Walt Disney Animation Studios has two films scheduled to reach theaters in 2016, and both of them are variations on the traditional buddy adventure story. There’s Moana, a movie about the eponymous Pacific Islander and her journey to find a fabled island with the help of the muscular demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson). However, before then, the Mouse House will release Zootopia, its latest cartoon feature set in a fantasy world populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals.
Zootopia features the voice talents of Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time) in the roles of, respectively, wily con artist fox Nick Wilde and by-the-book rabbit cop Judy Hopps, an odd couple who are forced to work together in order to solve a crime. The newly-unveiled teaser trailer for the film saves the task of outlining Zootopia‘s narrative for another day, by instead focusing on establishing the movie’s setting (a world populated entirely by non-human animals) as well the main characters’ dynamic together, with help from the voice-over narration by Bateman.
You can watch the Zootopia teaser trailer above, of course.
The Zootopia teaser makes a relatively big deal about how the animated feature takes place in a universe completely devoid of humans, but in truth that’s not completely new territory for the Mouse House. Many a past Disney animated feature has focused primarily on animal protagonists, while such titles as the animated Robin Hood (1973) seemingly existed in a world where non-humans were the only inhabitants. Nonetheless, it’s been a while since moviegoers got a Disney flick with nothing but furry cartoon players, so Zootopia might come across as a very different sort of Disney ‘toon for certain younger people (especially the juice box crowd).
Stylistically, the animated style for Zootopia has already invited positive comparisons to the classic Disney approach to crafting anthropomorphic animal characters (in such films as Robin Hood), only now in shiny computer-animated form rather than 2D. Similarly, the story and script by the movie’s co-director Jared Bush (who was part of the “Miscellaneous Crew” who worked on Big Hero 6) seems fairly traditional when it comes to the setup and basic character archetypes, but there’s potential for a fairly clever spin on those tried-and-true ingredients here.
Bush is making his feature-length directorial debut with Zootopia, but he’s not working alone; the film is being co-helmed by Disney veterans Bryon Howard (Bolt, Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph). The short of it: Zootopia has enough in the way of reliable experience behind it to make sure the final movie product turns out well (even if it’s not the most inventive work of animated entertainment from the Mouse House in recent memory).
Zootopia opens in U.S. theaters on March 4th, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios