Beasts Of One Nation
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?”