Today is that day that Disney's ZOOTOPIA is now available on Blu-ray and DVD! I absolutely loved this movie in the theater and am so glad we can now see it again at home.
Whether you are young or old, have kids, have no kids, love animated movies, hate animated movies – it doesn't matter. It is really good! I personally love animated movies, especially Disney movies, but Zootopia is my favorite in a long time. (And hey – if you don't want to go on just MY opinion, my husband said the same thing when he saw it!) I will tell you why, but first, in case you didn't see it in the theater and haven't yet heard the basic story of the movie yet, here it is:
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.
Why do I love Zootopia? There are a lot of reasons. The first is simply the amazing city of Zootopia filled with all kinds of animals, both predators and prey, who have evolved to live together in harmony. From the first moment Judy Hopps, the heroine of the story, takes the train into the city, we see this imaginative place with special accommodations for all shapes and sizes of animals like vertical tubes to send smoothies from the juice bar up to the level of giraffes, to air-drying stations for hippos in business suits to dry themselves after leaving their waterways and before heading to the office, to Habitrail-type tubes for hamsters to make their daily commute.
And then there is the humor!! There are jokes and funny punchlines to make everyone laugh. I love clever writing and Zootopia is filled with it. Sloths manning the DMV?? – that is just hilarious! I can watch that scene over and over again and love it every time!
And last, but certainly not least, amidst all this fun Zootopia manages to deliver a powerful message. While the movie starts out stressing the always-popular theme of being able to achieve great things if you work hard and put your mind to it, it moves on to an even more important and socially relevant and timely message – we need to move past stereotypes and not pre-judge others. I was actually quite surprised (pleasantly surprised) that this message is presented so strongly and I'm impressed that Disney did so. It's a difficult topic, especially to discuss with children, and using animals to portray a very real problem in today's society is a way to create a starting point to approach the subject. I can only hope that it stirs conversations among families and helps contribute to change.
We left the theater on a high after seeing Zootpia. It was funny, exciting (I jumped out of my seat at one point), moving and an all-around GREAT movie. As a good friend said, “It's just smart!” I couldn't agree more and I can't wait to see it again and again at home. I'm not the type of person who generally likes to watch movies over and over again, but with Zootopia I do!
Zootopia Blu-Ray Bonus Features:
To add to the excitement of watching at home, the ZOOTOPIA Blu-ray (and Digital HD) is PACKED with bonus materials. Here is the whole list:
- Zoology: The Roundtables – Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more. The artists at Disney Animation give a rare and in-depth look at the complexities of bringing an all-animal world to life from the ground-breaking technology behind the characters’ fur and clothing to the varied and vast environments of Tundratown, Sahara Square and the Rainforest District as well as the deep thought and research given to bringing 64 unique animal species to life through animation.
- The Origin of an Animal Tale – Follow the story’s development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down. In this feature-length documentary, filmmakers give a candid look into the difficulties of creating the story of Zootopia and the bold decision to switch the main character late in the production process, putting one resolute rabbit center stage.
- Research: A True-Life Adventure – The filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia. They reflect on the importance of research and how a deep dive into animal behavior at Disney Animal Kingdom theme park and a deep immersion into animal society on the African savanna shaped and inspired the characters of Zootopia and changed the filmmakers’ lives forever.
- Z.P.D. Forensic Files – Find the movie’s hidden Easter Eggs. Every city has its hidden gems, especially when it has been created by the filmmakers of Disney Animation who love nothing more than sprinkling hidden references to some of Disney’s greatest animated features throughout the story.
- Scoretopia – Academy Award®-winning composer, Michael Giacchino spotlights five of cinema’s greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his powerful and emotional music score.
- Deleted Characters – Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootopia who did not make the final cut.
- Deleted Scenes:
- Alternate Opening – Young Judy Hopps rescues a fellow classmate and realizes she can reach beyond a life in carrot farming to a future in law enforcement.
- Wild Times! Pitch – Nick desperately pitches the bankers of Zootopia on funding Wild Times!, an amusement park made exclusively for the predators of Zootopia and a sure-fire, money-making scheme for Nick and his friends.
- Alternate Homesick Hopps – After a frustrating first day on the force, Judy has a conversation with her parents. See how this scene changed from a heartfelt conversation with her parents to tough love when her parents discover their daughter is only a meter maid and not a “real cop.”
- Detective Work – Judy borrows a fellow police officer’s computer to conduct research, which turns out to be no small task.
- Alternate Jumbo Pop – In this early version of the story where Nick was the main character, the filmmakers and Jason Bateman were able to take hustling to a new level.
- Hopps’ Apartment – When Judy’s entire family pays her a surprise visit they are shocked to discover the company she’s keeping.
- The Taming Party – In this emotional clip from an early version of “Zootopia,” Judy attends her first “taming party” and gains a deeper understanding of the plight of the predator.
- “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira
I have already had a chance to watch some of these bonus features and they are awesome! I personally love the feature “Research: A True-Life Adventure” that shows how the filmmakers traveled to Africa to study animals and learn about the unique characteristics they needed to replicate to bring the characters to life on the screen. Another super fun bonus is the Z.P.D. Forensic Files. You can see a clip of that below!