Wednesday, May 6, 2015

'Zootopia' Cast Includes Ginnifer Goodwin, Thoughts on Some Details

Since Zootopia is less than ten months away, Disney is still keeping a tight lid on it, the usual for animated films made at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar...

Up until now, the only thing we knew about Zootopia's cast was this... Jason Bateman voices the con-artist fox character Nick Wilde. Recently, Disney released an updated plot synopsis that sounded a bit different from the previous one that was unveiled at D23 back in summer 2013. This same synopsis implied that Nick Wilde wasn't the main character of the film, as some of us have assumed... Instead, it's apparently the cop rabbit (or should we say, aspiring cop) Judy Hopps.

Now we know who is voicing Hopps, it's Once Upon a Time star Ginnifer Goodwin. Seems like a good choice, for Lasseter-era Disney Animation usually gets it spot on.

It's possible that the story was changed considerably between summer 2013 and now, which is the usual for most animated features.

The original plot was about Nick Wilde being framed and Judy Hopps going after him, but then both of them realize that they are targets of a massive conspiracy, so they team up - an unlikely team at that. The new plot synopsis on THR indicates that the crew has kept the whole "unlikely alliance" angle, a carnivore and prey having to team up. Here's an interesting line from said article...

"Together they will upend the predator-prey preconceptions that permeate this metropolis."

Interesting... So even though Zootopia itself is a melting pot of different animals from different habitats, there's still predator-vs-prey stuff going on? Wow...

Another questions I have... Is the conspiracy still in play?

Originally Hopps was going to be a "self-absorbed" cop, now she's an optimistic meter maid who wants to be a cop. It seems as if the writers made her more front-and-center, because it seemed like she was the deuteragonist before the updated synopsis came along. That's good though, for it's been a while since a non-fairy tale Disney animated film had a female lead... Last one was 2004's Home on the Range.

However, the earlier plot synopsis had a lot of cool ideas in it and hopefully a good amount of those have been kept. I liked the idea of them getting caught in the middle of a conspiracy. Also, there were certain details revealed by Bleeding Cool a while back, according to those reports the film would be "wild", "weird", and "action-packed"... I'm all for a Disney animated film like that, and the studio has gotten to a state where they can make the familiar and also experiment with settings/ideas that are out of 90s Disney's comfort zone.

Zootopia, as we all know, is being directed by Bolt and Tangled director Byron Howard, who is directing alongside Wreck-It Ralph's Rich Moore. What a dream combo! Co-directing is Jared Bush, who is currently the only writer of script. I'm sure more have written it, because sometimes Disney will announce a film will have only one or two writers, and then when the film comes out, we find out that there were more involved.

I'm unfamiliar with Jared Bush's work. Apparently his Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero on Disney XD is pretty decent, and that's no shock considering how good Disney TV Animation is doing these days. Coincidentally, the co-creator of that show is Sam Levine, the man who was originally going to direct Disney Animation's video game-themed adventure before it was given to Rich Moore and transformed into Wreck-It Ralph. Levine's story was called Joe Jump, and like many an animated film that goes through this, a reimagined film with the same basic idea took its place.

I wonder when we'll hear about the rest of the cast...


  1. kinda bum about Judy's character. her being self-absorbed sounds like an interesting direction for an animated female character in this decade. but now she's optimistic and funny, which sounds a lot like every other animated female characters (Anna and Rapunzel). 1 reason why Elsa was such a huge hit was her differing personalities and her interesting depth, as a contrast to the happy, optimistic, wild, weird, and bland Anna. they shouldve gone to the more interesting route, but i digress until it comes out.

    1. Yeah, I gotta admit, when they changed her character description, I was a bit disappointed. I was immediately reminded of 'Frozen' and how Anna (and I agree, she is a rather bland character) was "optimistic", and whatnot. However, the rest of the story intrigues me so I still have hope for it.