gin­nifer Good­win), a rookie cop striv­ing to make her mark – at the heart of its lat­est ca­per, even if it owes as much to Dream­Works and Aard­man as The Lion King and Robin Hood.

The lat­ter prob­a­bly in­spired the male lead, a wily fox ( Ja­son Bate­man) who joins forces with Judy to solve some mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ances. This takes them all over an im­pec­ca­bly re­alised alt- world en­com­pass­ing bustling city, icy tun­dra and Ama­zo­nian rain­for­est, plus a minia­ture en­clave for ro­dents that’s the lo­ca­tion for one of the film’s most in­ven­tively ac­tion- packed set- pieces. That th­ese in­clude a chase rem­i­nis­cent of Speed and an In­di­ana Jones- style rope bridge es­cape is tes­ta­ment to its am­bi­tion and re­lent­less mo­men­tum. In­deed, it’s so fast- paced there’s barely time to reg­is­ter all the gags that pep­per the screen.

The noir- ish plot’s ex­is­ten­tial quandary ( can preda­tors and prey co- ex­ist?) is the same one that mo­tored Mada­gas­car; this gives rise to scenes that might be a touch too in­tense for very young chil­dren. Over­all, how­ever, Zootropo­lis is a witty, cre­ative and en­ter­tain­ing romp. Neil Smith

Zootropo­lis isn’t the first time we’ve seen foxy con artist Nick Wilde – he ap­peared on a bill­board in Big Hero 6.

“Shall we go and rip up some bin bags?”

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